Wing clipping

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Wing clipping

Messagepar Jojo » Mer Juil 24, 2013 11:09 pm

Wing Clipping
Lisa Keelty
Environmental and Wildlife Technician
AFA Certified Aviculturist

About a decade ago it was almost always recommended to trim the primary (flight) feathers on parrots but today this attitude is changing very quickly. Wing clipping was initially done to provide some control over pet birds as they have far more freedom of movement then cats or dogs and also to prevent accidental escape. Wing clipping itself causes no physical harm to birds when done properly however accidents can happen when feathers are trimmed too short and birds fall down onto hard surfaces. This can also cause a sense of mental instability since these animals are hardwired to fly and when they try it turns out to be a negative experience.

When possible all birds should not have their primaries clipped to allow them the freedom of flight. It burns energy, builds confidence and helps avoid aggressive behaviour. When it is not possible to safely have a free flying bird some middle ground should be reached with the eventual goal leading to flight once again.

Baby birds should ideally not be clipped until they master some flight and should be harnessed trained at an early age. If clipping is absolutely needed for safety reasons it should be done minimally so that they can still land onto the ground without chance of injury. Harness trained birds should be taken and flown outside on lines to boost confidence and help orient individuals to their outdoor surroundings in case of escape. A parrot that is comfortable flying to and from it's owner is far more likely to return to a human if perching out of reach in a tree.

Adult birds that show aggression against other cage mates can have 1 or 2 primaries slightly clipped to give the other birds a chance of escape.

Passerines such as finches and canaries should NEVER be clipped.

It is important to reflect and realize that birds have evolved for flight, not sitting idle in a cage or on a perch. They have the instinct and skill to fly flawlessly but this takes time and experience which we should provide them.
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