Biting while trimming nails and wings

by Linda
(Sumrall, MS, U.S.A)

Is there anything on the market that will keep my bird from biting me while I trim its nails and clip its wings?

Comments for Biting while trimming nails and wings

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May 26, 2009
Re: Biting while trimming nails and wings
by: Kathy Heaton

The main thing that you want to be certain *not* to do:

*** Do not hold your bird's chest. ***

Birds lack a diaphragm so cannot breathe "up and down" like humans can. If he can't breathe "in and out" because you're gripping his chest, he starts strangling, and his biting has nothing to do with your efforts to trim.

Be aware... I've seen this happen more than once.

And if you don't turn loose, you'll wind up holding a dead bird, wondering what happened.

Take your bird to an avian veterinarian or groomer. Either have them trim your bird or ask them to show you what to do.


Houston TX

May 26, 2009
Nail trimming
by: Linda

When I used to do my Amazons and other birds, we always used a towel to wrap them in, plus someone else would gently hold both sides of the jaws and bird in their arms. It takes two people to do a bird's nails and wings. One person will most likely get bitten, not to mention cutting nails into the quick because of one person trying to restrain the bird.

I now take my older Amazons to vet as they become so stressed when I try and catch them to do it. My birds are wild (never have been tamed), and since they are older, the vet and his assistant can do it faster and easier. They also trim their beaks from time to time, and NEVER do this at home, always have an Avian vet do it. The beak is very sensitive, and if it starts bleeding, it is sometimes hard if not impossible to get it to stop.

Just take your bird to the vet, and let him/her be THE BAD COP. Later, as Traci mentioned, you may be able to "fool" him into thinking he is learning another trick. I knew a lady whose Cockatoo would sit on its outside perch and let her cut its nails like that (most of us do not have birds like that!).

Good Luck and glad to hear about a problem that has such an easy fix.

May 26, 2009
Trimming nails and wings
by: Tracie

Dr. B recommends that owners do not restrain their own birds using the Avistraint or other methods that might scare or upset the bird. Pet birds can become distrustful of owners when handled this way; some birds forgive, others do not. Good parrot-owner relationships are totally dependent on trust.

I recommend that you take your bird to an avian vet or groomer for these things since the bird clearly is not comfortable with you doing it.

The bird can be trained to accept your trimming the nails and wings with patience and rewards, however. You need to start with other trick training, so that the bird will think you are just teaching it another trick that gets a reward.

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