Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Comment or discuss articles from the trained parrot blog.

How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby Michael » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:27 am

How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

This article tackles wing clipping and dispels common myths about keeping flighted parrots. Several videos are included and ends with a video of some of the most advanced home indoor flight stuff my parrots are capable of!
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6257
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby GlassOnion » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:06 am

Love it! It's amazing to see how happy a bird becomes when its wings grow out. Pro-flight all the way. :thumbsup:
GlassOnion
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1305
Location: Canada
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiels, Ruppell's Parorot
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby pennyandrocky » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:13 pm

if that doesn't get at least one bird it's right to fly back i have really given up on human's, and mya :corella: and penny :gcc: just flew over me :D watching them being clipped made me sick to my stomach how can anyone think that's o.k.
pennyandmya
pennyandrocky
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 915
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: green cheek conure,ducorps cockatoo
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby liz » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:33 pm

That is sickening.

Myrtle does loops through rooms to check on everything all day. Poor Rambo has to climb down from his cage and walk everywhere.

If everyone could see the difference in my two they would never think of clipping.
User avatar
liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 7234
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 12
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rambo
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Flutter Phoenix Jackie
Andy Impy Louise Twila Leroy
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby Mona » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:40 pm

Hi Michael:

Honestly, living with five flighted parrots, I was surprised at the emotional, visceral reaction I got from just watching that clipping video. There was a time when I clipped, but I would never, ever consider doing it today with any bird. It's kindof like, once you live with flighted parrots, you can't go back. It just is who and what they are. You take away flight, you change the bird and I don't believe it's for the better.

One aspect of flight that you didn't touch on that I think needs to be discussed more, is flighted aggression. Birds can become aggressive towards a person or animal and if they can fly, it's tough to contain. I don't think it's a reason to clip. I do think that the aggression has to be modified. I also think that a lot of people just can't or won't do it. I think it's a very important and ongoing discussion and in my mind, one of the most important and BIGGEST issue with keeping a lot of parrots. (not so much budgies or cockatiels because they aren't typically aggressive)

I think the default has been if "aggresssion"...then "clip"....

I know because there once was a time when I thought about it. Don't we all think about it at one time or another?

Today, I'm more inclined to consider it to be more of a flock dynamics issue and if all birds are physically fit and mentally healthy, the flock dynamics often work themselves out....but not always...and not with all species and especially, not with mixed flocks with species that would normally not be compatible or especially aggressive species. For example: Cockatoo males tend to kill the hens in compativity so clearly, we are doing something wrong here with these birds. What? I'm not a cockatoo expert so don't konw.


Anyway, I have to go...but just throwing out some thoughts. Thx!
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
User avatar
Mona
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 271
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrots, Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby Michael » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:59 pm

Thanks Mona. I don't think flighted aggression is really an aspect of flight. It's just the expression of existing aggressive tendencies expressed in flight. I guess where it becomes a problem is when a parrot is normally accustomed to stepping up for one family member but not socialized to the others. While clipped, people who don't like the bird got away with just not asking it to step up. Given the chance to fly, the bird attacks them. They are flock animals so it's important that they be properly introduced, trained, and respected by all members of the flock (family). When a family acquires a dog, the entire family participates and accepts this decision because everyone is affected. Everyone has to at least be on good terms with the dog (not necessarily involved but on good terms). But with birds people seem to think a single household member can be involved while not the others. I don't see why it should be this way though. Like the family dog, the family parrot should be flighted and everyone must work on being on safe terms with the bird. Training and socialization are the way to go here. Flighted or not, it should be done. Just people who clip grow complacent and turn birds into solitary monsters who jump on aggression opportunities when returned to flight.
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6257
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby Rokisha » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:45 pm

Thats terrible! The last few just ignored the fact the parrot was clearly in distress!
Rokisha
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 181
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot.
Flight: No

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby jeangaut » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:15 am

Michael, this is a very well-done blog entry on the clipping 'controversy'. Thank you so much for the time you put into writing this!!!!

