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Old 12-17-2018, 07:39 PM
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Remain wing clipped or not?

I have a question of the forum flock: How do most of you feel about letting a four month old Golden Conure being allowed to grow out his wing feathers or not? The reason for asking is that Muffin, my Golden Conure, had a slight accident this past Sunday( when every Avian Vet was closed) I gave him a shower with me and then I, stupidly, placed him on top of the frame work of the shower stall while I continued to shower. He loves baths and he gets very excited and flaps his wings a great deal while drying off. He has never flown because he has been wing clipped right from the get go at the breeders facility and he is still clipped. He sometimes attempt to practice flapping his wings and sometimes he gets too excited that he slips and he falls but not from such a distance as this particular time. He ended having bruised his upper mandible and likely his tongue and he stopped eating and preening and vocalizing and remained obviously in pain. He couldn't even climb down to his feeding cups to eat had he chosen to eat. I took him to a vet who confirmed that he had bruised his beak. He was given an anti-inflammatory shot, which I must say made a difference, and he is now eating and vocalizing and drinking normally but I can see that his normal nibbling is altered slightly by the sensitivity of his beak. I was assure by the vet that it would continue to get better with time and it has. It was a bit of a jolt to me because I have always had big birds and they have always been flighted so falling has been so rare that I have never experienced this kind of trauma in a bird before. So now I am just getting information from all of you as to what your personal ideas are about having him clipped when his flight feathers grow out or not? I know the ultimate decision is mine but having only had Toos and Macaws who were always flighted I just wondered what most of you that have smaller birds think. Thanks for any opinions.
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:48 PM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

All the little birds in my house are flighted. The budgies do loop de loops for fun, and are the most active fliers in my house. It makes me cringe to think of so many budgies in tiny tiny cages and not flying, they are so active. I do hope your birds makes a full recovery, and hope you share pictures! I want one of these beautiful birds, but doubt that is in my cards.
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:58 PM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

Quote: Originally Posted by Laurasea View Post
All the little birds in my house are flighted. The budgies do loop de loops for fun, and are the most active fliers in my house. It makes me cringe to think of so many budgies in tiny tiny cages and not flying, they are so active. I do hope your birds makes a full recovery, and hope you share pictures! I want one of these beautiful birds, but doubt that is in my cards.
I'm not good at sending pictures but I appreciate your reply. My Macaws even went outside with me and rode with me on my scooter! They always stayed with me so I am used to birds flying in my home. It will be some time before his flight feathers will molt and new ones will come back but at this point I was just wondering what my eventual decision will be. It's nice to have some feed back. Sounds like fun in your house!
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:05 PM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

I have 5 smaller birds (4 conures and a cockatiel) - 2 came to me flighted and the others arrived here clipped. I saw how much my first 2 liked to fly, so I decided that all of my birds would be flighted. Bindi and Screamer have both grown their flight feathers in. Bindi was obviously flighted before and has reasonable skills. Screamer has been a bit more work, and I’m not sure that she has ever been fully flighted - so we’ve been working with her to show her how/where to land, etc. Stanley has regrown about 1/2 his flights and can get places now with some extra flapping. Stanley came to me in August with a bruised beak and mouth from a similar incident to what you described. He seems to be relatively agile with his wings growing out, and I’ll teach him where to land/avoid as he starts to fly around.

I’m in favour of birds being flighted - but I would always recommend taking your bird around and showing them where to land and where walls/windows are . This has helped greatly in my house to prevent crashes and injuries when mine are startled and take off without a plan - they know where the landing zones are and where the solids like windows are .
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:13 PM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

Quote: Originally Posted by Jen5200 View Post
I have 5 smaller birds (4 conures and a cockatiel) - 2 came to me flighted and the others arrived here clipped. I saw how much my first 2 liked to fly, so I decided that all of my birds would be flighted. Bindi and Screamer have both grown their flight feathers in. Bindi was obviously flighted before and has reasonable skills. Screamer has been a bit more work, and Iím not sure that she has ever been fully flighted - so weíve been working with her to show her how/where to land, etc. Stanley has regrown about 1/2 his flights and can get places now with some extra flapping. Stanley came to me in August with a bruised beak and mouth from a similar incident to what you described. He seems to be relatively agile with his wings growing out, and Iíll teach him where to land/avoid as he starts to fly around.

