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

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Old 08-13-2019, 02:03 AM
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Disguise to trim nails

I wanted to file my IRN and tiel's nails. They will certainly bite so I'll have to wear gloves and I was considering using a firm tube to restrain them instead of a towel. Is that a bad idea?

But my IRN seems to get angry and stays that way for a while if I do anything to startle him. I'm thinking of something like a bee suit with a hat and sunglasses or a full head rubber type mask and different clothes.

Is it possible to get away with a disguise, or will I be the only one fooled?
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:44 AM
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Re: Disguise to trim nails

CI cannot stress enough what a terrible idea this would be! IRNs tend to be rather skittish birds in the first place and cockatiels are just plain tiny defenseless little birds, so to put on some (from the birds perspective) terrifying costume and mask then come at your poor birds to restrain them for reasons they don’t understand? Birds have been known to drop dead out of pure fear and this nightmarish scenario is right up there with situations I could see quite literally scaring a bird to death. I’m not sure if your birds would know it was you or not, but they almost guaranteed would be infinitely more traumatized by you dressed up in a costume than you simply restraining them and clipping their nails or taking the to the vet for a nail trim.

There are 2 much better options here. If you feel you are at a point in your birds training/trust building process that a nail trim would completely break all trust you’ve earned, take them to the vet or a bird store and have someone else do it. If you are even the slightest bit nervous about restraining them safely (which should be done in a towel, not with gloves), have someone else do it. Birds can be injured during the process in inexperienced hands. Or, if these birds implicitly trust you and you feel capable of doing so, restrain them properly in a towel and do it yourself. They’ll be a bit offended the first few times, but birds get used to nail trims as an occasional fact of life. Our amazon is never pleased to be toweled and given a forceable pedicure, but he gets over it. We can clip his talons in less time than we spend giving him treats and praises afterwards. Its really a very quick and straightforward process.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:18 AM
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Re: Disguise to trim nails

I take my kids to their doctor when it's nail trim time. It's cheap (twelve bucks) and they get a visual once-over look by Doc Kristin (CAV) well worth it. I took Amy to my local pet shop once( never again) and the idiot who trimmed Amy trimmed his nails so bad he made the bird CRY! His tootsies bled and he held his foot up for almost an hour while he cried I went right back to that store and made a HUGE scene! Never went back to have him trimmed again!



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Old 08-13-2019, 08:37 AM
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Re: Disguise to trim nails

I bring Nike either to the vet or to my bird store. At the store, if I buy something the clip (feather or nails) is free. Bring your own towel.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:08 AM
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Re: Disguise to trim nails

It can be a hassle to get the birds to the vet so I tag-team with my husband -- I hold the bird, he has the good eyes so he clips the nails. Ember gave me a nasty bite that drew blood when I tried to use a towel, so after that we just use cupping method of the body with hands and working calmly to accomplish it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:30 AM
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Re: Disguise to trim nails

I've been trying to desensitized Levi to a soft nail file for a long time now. I never restrain him and he always tries to bite the file. No shocker there, I know. Ha
I agree w/ what has already been said. And I too bring Levi to his Vet to get his pedicure.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:32 AM
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Re: Disguise to trim nails

Well, I've only had the birds for a few months, and they were well bonded to their former owner before he passed. They were in a way rescue birds, but I've determined they were well cared for. It's been a little work getting the IRN to not bite and to avoid bites, and like I mentioned will get upset and hate me if I do anything wrong. For some reason, the past couple days he has been very grumpy and is issuing his warning call. Maybe it is a new shirt.

Maybe I'll work with the file with him sitting on an outside perch, like Tami2.

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Old 08-13-2019, 05:30 PM
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Re: Disguise to trim nails

I just recently trimmed/filed my sun conure's nails, and I used a firm tube to restrain her. The size of a pringles can was perfect. Tight enough that she couldnt wiggle around, and loose enough to not be too tight. Other ideas could be varying sizes of cups or coffee thermos's depending on the size of your birds. The firm tube allowed me to get a better grip on her and spend more detail on her toes. 5 minutes after the process, she was happily snuggling on my shoulder.

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