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Clipping wings after years of free flight

Discuss indoor freeflight and managing freeflighted birds around the house. How to live with a flighted parrot.

Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby mlapsker » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:25 am

Hello,
I have a conure that his been in free flight for over 2 years. Now we have recently moved into a house (was in an apartment) and just bought a puppy (husky) who is basically obsessed with killing my poor bird. I have hired a trainer and a part of our lessons are getting the dog to not want the bird but it doesnt seem to be helping. For now, I have the bird in a spare room that is empty except for his large cage which is always open for him to be out in. but he really needs to be out with me because he is not used to being alone in a room.

Here is my question...
Do you think it is ok to have his wings clipped and bring him down into the main area with the dog. I would hope that he would just chill on the top and in his cage but he is so used to flying I can't afford to let him flutter to the ground and be eaten. Any ideas on him having his wings clipped after being so used to flying?

Also what about putting him in the basement? Its significatly colder but no drafts...

I Dont want to give him away but I would if it meant saving his life.

Please help! Thanks
mlapsker
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby Michael » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:50 am

How about break the dogs legs so that it can't get to the parrot? :roll:
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby friend2parrots » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:44 am

First of all, thanks for joining the forum and asking questions. It shows you are concerned about your birds welfare, and that's wonderful.

This situation can be managed, but there are certain things that I would like to point out:

-DO NOT CLIP THE BIRDS WINGS. there are various reasons - safety, health, wellbeing - why you shouldn't do this, which entire articles on this forum and in the blog cover in detail.

-The bird CANNOT be kept in the basement. Basements have fumes, poor ventilation, and poor light. also, it would deprive the bird of necessary visual stimuli and social interaction. so that is absolutely not an option.

- I think its great that your house has a spare room, and that your bird can fly freely in there. I think you should focus on turning that room into a BIRD ROOM, and designate it as such, so the bird can use that space for living and flying. the dog should never be permitted in this room. if you are concerned that the bird doesn't get to interact with you, that s a separate issue, which I will discuss below.

-do not clip your birds wings and try to let it "hang out" on top of a cage while your dog is walking by. this is a mistake a lot of people make, and it always ends in tragedy. conures are naturally aggressive species and WILL swoop down to attack dogs, even if their wings are clipped. they will get killed in the process, even if the dog "likes" them. the fact that your dog is already trying to kill the bird means ABSOLUTELY do not allow the two to be out in the same room at the same time.

- again, ABSOLUTELY do not allow the bird and the dog to be out in the same room at the same time. NO amount of training can change your dog's instinct to kill, or your conure's instinct to attack. even if they somehow look peaceful toward each other in the future, you should still NEVER let your bird out in the same room if the dogs there. it will result in the birds death. this has nothing to do with clipping. its about instinct. the two animals WILL express instinctive behaviors that you cannot control through training or clipping of the wings.

- Ok. now about the birds quality of life. you have to sit down and ask yourself what kind of life you want your bird to lead, and what it means to you. perhaps you are a dog lover, and this husky puppy was destined to come into your life. now that the puppy is here, though, what about the bird? if you care about your bird, you should dedicate time and energy to its care. a lot of people have bird rooms, but they usually have more than one bird in there, because it gets very lonely for a bird to be by itself in a room all alone. so if you are a "bird person" and want to have more birds, then you can start to plan in that direction. EDIT: even if you get just one more bird, it will make a world of difference for your conure's wellbeing, because it will give him necessary companionship when you are not there. also, you can think of moving some furniture in there - like a desk, a sofa, etc, and make it a place to hang out with your birds for a good portion of the day - at least several hours - a day. but your birds (if the conure is going to be in the bird room, I do think atleast one other bird to be in there with him is needed -that's my opinion) deserve and require a lot of time from you for their quality of life. however, if you are not sure you will be able to get another bird, or if youre not sure you will have enough time to interact with them, I am not sure what to tell you.

- in the end, its the birds welfare that you must consider. and all your decisions and actions must
ensure that the bird(s) is/are happy, gets exercise, companionship, etc.

others on this forum will probably have more advice for you on your situation.

all the best

EDIT: I edited stuff in the section about the bird room and a couple of other places in this post
Ringo - Green Cheek Conure
Toby - Bourke Parakeet
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby GlassOnion » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:31 am

Hi there, your situation can easily be managed. With your spare room, make that the "bird room" where it would be the safe place for your bird. When you want to bring your bird out to the main area, you can put your dog away outside or in a different room. Separation would be the key here. I really would not clip the wings.. It just isn't fair for your Conure. It's actually the worst thing you can do to a bird who needs to escape from a predator. Birds fly away for protection, how will he escape if he lands on the floor near the dog? It only takes a second or two before your bird is killed as he can't fly away.

