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Clipped vs. Flighted

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

Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby Polarn » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:31 pm

Btw I am sorry if I ever come off in a extremely strong manner about clipping and such things... I mean I know there is differences in what's normal and not and in what is expected/accepted etcetera. People does still clip birds here but... And this is a big but... They avoid talking about their birds because they know most people living with birds here strongly disagree with clipping and would lecture them. And as stated in other threads it actually may be considered (not only in public opinion but by law) after next New Year's Eve to be animal cruelty to clip a bird... And unlike forgetting to feed your horse or whatever you simply have no excuse for clipping since it is a very active choice... So no excuses and the possible risk of jail time for damaging the plumage... I hope I won't ever have to see a clipped bird Ong the law is in place (if it does get put to use, wich I sincerely hope)...

Now again I know there are big differences in norms around how to properly keep the birds and I know our cage requirements are quite outrageous really I you look world wide but then even thouse who cheat actually have bigger cages than in most places... But I know my view here is scewed by our laws and regulation hence I doesn really speak up in them topics unless I find a cage to be way to small.... But clipping is such an active choice and you actually have to spend time perhaps even money in order to abuse your feathered friend... Anyways jus wanted to let ya know I'm not a complete arse and I do not mentally punish people from other places too hard for the mutilation but I try to affect by showing there are whole societies managing flighted birds :p
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby Nir » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:09 pm

Polarn wrote:Btw I am sorry if I ever come off in a extremely strong manner about clipping and such things... I mean I know there is differences in what's normal and not and in what is expected/accepted etcetera. People does still clip birds here but... And this is a big but... They avoid talking about their birds because they know most people living with birds here strongly disagree with clipping and would lecture them. And as stated in other threads it actually may be considered (not only in public opinion but by law) after next New Year's Eve to be animal cruelty to clip a bird... And unlike forgetting to feed your horse or whatever you simply have no excuse for clipping since it is a very active choice... So no excuses and the possible risk of jail time for damaging the plumage... I hope I won't ever have to see a clipped bird Ong the law is in place (if it does get put to use, wich I sincerely hope)...

Now again I know there are big differences in norms around how to properly keep the birds and I know our cage requirements are quite outrageous really I you look world wide but then even thouse who cheat actually have bigger cages than in most places... But I know my view here is scewed by our laws and regulation hence I doesn really speak up in them topics unless I find a cage to be way to small.... But clipping is such an active choice and you actually have to spend time perhaps even money in order to abuse your feathered friend... Anyways jus wanted to let ya know I'm not a complete arse and I do not mentally punish people from other places too hard for the mutilation but I try to affect by showing there are whole societies managing flighted birds :p


you arent an arse lol. You are just have a very strong belief in this. Out of curiousity, how much out of cage times does yours and others bird get on average where you live? Just wondering since the avg cage over there seems to be bigger.
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby Polarn » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:43 am

mines used to have 24/7 and I somewhat wish I will trust them to keep getting along good enough for me to trust them out even if I am not around (not full range of the hosue though when I am nt home.. just a couple of rooms. but as for now their caged during the night then their out for about two hours before I go to work then their in cages again while I am working and then I get back home and their out again from about 4:30pm until they go back in on their own to sleep or at latest 10pm.
Not all birds around here are out that much but... thouse that arn't usually have even bigger cages and if you read through the regulations their fuzzy there because there are "aviary" regulations as well for birds that arn't there to be handled etcetera and thosue are HUGE. But most people I know have their birds with them every minute their at home and a couple like me take the birds with them anywhere they go except for the foodstore... :) anyways I try give them atleast 6hours a day out of cages (even if they sometimes fly back to the cages to play during these periods) and I try to take them out on a daily basis but if the temp drops waaay to low I wont take em outside on the shoulder but keep em under my shirt and then we go on a trip someplace we can be inside but still socialize. My not bringing the birds to and from car on the shoulder is about -10celcius, wich I know is slightly colder than what Michael recomends in his article. But they actually do learn if you take em out every day to adjust to the temperatures and even their feet stays warm, but if you were to take out a bird not used to this you would feel their feet being really cold.
But yeah don't think we generally have them out less due to the larger cages.
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby friend2parrots » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:33 pm

