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Old 04-04-2018, 03:12 PM
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Tips on cutting nails?

Hi everybody!

So... my family hates my bird's nails because they're sharp. I'm pretty used to it so it doesn't bother me, but the nails do need to be clipped. I feel like every time I clip nails somebody ends up with a bloody toe though. I think part of it is I'm afraid to hold their toes too firmly, and sometimes they jerk at the last second.

Any advice?



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Old 04-04-2018, 03:19 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

With little birds, you may be able to get away with just swishing a nail file over the sharp tips a couple times to dull them down without having to cut them at all.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:21 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
With little birds, you may be able to get away with just swishing a nail file over the sharp tips a couple times to dull them down without having to cut them at all.
I know it's ridiculous, but when I do that it feels like their toe is gonna come off lmao... I'm unsure as to how rough I can be with them.

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Old 04-04-2018, 04:08 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

Have you considered installing a sandpaper or cement perch in their cage? Often times, one or 2 of those (they should have other kind of perches too) will solve the problem of nails for many people/birds.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:15 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
Have you considered installing a sandpaper or cement perch in their cage? Often times, one or 2 of those (they should have other kind of perches too) will solve the problem of nails for many people/birds.
I had a couple in the cage for quite a while. Iggy hurt her toe a bit a few weeks ago though so they're out temporarily. Also it wasn't enough to satisfy my family anyway.

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Old 04-04-2018, 04:28 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

I had one of those cement perches which helped but it disintegrated over time. Usually in our household nail clipping is a 2 person job, one person holds the bird so their feet are wrapped around my finger holding on (wings to my chest) and then other person (in this case my husband as he has better eyes than me) takes each toe and clips one at a time with regular nail clippers.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:37 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

Perhaps it might be best then to take them to the vet or a bird store for professional grooming. Generally, if you aren't comfortable to do it at home and don't know how much they can take without being injured, it's a job best left to a pro We had Kiwi for about 3 years before we felt comfortable taking over grooming him, and only after being shown how by a very experienced bird store owner.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:01 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

I’ve always taken my birds to our local pet store for nail clipping, but I’ve been able to do it myself recently. Doing it myself was stressful for me because I was worried I would cut the nails too short, but ultimately it was less stressful for the birds. However, if you aren’t confident enough to do the nails yourself, I would recommend taking the birds to the vet or a pet store that provides the service.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:03 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

My usual narrative...
I really recommend those nail-trimming perches... they can eliminate nail-trimming, which was always so stressful for me and the Rb. It took a few years, but I eventually established a pattern/rotation that keeps him trimmed. I haven't had to do his nails in 20-plus years. I keep a dowel as the main "highway" down the middle of the cage, but the special cement/trimmer/textured perches are all over.
A few brands... but there are many: Polly's Sand Walk... Pumice Perch... Trimmer Perch...
Be sure to introduce them gradually: they're abrasive to their tender feet at first. I LOVE them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These are smooth on top and abrasive underneath. Very easy to install/clean, oo.
Sweet Feet and Beaks Pedicure Perch xsmall for parrots, Feather Fantasy
May take a while to get the right combinations/locations, but was worth it for me and the Rb!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:33 PM
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Re: Tips on cutting nails?

I've started cutting Kermit's nails regularly. So far I haven't once hit her quick, but I'm also overly cautious in how I cut. I only cut the smallest piece off her sharp nails; because she has dark colored nails I don't want to risk hitting her quick. I also use cat-claw cutters instead of nail clippers because you have to be careful not to crush or shatter the nail. Some people have success with the guillotine nail cutter, but it personally looks too cumbersome and more likely to hit a quick. This means I usually cut about once a month instead of once every few months since professional groomers are more confident in the amount they take off.
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