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new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

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new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby type.rst » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:55 am

Hello people i have found a good breeder who is currently handfeeding a senegal parrot of 4 weeks of age. The senegal will be fully weaned when sold to me and will know how to fly.

Now i definately want a flighted parrot but do you think its a good idea for me to tell the breeder to clip its wings before gving it to me? I only say this because im thinking it will be easier to train the parrot if its clipped and would be easier for the parrot to settle down in its new home.

i dont want the parrot flying around the house each time i let it out of its cage as it will be nervous as it doesn't know me well and is not totally comfortable in its new surroundings.

So is it a good idea to have it clipped untill it is settled in his new home and used to me and has bonded well to me?

:senegal: :senegal: :senegal:
type.rst
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Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby Michael » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:36 am

type.rst wrote:Now i definately want a flighted parrot but do you think its a good idea for me to tell the breeder to clip its wings before gving it to me?


No

type.rst wrote:I only say this because im thinking it will be easier to train the parrot if its clipped and would be easier for the parrot to settle down in its new home.


No, flighted parrots are actually easier to train.

type.rst wrote:i dont want the parrot flying around the house each time i let it out of its cage as it will be nervous as it doesn't know me well and is not totally comfortable in its new surroundings.


A) Nervous Poicephalus tend not to fly (startled: yes; scared: no)
B) Why should it trust you and become totally comfortable? Just because it can't get away and is forced to be with you?

So is it a good idea to have it clipped untill it is settled in his new home and used to me and has bonded well to me?[/quote]

NO! Clipping greatly damages a parrot's self confidence, makes biting more likely, and takes away a bird's birdedness. Furthermore clipped parrots tend to get hurt more by trying to fly and then crashing due to lack of control/power.

You are definitely going to want to read my Parrot Training Blog archives, check out new articles, and subscribe because I am literally writing about living with and training a never-clipped-parrot (which happens to also be Poicephalus). I have some articles about flight training, bird proofing, and other issues.

Flight Training a never clipped parrot:
http://trainedparrot.com/Recall

The Good:
http://trainedparrot.com/Flying_Parrots

The Bad:
http://trainedparrot.com/index.php?bid= ... ted+Parrot

And the Ugly:
http://trainedparrot.com/index.php?bid= ... oming+Home

Let me just get one thing straight, clipping (with a few of the rarest special case exceptions) is done for the owner and not for the bird. Generally it is used as a poor substitute for strict bird proofing and training. Most of the people who are fearful of having a flighted parrot are people who clip. This is because they've seen/heard about a parrot getting outside, crashing, etc. Quite often these are clipped parrots (or clipped parrots that grew back some feathers) because many clippers get complacent and think they've done all they need to do in order to keep their bird safe.

Owning flighted parrots is not just having a pet but a lifestyle. Unlike with other pets, you have to think of pet-safe in 3d. Not only are floor hazards an issue, but everything around you. It may have its challenges but in the end it is the most rewarding feeling ever.
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Michael
Macaw
 
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby type.rst » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:08 am

Its very nice recieving a reply from the main man himself lol. I definetely want a flighted parrot but i am a little nervous as this will be my first tame parrot, I have had budgies and cockatiels before but in an outdoor aviary.

If the bird decides to start flying around the house then it would be very difficult for me to resolve the problem with the least amount off stress for the bird as i am very unexperienced. No matter how much research i do i still have very little hands on experience.

I have read many off your articles before and i have read the article you posted in your last reply titled 'and the ugly' and i would not like that to happen to me on the very first days off owning the parrot because i'd just wont know what to do lol.

I have talked to the breeder and he has said he could do a very light clip on the bird. I think this would be more suitable as it can still fly buy not as fast or greater distances around the house.

i still am very confused and i have a few weeks to research and find the best option. I dont want a clipped parrot but Im just thinking which would be the best way forward for me and the parrot.

I thank you very much for your reply michael. I remember when i first read about Senegal parrots on a website and i went to youtube to see a few videos and ofcourse it was you and killi. 20 parrot tricks in 2 minutes. In my opinion the best parrot video on youtube.

:senegal: :senegal: :senegal:
type.rst
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Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby born2fly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:06 pm

There is not much I can add to Michaels response other than agree with it. You obviously want a fligthted parrot so do not clip it even a little bit. Clip or not to clip is a never ending debate but flight is one of the things that makes them special. Why would you want to deprive the bird and yourself of the experience.

I am sure that with research and patience you will do well.
Michaels taming article is a perfect way to get you started.
"If man can save the parrots, he may yet save himself"
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born2fly
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Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby Mona » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:22 pm

Hi:

Just to add a different perspective, Babylon (my hen Senegal) was clipped at the time of sale. I never clipped her again and she is 9 years old today and an exceptional flyer and companion so I do think the Senegals (smaller birds) do recover very well from a clip.