Please don't rehome him either, he has lived with you for years and built his life around you, he doesn't deserve to be booted because of a new puppy. If anything, it would make more sense for the dog to go. But as I said, your situation can be managed, just keep them separate.
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby lifesazoo33 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:44 am

I have a husky, so know exactly what you are experiencing. I brought a bird into the house, once the husky was already there, so she was definitly interested. When the dogs are in the house, and I want to let my bird out, I put up baby gates, and cover the doorways with a towel (so he cannot fly into the section that the dogs are in) or bring him out when the dogs are outside.
As others have said, I wouldn't clip your birds wings. It is his only chance of escape if they are both in the same are accidently.
Also, breaking your dogs legs is OBVIOUSLY not a brilliant suggestion! :(

Just remember that huskys have a high prey drive, and your bird is prey. Even when your husky is used to having the bird in the house, and you think that it doesn't want to eat the bird, do not take the chance. Husky's are very smart, and will take every opportunity to get to their "food"

Hope this helps
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby friend2parrots » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:58 am

lifesazoo33 wrote: I put up baby gates, and cover the doorways with a towel (so he cannot fly into the section that the dogs are in) or bring him out when the dogs are outside.


Personally, I do not think this is a good method at all to keep a dog and bird separate. Baby gates are short, and have holes and gaps through which a small bird like a Green Cheek Conure can squeeze through. (the OP has a pineapple green cheek) And conures, and I would think most parrots, are clever enough to get past a curtain (mine certainly is - my GCC knows how to get around the edge of a curtain by the wall to get to windows that he wants to look at.

and a baby gate + curtain set up is not as flush against the wall as a door. so I would suggest the following simple solution: just make sure there is a closed DOOR (that is lockable preferably) between the bird and the dog if the birds going to be flying around. I think its an illusion to think that anything less than a door will work. remember, its better to err on the side of caution, because we are talking about the bird's life here.

lifesazoo pointed out something very important however - Huskies have a strong predatory instinct. so you don't want to slip up.

also, regarding slip ups in general, as far as conures are concerned : its safer, yes, for a bird to be flighted, esp if theres a dog in the house. HOWEVER, conures are so aggressive toward dogs that even if they are flighted, they WILL NOT FLY AWAY. they will instead choose to attack the dog instead. repeatedly and viciously, regardless of the dogs size or temperament. they will even attack a sleepy basset hound that could care less about them. and one whack from a dog (which a dog will do, just to get rid of that irritating bird biting at them) can kill the bird. so in the case of conures, one slip up on your part can cost the bird its life.

so really, you must *religiously* observe complete separation of spaces between the dog and the conure.
Ringo - Green Cheek Conure
Toby - Bourke Parakeet
friend2parrots
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby Andromeda » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:01 pm

I agree with what others have posted here but I just want to add:

friend2parrots wrote:HOWEVER, conures are so aggressive toward dogs that even if they are flighted, they WILL NOT FLY AWAY. they will instead choose to attack the dog instead. repeatedly and viciously, regardless of the dogs size or temperament.


This is 100% true and I say that from experience. My green cheek is a re-home and in his first house he lived with a large boxer. I was told by his first owner that he "bullied the boxer." I was not there to witness it but apparently he would chase and harass and was aggressive enough that the dog was afraid of him. Just having heard that story (green cheek vs. boxer) it's a wonder he's not dead. :roll: My GCC is also aggressive toward my Poi who is twice his size. He doesn't care about size difference! They are bossy little creatures.
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby mlapsker » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:00 pm

Wow I can't believe the information about the GCC being aggressive? I mean mine, bites me once in a while and absolutly hates a few of my friends but ive never seen him purposly attack anything. I am really stuck in between a rock and a hard place.

Let me ask you something... About adding another bird to the bird room to give him company... does this bird have to be the same species? do they share flying space? share a cage? maybe this could be a good alternative... I wouldnt mind buying some lover birds... but i dont know if he would hate them or not....

I feel so bad because since we moved into the new house my fiance is so against me letting jax fly around the main floor because of poop. in the apartment we used to be in she really didnt care and I always cleaned it well but shes real anal about it. plus neither of us want the dog to eat him...

thanks for all the replies... Any more info would be great!
mlapsker
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby pennyandrocky » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:06 pm

unfortunately i think the puppy has to go. i have a dog with my birds but she has never tried to kill them. i got my pit mix from a shelter as a puppy and already had an :amazon: and a :rainbow: in the house if she had shown any aggression towards my birds she would have had to go. fortunately she gets along well with the birds my :gcc: will land on her back and she's fine with it. i got penny :gcc: from my cousin after her dogs ripped her other :gcc: kudder apart both birds were clipped and couldn't fly away from the dogs. she blamed penny for chasing kudder out of the cage and told me she couldn't stand looking at him anymore.
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Re: Clipping wings after years of free flight

Postby lifesazoo33 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:11 pm

pennyandrocky wrote:unfortunately i think the puppy has to go


I don't think that getting rid of the puppy is necessary. Changes will have to be made in order to protect your bird from your dog, but it is something that can be done! Changes in where the bird stays, when the bird comes out, or where the dog is when the bird is out are all things you have to look at.
My bird is in my living room, and before I was confident with my dogs free roaming the house (as they used too) before the bird came into my house, I put up barriers between the cage and the dogs, and slowly allowed them into the same room as the bird (when he is in his cage) when I knew they would stop charging the cage.

You wouldn't give up your bird because of a new addition, and I don't think that you should give up your dog either!

There are things that can be done in order to ensure the safest and best outcomes
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