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Tips For Clipping Your Bird's Wings

Jul 12, 2008
Do you have a pet bird? If so, you might be considering the possibility of clipping your pet's wings. Within the world of pet bird owners, the subject of wing clipping is a bit controversial. While many specialists recommend clipping the wings of captive birds, some believe it is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, before you learn how to clip your bird's wings, it is a good idea to explore the pros and cons of wing clipping.

Benefits of Wing Clipping

One of the obvious benefits to wing clipping is the fact that clipping your bird's wings makes it difficult for it to fly away. As such, clipping is a good way to keep your pet bird safe from accidentally flying away and being lost forever. Clipping your bird's wings also helps to keep your pet bird safe, as flying around indoors can be dangerous. It is important to note, however, that a bird with clipped wings is still capable of flying. Basically, clipping slows the bird down and causes it to fly in a clumsier manner. Therefore, clipping should not be considered a foolproof method of preventing flight.

Some bird owners support wing clipping because they feel it helps them bond with their pet. After all, when your bird's wings are clipped, it becomes more dependent upon its owner to take care of it. There is no true evidence, however, to support this theory.

Drawbacks of Wing Clipping

Although clipping your bird's wings can prevent it from flying away, some bird lovers are afraid that clipping a bird's wings causes psychological as well as physical damage to the bird. In addition, after clipping a bird's wings, the bird is no longer able to get a good workout. Therefore, those that are against wing clipping feel that the lack of exercise is more detrimental to the bird than the potential dangers associated with being able to fly freely. Of course, clipping the wings of a bird can also detract from the pet's physical beauty because of the feathers it is missing.

Clipping Your Bird's Wings

When clipping your pet bird's wings, it is best to wrap the bird in a towel and to have one person hold the bird while another person clips the wings. The scissors used to clip the wings should be nice and sharp in order to create a smooth cut.

The only feathers that need to be cut are the outer six or seven on the bird's wings, as these are referred to as the "flight feathers." It is, however, ok to clip back more than just these few feathers.

You should check your bird's feathers about once per month to see if they need to be trimmed again, as they do grow back rather quickly. Once the bird is able to fly more than a few feet, it is a good sign that the feathers should be clipped again.

Before you clip your bird's wings for the first time, it is a good idea to have your vet perform the clipping while you watch. This way, you will have a clear idea about how far you should clip the feathers and which feathers need to be clipped and your pet bird can be safe and healthy.
About the Author
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at http://www.findapetonline.com. Research over 430 pet breed profiles at http://www.findapetonline.com/breeds.html
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