Wing Clipping

 

The vast majority of birds are designed to fly. Unfortunately this does make it very easy for your pet to get itself into trouble. Many pet owners manage to lose their pets when they “flyaway”. In other instances the bird may fly into something and injure itself or land close to another pet that may injure it. A well socialised pet bird will seldom fly away on purpose. The majority of cases happen when something happens to give the bird a fright and a few wing flaps later the bird can't find its way home.

THE IDEAL IS NOT HAVING TO CLIP YOUR BIRD'S WINGS as they really do love the freedom of being able to fly. With that freedom comes the risk, and that is where you as the pet owner have the responsibility to either ensure they cannot escape/get injured by adapting their environment or by trimming the wings to lessen the risk.

A good wing-clip must always address two issues:

•  The birds’ flight is curtailed and the risk of being able to fly is controlled.

•  The bird has sufficient flight control that it will not injure itself falling if it should jump off or be scared off something high.

The principles of a clip are to clip just enough feathers to curtail flight while leaving enough to glide/fly down and control the landing.

Many people ask the question of clipping one or both wings.

Clipping one wing creates a situation where the control is gone. These birds certainly don't manage to fly far, but rather usually crash and often hurt themselves so IS NOT recommended.  Experience tells us most birds only require a few of their primary feathers on each wing clipped to be well controlled.

With any clip though it is easy to take too much and end up with a bird that flies like a brick. We have years of experience with a wide variety of species so please bring your bird in and see us is you require his/her wings clipped so we can individualise to your bird’s needs.

How often do you need to clip your bird’s wing?

The length of time between wing-clips will vary depending on when the bird loses one or more of the clipped feathers and grows a new one. This process is ongoing all throughout the bird’s life as they drop old damaged feathers and grow new ones.

Do not get into a pattern of “I only need to clip every??”. The timing of the next clip is based on checking what is growing and monitoring how yourbirds flight is changing.

Most birds need about 3 wing-clips a year but sometimes the time interval in-between may be as little as a few weeks and at others may last up to 8 or 9 months. You as owner and carer need to stay abreast of what is happening with the bird and check regularly to see when the risk of flight is increasing.

We are here to help with what is really a simple bit of regular maintenance.

© 2018 by Southcoast Animal Hospital

35 Saltfleet Street, Port Noarlunga, SA 5167