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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 06-02-2012, 08:03 PM
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Clipping Wings?

hey guys. i am getting a quaker in a few months and this is the biggest question on my mind. Should i clip his/her wings? now i have both the reasons for clipping and why not to clip. and i am torn on what to do.

For clipping:
It is much safer in the sense they cannot fly away.
It doesnt directly hurt them
They cant get into trouble by flying onto/into something
pretty much clipping is safer.


Keeping them flighted(not clipped)

Get good exersise
good mental stilulation
good confidence
another thing to train them with(better mental health)
birds love to fly and naturaly do it

so for the most part, clipping is safer but not clipping seems healthyer over time. i have been doing a lot of reading on this and it is split about 50 50. i dont know if i want to take the risk as a 1st time parrot owner of having him be able to fly. but then again i want him to be as healthy as possible. also, with cats and dogs, i dont want him to fly away onto the floor and then the cat attack. i am so so so so so confused. if you guys could help me settle this topic that would take such a big worry of my back and relieve SOOOOOO much stress.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:41 PM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

Unfortunately, this isn't something you're going to get a straight yes or no on. If you look, over the past month there's been at least 2 other threads, with polls, on this topic and the votes are usually split down the middle.

In regards to the cat and dog, my advice is if you can't supervise, or trust the cat or dog (I don't trust cats any further than I can throw them, metaphorically, around birds), your best defense against something like that is to either crate the dog and lock the cat in another room while your bird is having out of cage time, or have the out of cage time in a room that you can seclude yourself and the bird in.

Personally, I clip.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:45 PM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

Are you an over protective mother? clip their wings , Or are you OK with letting them explore their boundaries ? freeflighted. It's up to you and your situation, there may even be a point where one options is better than the other. I would advise letting a bird fledge and learn to fly if nothing else. Who's to say if a flighted bird is healthier,but fly's to he's death or a clipped bird alive in it's home. It's what ever works best for you and your fid at the time.What ever it takes to make your bird happy/healthy and live a long life. just my .02 worth
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:04 PM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

thanks that helped a bit. what is your opinions? do you guys clip wings or leave them? and as the cat or dog, my dogs will probably be fine and my cats are in my basement most of the day and come out mostly at night. and i dont think they would "hunt" the bird, but more of is it is really close and as birds do try to investigate the cat they would attck it. so, whats your opinion?
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:09 PM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

I have both, clipped and flighted. You need to access your situation. What works for me might not be best for you. Sorry ,but there's no best answer. IMO
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Long time amazon parent/breeder and many rescue zons. We are breeding 2nd generation of our Yellow Nape ,Double Yellow Head, Panama ,Orange Wing Amazons and TAGs, also outdoor aviary with flock of Cockatiels. If you need help or advice please feel free to contact me,if i can't help maybe i can find someone who can.Capt and "Jake" the YN
Avatar is myself and "Juanita" 12/59 Guatemala CA
Rescues looking homes,Mumbles(DYH male)Echo (YNA male) Rockie(BFA male) Nitro (YNA male) Yeah, Echo found a home
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:26 PM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

Personally I would recomend flighted, unless you run into behavioral problems. In which case I would recomend halting the clipping once it becomes a well behaved bird.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:48 AM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

Im wondering the same thing with my red rump parakeet. I want to keep her safe but she can fly anywhere in the house even though her wings are clipped so I doubt if she ever got outside I would be able to catch her anyway. Im thinkin im gonna let her wings grow and see how she does and decide from there. she is missing a couple of toes from each foot and seems to not trust her own climbing ability so maybe wings would give her more confidence?
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:05 AM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

My suggestion is always do what you feel comfortable with. If you feel like you can handle the training and risk of a flighted bird go for it. If you feel hesitant and aren't sure then clip your bird. After your bird molts and has new flight feathers you may feel differently and want to try out letting them fly or be happy you clipped them.

No matter what though make it your own decision. If you choose one and something horrible happens you'd rather it was your ultimate choice rather then someone else that your weren't completely sure about.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:43 AM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

I am one of those people who will say ABSOLUTELY NO to clipping wings.

First off, if safety is your main concern. many pets which only have legs manage to run away anyway. I do not see the advantage of clipping as it merely encourages many parrot owners to take less care while their bird isnt secured in a cage and then looking bewildered when their bird escapes thinking "but he was clipped!"

Also in the home especially with other pets flight is very important to birds. even a clipped bird, when spooked will jump to take flight. and if they are clipped this becomes a crash landing. turning not only a stimuli into something that spooked them for a few seconds into a stimuli that is something to be really feared as it causes them to fall and crash.

Clipping can lead to many stress issues in smarter birds; they are more dependent on their owners and can develop an anxiety of being left alone, they have lower self esteem as they will try to fly and fail, possibly hurting themselves in the process, and many things that are stressors which they could normally fly away from become inescapable to them leading to a very unhappy bird.

Personally i think it makes them more vulnerable in the home. If you clip your bird to keep it out of dangerous places in the home. I believe this is also a stupid reason. clipped birds can also still access these areas with an ill-attentive owner, they just merely lack the aid of flight to escape the dangerous situation. It is safer to secure the possible dangers to your bird in the home similar to child-proofing a home.

Finally i am probably very biased as i own a male eclectus parrot whom i asked the breeder to keep free-flighted. The breeder presented him to me clipped and i was disappointed. the breeder said "but how am i supposed to keep him in my store without him being clipped?" - he liked to have them out and so******ing with potential customers. this truly made me angry, as i had already paid a deposit on him before he was even hatched and he was only in her store for 3 days as i was told when i was to pick him up!

I had already bonded with my baby and paid a deposit so i took him anyway with the intention to let him grow out in his next moult.

Unfortunately, when he started his first moult the first thing he did was pull out all his new flight feathers. This has since developed into quite a serious feather picking issue which (after many vet visits and lifestyle changes and much research and finding out that many other people have had this problem even in macaws) i contribute entirely to the fact that he was clipped as a fledgeling.

clipping fledgeling parrots greatly affects their development physically with the development of muscles and aerobic system, as well as their mental development, self esteem and dependency.

you do not need to clip a parrot to bond with it, a healthy relationship can be developed without complete dependency on their part, and if you are prepared to recall train it properly, clipping should never be necessary.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:02 AM
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Re: Clipping Wings?

All of my birds are flighted. But it is just me and hubs here and we can monitor the daily comings and goings in the home. I also have three dogs. They are very good about staying away from my birds. But I never fully trust them, ever! If you have 4 legged friends in the home you must always be extremely careful. Many years ago I had a very dearly loved parrot killed by a very trusted pet who never showed any interest in my birds.
As far as clipping, I feel it is a personal choice that should be decided on within each individual home and each individual bird. Some birds are quite content to hang out. Others are like jets racing through the house. Getting into trouble at every opportunity.
If you have an active household with people coming and going it might be better to clip. If your Quaker is a baby it does need to learn to fly to build confidence, learn how to land, build muscle before it is clipped if you so decide.
If you do clip you need to make sure your bird gets plenty of climbing exercise and wing flapping to keep him in shape. Quakers are a species that tend to gain weight easily so exercise is important.
The one confusing fact is, that flighted birds have a better chance of survival of escaping the attack of a dog or cat in the home. However, a flighted bird can also fly into danger zones of these pets. Your biggest job is to monitor the other pets constantly. Never ever trust them. So my advice is to keep baby flighted first and see how things go with constant supervision. Are you confused now?
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