Polarn wrote:And the debate about the bird being lost or not and weather clipping prevents it if they get outside etcetera shouldnt be such a big part of the discussion, these things (bird trained or not) is down to human error, laziness, lack of will to make changes in their house etcetera etcetera. ...What should matter and be debated if its even gonna be a choice to clip is the birds mental and physical health, there are harnesses for going outside so you do not need to clip it to go outside in a safe manner... And the bird should not be punnished due to human errors and laziness, but the human should be willing to work on these things to prevent it. if there are no window the bird can simply fly out of... thats not an argument, if you can not secure the window with a screen or bars to be able to have the window open safetly... then don't open a window... simple as that.


I completely agree with this.

"Safety" is the most common reason cited by advocates of wingclipping, and its a completely erroneous reason. In reality, most accidents that a flighted bird (who is already proficient in indoor flight) can experience can be prevented by precautions taken by a diligent owner.

I agree with Polarn that the bird as a creature comes with wings. Its the owner's responsibility to meet the birds biological need for flight by ensuring the safety and security of its indoor environment. And when leaving the house, to make sure the bird is in a carrier or harness.
Last edited by friend2parrots on Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby Michael » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:09 pm

friend2parrots wrote:"Safety" is the most common reason cited by advocates of wingclipping, and its a completely erroneous reason. In reality, ALL accidents a flighted bird can experience can be prevented by precautions taken by a diligent owner.


Likewise, the types of indoor accidents that clipping is purported to prevent are actually safest if solved directly. For example closing bathroom doors, not cooking with parrots out, covering windows, etc. Clipped parrots end up getting into as much if not more trouble with those kinds of problems because owners take it for granted that their parrot can't fly. But when it does, it is liable to get hurt.
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby mrbowlerhat » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:27 pm

Polarn wrote:Btw I am sorry if I ever come off in a extremely strong manner about clipping and such things... I mean I know there is differences in what's normal and not and in what is expected/accepted etcetera. People does still clip birds here but... And this is a big but... They avoid talking about their birds because they know most people living with birds here strongly disagree with clipping and would lecture them. And as stated in other threads it actually may be considered (not only in public opinion but by law) after next New Year's Eve to be animal cruelty to clip a bird... And unlike forgetting to feed your horse or whatever you simply have no excuse for clipping since it is a very active choice... So no excuses and the possible risk of jail time for damaging the plumage... I hope I won't ever have to see a clipped bird Ong the law is in place (if it does get put to use, wich I sincerely hope)...

Now again I know there are big differences in norms around how to properly keep the birds and I know our cage requirements are quite outrageous really I you look world wide but then even thouse who cheat actually have bigger cages than in most places... But I know my view here is scewed by our laws and regulation hence I doesn really speak up in them topics unless I find a cage to be way to small.... But clipping is such an active choice and you actually have to spend time perhaps even money in order to abuse your feathered friend... Anyways jus wanted to let ya know I'm not a complete arse and I do not mentally punish people from other places too hard for the mutilation but I try to affect by showing there are whole societies managing flighted birds :p

So I know this is probably not at all what you meant but it kind of sounded like you think our laws and regulations are a bit "too much" or whatever, which I really don't think is the case. I love the Swedish cage size requirements! Though I would love it even more if the majority of people actually CARED. Like, it's practically impossible to find a good and legal cage, especially in pet stores. They sell cages that's barely legal and call them "big", even "huge".
And if you were to look around on the internet for birds for sale, you'd almost never see a big enough cage.
Though, yes, I agree - the average bird cage (especially when it comes to a little larger birds) is still larger in Sweden than you'd usually see in a few other countries.