While I will never again clip a parrot, my favorite bird store does clip all of their birds. Their birds are exceptionally socialized and I do think socialization is extremely important. If you are that nervous about bringing home the new baby, I don't think a clip for a short period of time will hurt. I do think you have to do what you are most comfortable doing. There are two of you in the equation and if you are nervous about working with a young flighted bird right off the bat, you could develop other handling problems because you are nervous.

Now, if you had a bigger bird like a grey or a macaw.....I would think more carefully about clipping because they take longer to master flight skills. If the baby Senegal fledges at the breeders, I'm sure it will recover flight skills quickly.

One other thing with Senegals is that the babies do have a very quick flight response to anything that makes them nervous. I know that the first week I had Babylon, she would have cage frights and just beat herself up against the cage bars. After a week, she got past it. Every bird is different, but if the bird is insecure and at that "get to know you" stage, they take off flying they are going to hit windows and walls....and if that is a concern, the bird might be better off clipped until they become more secure in the environment and get a good "lay of the land". For Babylon, that quick fright stage was one that passed in a week.

I'm not arguing with Michael because everybody has different situations....but I just wanted to add a little perspective to the discussion. I'm not sure that there is much harm to bringing a baby Senegal home clipped IF they have had the opportunity to fledge at the breeders because they do seem to recover very well. At least, that has been my experience. I do agree that living with flighted birds is a lifestyle choice and to me, they are better companions than clipped birds; however, slowing that "getting to know you period" down a little bit with a light clip might be a prudent course of action for some situations if the owner is nervous because they don't have experience. It's understandable. I know I have made a lot of mistakes with my birds over the years and I have been very lucky to be able to learn from them rather than suffer a loss.

Thanks!
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
Jack and Bailey (Gremlins)
Kiri (CAG)
http://www.flyingparrotsinside.com

youtube: Avian Flyers
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Mona
Poicephalus
 
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrots, Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby type.rst » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:10 pm

Thank you Mona for that very informative and useful reply. I really do think a light clip for my future bird will be the best option for me. light enough so it can still fly but not fast enough to get hurt by crashing into things. I know it may be ok even if its fully flighted but i rather not take the chance untill i feel ready.

Do you know how long it will take for the feathers to grow back on a light clipped senegal of 14 weeks off age?

Thank you all for replying.

:senegal: :senegal: :senegal:
type.rst
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Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby Michael » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:36 pm

Although I respect Mona's opinion, I must strongly disagree. While she has more birds and more years of experience, I can compare strictly between two parrots: one that was clipped at first and one that was not.

A) I think clipped parrots actually fly FASTER than not clipped because they need to have a faster airspeed over the wing to develop lift. Think short winged fighter jet vs long winged airliner. The fighter jet has to fly faster to overcome the shorter wing.

B) Clipped birds get more hurt from flight accidents because they have a harder time making tight maneuvers, air braking, etc.

C) Clipping during the "sensitive learning period" leads to retardation. Kili was clipped for exactly one feather cycle and yet Truman is a much superior flier than she is. She cannot think on the fly and tends to land the first place she sees. She can't rethink where she wants to go after she takes off.

D) Clipping can lead to permanent feather damage. Kili still hasn't regrown all her primaries and I don't know if she ever will. This leads the remaining primaries vulnerable to breaking even more and causes more flight problems.

E) The inevitable flight crashes while learning to fly are less damaging and heal quicker while young. Young birds crash/fall while learning to fly in the wild as well just like children fall while learning to walk. Truman flew into a window exactly once, got a scratch, and healed within a week. Let me remind you that Truman's injury was entirely my fault and had nothing to do with whether he was flighted or not.

F) Well bred/raised flighted parrots are good as clipped but better. What I mean is that they totally wanna be around people, they step up, they do all the things you expect from a clipped parrot, except they can fly too. But the ability to pet them, handle, train, etc has more to do with how well the parrot was raised and your efforts and clipping is irrelevant completely.

Of course this is entirely your choice, but I don't think even a light clip will help but I do think it will hurt. If you are confident that the parrot will be well socialized by a good breeder, then letting it fly while it is young will make it much better equipped to fly in your home when it is older. It will learn the layout, about windows, about how to behave in such places. When you get a parrot so young (if it is well bonded to people), even if it flies off and lands some place, it will often just cling onto there and wait for you to come and take it. Truman would land in places and just cling on with a "rescue me" kind of look. Then I would just go over and grab him off of there or let him step up. Just look at my Truman coming home video and you'll see how easy it was to get him out of the crate, have him step up, and even the one little flight he made wasn't a big deal.

