To clip or not to clip bird's wings

I am getting conflicting reports about Wing clipping, some in favour and some against I have been told not to clip his wings until he is 2 and possibly not then because flying is a great exercise for parrots and for those breeds who have a tendency to get over weight, something not to be discouraged. I would appreciate your thoughts if I should continue to let my bird fly through the house.

Comments for To clip or not to clip bird's wings

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Apr 01, 2011
Wing Clipping
by: Debbie


I personally do not clip my Grey's wings, instead he is trained to fly to me on command and fly back to his cage on command. Early clipping of a birds wings can lead to an under development of the chest muscles and if the bird crashes to the floor can result in a broken keel bone.

If you do decide to have your bird's wings clipped I would recommend having your vet do this as a bad clip can lead to all sorts of problems from pulling out of feather to feathers that are ingrowing which can result in amputation of the wing.

You should also bear in mind that when your bird moults his wing feathers and new feathers are growing he will be able to fly a little. This is when escapes tend to happen when clipped birds are taken outside and they suddenly fly off much to their owner's surprise.

I hope these comments are of some help.

Mar 31, 2011
Only clip wings if necessary
by: The Avian Vet

In my opinion, wing clips are a personal choice. I do not clip my birds, but most of my clients do. The main reasons for clipping wings are to prevent behavior problems and to prevent injury and escape. If your bird does not have behaviors that are unacceptable for you and you can prevent injury and escape, then there is no reason to clip your bird?s wing feathers.

A flighted bird is more healthy and happy, I believe. But there are situations that are not conducive to a flighted bird.

It is very important that a young bird not be clipped too soon. They should be allowed to learn to fly and to land gracefully. This takes practice. Most breeders and pet stores clip birds too soon and this will affect them for the rest of their lives. If your bird is flying and landing with precision, then you can clip his wings if you decide that is best for your situation. Do not do it yourself, have an avian veterinarian do it. I would start with only a few feathers on each side, the outer four on each side should be enough to start.

Dr B

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