And - on topic - I had no idea it might become illegal to clip a bird's wings here in Sweden next year. That's great! I really hope the law will come through. But like you say, there aren't really THAT much clipping here, though it definitely happens.
Both my Sennies had been clipped before they got here, but both only once or twice because their previous owners realized that not clipping the bird would be way better, and I think that's often the case here, actually. People who are new to birds might clip because they think it's better, and when they've been around the bird world for a while they'll realize clipping is not only unneccesary but also pretty... Not good... :P Like, Swedes are usually not that STUBBORN about animals, I think. At least from what I've experienced.

Though, of course, there'll always be those people who will sincerely believe NOT clipping is stupid and cruel and nothing can change their mind.
..And there'll also always be a lot of non-extreme pro-clippers, too, haha.
(Oh, and there'll always be a few against-clipping arseholes, who instead of arguing nicely throws shit all over people, to put it... Nicely? Haha. There's a lot of different bird people, ALL over the world. Just like with any other animal/pet.)

Oh and just for everyone's information - I don't dislike people who clip their birds (or have small cages) either! I just somewhat dislike the fact that clipping is an option.
Like, if you clip your birds for any reason at all, you're probably still great. You just don't share my opinion. Which is fine. :lol:

(Oh and I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm bragging or anything, about Sweden - I just really love that we've got cage size requirements and a bunch of other laws/recommendations and I REALLY HOPE clipping will be illegal soon! Haha) :mrgreen:
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby Polarn » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:35 am

I do like the cagerequirements etcetera but I feel that it is bad that you should have to have them there in order to get the cagesizes up. and yeah smaller birds are kept under the requirements medium sized, especially sennies sizes are kept in legal cages but then when the cages start reaching the 160cm (larger amazons, eclectuses etcetera) people start cheating with the requirements, and macaws are more often than not kept in too small cages... but since the regulations are there cagesizes has upped A LOT since they came about... I mean just compare the 80's or even the 90's average cagesize for a grey to what we use now... the regulations definitly does good. and as for cages yeah they still sell too small cages but you do have the 1mX2m cages for sale at both stores I ever really goes too. But since there isnt too many cagemanufacturers in sweden and cages meeting our requirements are hard to come by from manufacturers I kind of get why the cages ends up to be 110cm while they should be 120cm to be legal for a tiel (tiels are one of the birds that often does not get appropriete sized cages, not even close, due to their overall small look but long tail).
Anyways if you have trouble finding cages for your birds (since you are in sweden) you got a company called flexipet that actually isnt too expensive and they will make the cage whatever size you want, even adjust it to your slanting roofs or whatever. the downside is that they does look somewhat industrial with their aluminum frames etcetera. But their durable and well, pretty good for the prize.

Anyways sorry for the offtopic reply but I thought I had to answer to reply.
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby spiral71 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:05 am

hello
my bird is flighted because the vet said clipping her was not a good idea i agree even thoufgh it means she occasionallly aecapes from my bedroom into the main part of the house that is rare and i have always been able to recall her as nerve wracking as that is it works.

recently she flew into the shower romm to investigate where her cage grte was being cleaned and flew in a complete eliptical ark to the shower and strat bacl to my wheelchair it was impressive.
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby Andromeda » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Michael wrote:
friend2parrots wrote:"Safety" is the most common reason cited by advocates of wingclipping, and its a completely erroneous reason. In reality, ALL accidents a flighted bird can experience can be prevented by precautions taken by a diligent owner.


Likewise, the types of indoor accidents that clipping is purported to prevent are actually safest if solved directly. For example closing bathroom doors, not cooking with parrots out, covering windows, etc. Clipped parrots end up getting into as much if not more trouble with those kinds of problems because owners take it for granted that their parrot can't fly. But when it does, it is liable to get hurt.


I am against clipping (to put it mildly) but I disagree that literally ALL accidents a flighted bird can experience can be prevented. I think "safety" is generally a cop-out but I clipped my GCC one time for "safety" and if I had it to do over again I would. I will tell you why.

He is a re-home and we adopted him when he was 2 1/2 and his first owner said, "He can't fly." I saw his fully-grown primaries and decided what she meant was "He doesn't fly." We took him home and on the first day we didn't let him out of his cage.