If I could say one thing to convince you not to get it clipped it would be that you can always clip the parrot later if you end up feeling that you cannot handle a flighted parrot. But if you do it first, then you'll never realize how easy it could have been not-clipped and you'll have to wait an entire molt cycle (almost a year) for the new feathers to grow. So I really suggest you try it out and see how it goes prior to making the snip.
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Michael
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby type.rst » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:44 pm

Thank you Michael for that reply.

I agree and understand everything you have said in your last reply. There a few things which i did not completely know which you have mentioned.

Maybe it would be a better idea for me the visit the breeder a few times and spend some time with the bird so we both feel more comfortable around each other. I mentioned this to the breeder last time i called and he did not seem to have a problem with it.

Like you say i can always get it clipped later. I did think off this but i thought it would be extra stress for the bird taking it out in the car to a groomer but i have done a quick search on google and i have located some local mobile bird groomers who will come to your house.

lol its quite funny actually this morning i was learning more towards a light clip and now in the evening after alot off research online and browsing through this forum im leaning more against it. You do learn a great deal on places like this.

The breeder has emailed me a few pictures of the Senegal baby which i have uploaded in the general parrot care section if you want to have a look.

Thank you.

:senegal: :senegal: :senegal:
type.rst
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Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby Mona » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:13 pm

Hi Michael:

You and I agree on a lot, but I do have to counterpoint two things - just for fun...

C) Clipping during the "sensitive learning period" leads to retardation. Kili was clipped for exactly one feather cycle and yet Truman is a much superior flier than she is. She cannot think on the fly and tends to land the first place she sees. She can't rethink where she wants to go after she takes off.
___________________________________
I'm not sure what you mean about "sensitive learning period". I do agree that the bird should be fully fledged before clipping (which is a good breeder's job). Is it possible that Kili was never properly fledged? I do know that Babylon is an excellent flyer...and she probably lived with a clip for four months or so - at the point of sale. I also know three or four Poi's (a few are Meyers) that were clipped and now are excellent flyers. I am beginning to believe that the Poi's recover pretty well from a clipping....just from what I have seen.

D) Clipping can lead to permanent feather damage. Kili still hasn't regrown all her primaries and I don't know if she ever will. This leads the remaining primaries vulnerable to breaking even more and causes more flight problems.
_________________________
I don't think clipping leads to permanent feather damage. I think that pulling the feathers can lead to permanent feather damage. The bird will molt clipped feathers just as they molt normal feathers. If the feather folicles are damaged, then the feathers may not come back. I also have a Senegal who had flight feathers pulled due to injury and those feathers never came back.

Otherwise, I'd like to see how this new baby works out. I think it's great if the decision is not to clip.....I just also want to make the point (from my own experience) that Poi's can recover pretty well from clips and become exceptional flyers with all of the maneuverability that is needed. Older birds can take longer......

Gotta run...fun discussion..>Thanks

Mona
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
Jack and Bailey (Gremlins)
Kiri (CAG)
http://www.flyingparrotsinside.com

youtube: Avian Flyers
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Mona
Poicephalus
 
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrots, Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: new young parrot taming/training - clip or not?

Postby Michael » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:41 pm

Of course it is pulling feathers specifically rather than clipping that can cause damage. However, the issue with clipped feathers growing back in is that they lack protection from surrounding feathers and break off as each comes in which leads to no feathers again. One wing came in fine for Kili and has remained full but the other had a lot of breakage early on and still hasn't recovered. It creates a bad cycle and I've heard of others having these problems who wanted clipped parrots to grow back in.

As for fledging properly, I think most store raised parrots do not get to experience any flight and are clipped as early as possible for store convenience. If your store fledges them then it is the exception and not the rule. In terms of "sensitive period" I do not only refer to the original fledge but roughly the first year of life (depends on species). During the first year they learn everything. Where is it safe to land, where not to go, who to like, who to dislike, etc. They are much more weary of change later on. Truman explores my apartment fearlessly and although this can sometimes be annoying, I am certain that this is better for his mental well being. Kili is pretty scared of flying anywhere other than where she was used to being since clipped. This is very convenient but it definitely impacts her flying abilities and overall confidence. I do see her being mentally behind Truman when it comes to flight. Certainly she is improving and learning some of that stuff later on now, but it is definitely taking her a lot more time and she doesn't have the perfect mastery of flight that he does.

Bottom line is if you want the parrot to learn to be a good indoor flier in your home, the absolute best (and safest) thing for you to do is let it fly around while it is young, malleable, and confident.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6222
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

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