As Mona mentioned, once you go over to the flight camp, you tend to never go back, though I too have dealt with aggression issues in my large mixed flock and thought more than once 'maybe I should just consider clipping THIS one'. But when It came down to it, instead I chose other approaches. I do own birds who are too aggressive to be out at the same time together. For example, my Iris Lorikeet and my two small conures are simply not birds who can be in rooms together for fear of injury/death to the Half Moon and Aztec conures. Along with training, I believe that simple physical and temporal separation are important tools...installing doors to kitchens, multiple barriers to the main door to the outside, and alternating time when certain birds are out. Not to say mistakes never happen, but training yourself plus adding multiple safety lavers and rules and sticking to them has helped me tremendously.

As you said with Truman, it takes considerable effort to find a breeder who will allow a baby parrot to go to a home without ever doing a wing clip. Out of my 14 birds, I have one who I purchased from a breeder unclipped...my lorikeet, and I would say that is because fewer lories go to pet homes even when handraised, most wind up either being breeder birds or sent to zoo exhibits, both of which prefer flighted birds. Most of my other guys are second-hand birds who were clipped, some for many many years and in general their flight skills are less than optimal once they regain full wings. Molly (my Meyer's), Giggidy (my Greater Jardine's) and Nigel (my Congo African Grey) are the three I would say that despite some early clips, were able to become excellent fliers within a year of indoor flying. Everyone else I own is either incapable or substandard in their skills comparatively. To me, it wound up being a true handicap that frustrates my other birds' desires to simply move or go to where they want to...hesitation, begging behaviors, fear of falling or a poor landing, panicking needlessly...that's what I see in my handicapped and poorly fledged parrots. But even poor skills seem to be better than handicapping them further.

My Aukie Jardine's came to me with a severe clip, bit out of fear as she would lose her balance, and had repetitive screaming issues. Ditto for Donald, my male Eclectus. Both I worked with as far as increasing their flight skills and those issues diminished significantly with the comfort level being able to fly to the floor or beeline to me if startled. Neither ever have done joyful purposeful exploratory flights around a room like Molly, Giggy and Nigel do without thinking. BUT, remaining flighted I believe really MATTERS to their mental health.
jeangaut
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 8
Number of Birds Owned: 13
Types of Birds Owned: Meyer's Parrot
Lesser Jardine's Parrot
Greater Jardine's Parrot
Iris Lorikeet
Aztec Conure
Lesser Patagonian Conure
Congo African Grey
Aru Island Eclectus
Vosmaeri Eclectus
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby Michael » Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:47 pm

Thanks Jean! You're absolutely right, clipping does nothing more than mask real issues (while creating new ones). Even having two clipped parrots out on separate stands doesn't guarantee safety. One could end up on the floor and the other jumps down just to fight.

I kind of wish Oasis could keep at least one aviary unoccupied and let out some of the caged birds for a few hours of exercise each day (on whatever kind of rotation that would keep them with like parrots, safe, and healthy). I was also talking to Ginger (you know Ginger from Phoenix?) about how Zuzu is still in the same exact cage. I wonder how come you guys don't rotate the birds around to a different cage once in a while? For example I switch my parrot's cages places and rearrange things just to keep them accustomed to changes (also gives them something new to ponder and keep busy a bit).

Do you have any more tips for my readers about keeping parrots flighted? Any other myths you come across?
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6257
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: How to Properly Clip a Parrot's Wings (Don't Clip at All)

Postby Aziara » Thu May 24, 2012 10:31 am

As someone who grew up around parrots (my grandmother bred and raised cockatiels), I never really formed my own opinion on wing clipping. I was simply told as a child 'clip the wings or your parrot will die'. I was told stories of birds whacked to death by ceiling fans and of birds who flew through an open door, never to be seen again.
I never really thought about it until my husband and I were in a pet store the other day and saw a young conure. I just thought it was a cute bird, but my husband's immediate reaction was 'OMG, they cut his wings! The poor bird!'
His reaction was so horrified, it finally made me think hard about WHY we clip parrots. In searching the web for reasonings behind both clipped and flighted, I found this blog. After seeing your parrots flying around your home, I was in awe... And horrified that I had ever denied a bird of that experience. As for the safety concerns, I see there's always ways of preventing danger. I currently have no birds at the moment, but I am thinking of getting some soon. They will definitely be allowed to keep their wings.
Aziara
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: No

Next

Return to TrainedParrot.com - Parrot Training Blog Comments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store