On the second day after a few hours I opened his cage just to give him the opportunity to come out if he wanted to do so. Neither my husband nor I approached him otherwise, we were just sitting in the same room with him but leaving him alone so he could settle in.

He came out of his cage and he was just sitting on top of it and he was fine for hours but suddenly something startled him. I don't know what it was because my husband and I were seated so there was no movement and there was no noise (music, T.V., etc.) but suddenly he screamed and took off.

We had a one-bedroom apartment and his cage was in the living room which was open to the kitchen area so it was really just one large room. To the left (facing the kitchen) were the bedroom and the bathroom but I had the doors closed because of the birds. From his cage he could see all four walls so there were no hidden obstacles. When he took off he flew across the living room and into the kitchen but when confronted with the wall he had nowhere to go and he hung a sharp left. He was immediately confronted with another wall and he didn't make that turn because he was flying FAST and he just SLAMMED into the wall at a high velocity.

He collapsed on the floor. He was sprawled out on the ground; his wings were extended and his feet were splayed out. He wasn't moving. He was unconscious and at first I thought he was dead. I picked him up in my hands and after a short time (maybe 30 seconds) he opened his eyes. He immediately screamed and took off again but the wall was right there so he hit the wall again and fell on the floor. Again he was sprawled out, wings extended and feet splayed, but he was conscious. I didn't approach him at first because I didn't want him to fly again but I talked quietly to him and slowly moved toward him and he let me pick him up. One side of his body was totally limp and due to this he couldn't perch properly and he fell (a very short distance) to the floor again.

I was freaking out. I called the vet and asked them what to do. They said one one hand it might not be safe to transport him but on the other hand it might be best to bring him in immediately and it was my call. I didn't know what the right decision was but I decided to take him in and I put him in his travel crate and drove him to the vet. It was half an hour away and the whole time I thought he was going to die. The vet saw him and said he had a concussion but he wasn't bleeding in his brain so he would probably be okay but only time would tell.

I knew enough about concussions to know that a person or animal who has had a concussion has a risk of sudden death if they get a second concussion within a short time (a few weeks) after the first. I had no reasonable way of preventing the exact same accident from occurring short of leaving him in his cage 24/7 for several weeks and I didn't want to do that. (The reason why his first owner re-homed him was because she didn't have time for him and he was in his cage 24/7 and he had developed a feather chewing habit because of this). Even outside of the "sudden death" window I had no way of assuring he wouldn't fly into the wall and get a concussion again.

Sure, maybe "once" was enough and he "learned" from that crash but due to the risk of sudden death I was not going to take that chance. After all, it's not like he couldn't see all four walls from his cage; he apparently just did not have the control to turn as he was flying so fast. That's why I decided that for safety I would clip him one time and work with him while he was clipped to improve his control. Some people here will probably disagree with what I did but if you had seen your bird unconscious on the floor, sprawled out, seemingly dead, you might think differently.

I agree that you should keep a bird flighted (preferably it would fledge while young and never be clipped) and that with proper precautions an experienced flighted bird will not have an accident. I worked on flight with my GCC while he was clipped and let his wings grow out and he is now a very strong flier; he flies all over the house now and I have zero concern that he will have an accident.

However, an older, inexperienced, fully-flighted bird in a brand new environment can have a bad accident even if you take precautions such as closing doors and covering windows. I am not advocating clipping for "safety" because 99.9% of the time that is just a lame excuse but it is not outside of the realm of imagination that you would clip a bird for safety after it sustained a brain injury---at least, not to me.
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Re: Clipped vs. Flighted

Postby friend2parrots » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:24 pm

thanks for sharing Bubbas story (Im sorry the little fella had to go through that! :( :gcc: ) and for pointing this out. I stand corrected.

I'm going to go back and edit that post to say, "most accidents that a flighted bird (who is already proficient in indoor flight) can experience can be prevented by precautions taken by a diligent owner"
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