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Cut off tails??

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Cut off tails??

Postby cstone01 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:21 pm

Hello, I had a brief question, I recently went to a local Bird store in my area and they had cut off the tales of all of the young parakeets and Cockatiels. I asked them why and they said to keep the birds cleaner… Is this normal? I have never seen anyone do it before all of the birds are also severely clipped because they are in one of those open pit displays.
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Re: Cut off tails??

Postby Michael » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:33 pm

Most likely the tails looked butchered either from poor enclosures or poor parenting and they cut them off so they would look bad but not as terrible as they did beforehand.
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Re: Cut off tails??

Postby Pajarita » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:46 am

Whatever the reason was, what incredible lack of knowledge on bird husbandry! This means that, if these are baby birds, they will never to fly because it will take two years for the tail to grow back whole and, unlike wings -which can be clipped and still have a degree of functionality- a tail needs to be whole -meaning ALL the feathers and of the proper length because it is the 'rudder' that guides the flight as well as the 'flaps' (I am using a plane simile and referring to the flaps on the wings) that make vertical flight and correct landing possible. Poor little things! Not only devoid of flight but kept completely grounded in an enclosure that must create a terrible constant anxiety (they can't even see out of it!). But why am I still surprised at the depth of cruelty and disregard for birds need that the pet industry shows?

This is a terrible place, do try to avoid (boycott) it.
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Re: Cut off tails??

Postby Michael » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:13 am

Pajarita wrote:This means that, if these are baby birds, they will never to fly because it will take two years for the tail to grow back whole and, unlike wings -which can be clipped and still have a degree of functionality- a tail needs to be whole -meaning ALL the feathers and of the proper length because it is the 'rudder' that guides the flight


While overall I agree, I just wanted to point out two things:

1) Those birds aren't going to fly tail or not because the store will cut their wings off much faster than they'll cut the tail.

2) If the tail were the only thing that were cut and the wings were fully intact, the birds would fly. I've seen parrots with broken or fully missing tails fly almost normally. Not sure about Cockatiels specifically, but I know parrots can fly with the tail missing. It's just unsightly more than anything.
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Re: Cut off tails??

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:21 am

Yes, you are correct in that birds that have always flown will fly without a tail BUT it's not really safe for them because the lack of a tail makes crashing instead of landing properly very likely. My point was that if you clip the wings so severely that the bird has no vertical flight whatsoever (the only way you can keep birds in an enclosure without a 'roof') AND the tails when babies, these birds will never have the opportunity to develop the muscles or create the necessary neural paths for flight. Little ones would, usually, regain flight after a mild clip (large species don't)... it's not the most graceful flight and they might never be real good at it but they will fly. But not without any wings AND tail.
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