Iím in favour of birds being flighted - but I would always recommend taking your bird around and showing them where to land and where walls/windows are . This has helped greatly in my house to prevent crashes and injuries when mine are startled and take off without a plan - they know where the landing zones are and where the solids like windows are .
Thank you for your reply. My other birds had to be taught as well where the places were to fly to. Macaws and my Toos were walkers in the house. They didn't even want to fly outside because they always preferred to walk. I would prefer that Muffin was flighted, especially after this incident this past weekend. He's doing really well and back to his constant eating! He just loves to eat! LOL! And he loves to cuddle even more so after this incident. Of course my entire place is carpeted except for the bathrooms and the kitchen. He fell on tile and I think he may have even hit the toilet before he hit the floor. Luckily I knew something was immediately wrong and didn't spend time wondering what to do. Off to a twenty four hour vet adjacent to my Avian Vet. I would like him to have more a cushion in the future so we shall see. Thanks again.
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:29 PM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

I also have small birds (GCC, cockatiel, and 2 budgies) and they’re all flighted. They’re so much happier and healthier in my opinion when allowed to fly. My birds all love flying laps around the room and it’s great exercise for them. Clipping should only be used as a last resort in situations where keeping the bird flighted would pose safety concerns. If there’s no safety concern then why clip his wings? It sounds like it would actually be safer in your situation to leave him flighted, obviously he fell and bruised his beak due to his wings being clipped. You’re experienced with flighted birds so why even question whether to keep him flighted if there’s no reason to clip his wings? Don’t forget to teach him to control his flight/not run into things and recall train him. Make sure to read up on refledging a bird as your golden conure likely never learned how to fly being clipped so young. Good luck!
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:50 PM
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Remain wing clipped or not?

I have a Parrotlet. Canít get any smaller! She came to me at 7 weeks old with a light clip. It didnít really stop her from flying, and I let her feathers grow naturally. She loves flying and I love watching her. It absolutely amazes me when she does a mid-air 180, when she sticks a landing on a moving target (usually my head but sometimes my finger which is astounding), and when she chooses to fly to me because Iím her favorite place. I hope that I never have to clip her.

This is a hot-button topic and so far youíve only heard from the anti-clippers. Iím sure folks with other thoughts will chime in soon.

Regardless, if your baby dropped like a rock, that sounds like a bad clip. If you choose to clip again, hopefully it will allow him to at least glide to the floor.


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Old 12-17-2018, 08:59 PM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

I've had clipped and unclipped and I consider both conditions acceptable depending on the circumstances.

What I do find is that with my flighted Hawkhead she is like a bird at a birdfeeder...constantly on the move from the bush to the feeder, to the tree, to the feeder and wherever....that wherever usually being a shoulder can really be a nuisance.

We'll keep her totally flighted until the spring and then get her a mild clip which doesn't stop her flying but it does put a damper on her constant hopping from one place to another and we get to have our shoulders safe from the sneak attack landing.
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:36 AM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

I can imagine the shock when this bird just fell.
Glad to hear he is on the mend.

Sorry- I am somewhat of an anti-clipper as well
Birds fly -it is what more or less makes them birds- and unless you have some very good reasons (and 'flying around inconviniences me' is not one of them imho) I see no reason to make them into handicapped ones.

I am struggling along with a wingdamaged and feathermutilating (prolly as a result of being in pain and in a too small a cage) macaw so I may be just a tad prejudiced of course!!

If you are already used to have your birds flighted...go for it.
A smaller bird will be a lot more manouverable than the larger ones were, so escaping is always a real issues and (sorry to say) seem a bit more flighty.

(My neighbour 2 doors down lost his supertame budgie who all of a sudden decided *not* to stay put- after being a shoulderbird for ages. And I think he had him clipped. So no guarantees there...)


Even if you decide to clip later (for safetyreasons) plze... let him learn to fly first.
He obviously still wants to learn after the breeder grounded him.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:30 AM
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Re: Remain wing clipped or not?

All of my guys are fully flighted as well, the largest I have is a Senegal Parrot, so similar to your Golden Conure in size, then a Quaker, a Green Cheek, a Cockatiel, and 8 Budgies (they live in a huge walk-in aviary and fly all day long, then come out and fly around the house too)...All of them fly all around the house, no issues at all, but you will have to "bird-proof" your entire house. Everything. And you'll be continually finding new things that he'll land on/in that you'll have to move/put-away, because they do land everywhere, unlike larger parrots.

I grew-up with a fully-flighted CAG who my mom still lives with, but it was different with him due to his size. Larger parrots sometimes feel like they can't fly inside because they know their wing-spans are just too large and there just isn't enough space...My brother (CAG) would fly from room to room in short-spurts, or from upstairs to downstairs, but it was probably better he didn't fly everywhere and all around because he would either hurt himself or break something...with the smaller birds it's a lot different.

It's totally your decision, sometimes it is better to leave them clipped, like in a situation where there is a safety risk, or where the owner is disabled and can't be following the bird all over the house, etc. I'd say that you should at least let his wings grow-out from this point until he can fly, then let him fly and see how he does, see how it works in your house, and if it's okay with you then I would let him flighted, because it is better for them, they enjoy it, and after all, he is a bird...

***Keep in-mind that you cannot take him outside without having him on an Aviator Harness and a leash, even while he's clipped, as clipped birds catch wind and they're gone for miles and miles. Clipping does not keep them from flying away outside. Just wanted to throw that in there, in case that was one of your considerations, because no matter what you do, if you want to take him outside he will either need to be on a harness and lead or in a carrier...And if you want to harness-train him, I would start now while he's still young...
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