Clipping bird's wings for boarding

Momele

New member
May 3, 2021
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Hi all! I am a new member who would like your opinions. I own a male Mexican Redhead parrot (32 years old and a
Male cockatiel (2 years old). My parrot is not used to flying as I previously had his flight feathers trimmed; however, it's been a while and his flight feathers have grown back. He can fly across a room but gets no elevation as he is not used to flying freely. My cockatiel just loves to fly around. My concern is this: I will be boarding the both of them for 7 days. The store owner will let them out of her cages ( which are plenty big) to climb and just get exercise but only if their wings are clipped, for their own protection. I don't feel bad about clipping the parrot's wings, but have hesitation with the cockatiel. I know he will not be able to fully fly for about 2 months. Is it better to leave him in a cage for 7 days or to clip his wings and give him some freedom and exercise?

Sorry this post is so lengthy, but I really would like some feedback. Thanking you all in advance.
 

fiddlejen

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Mar 28, 2019
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Well I don't know your answer but I feel for your dilemma. I was just considering, recently, that if I every have any need to board my birds I would have exactly that issue with my green budgie, Jefferson. Since he Lives To Fly, and even opening his cage to feed him he would undoubtedly try to fly out, I Would have to clip him to ever board him -- and Not flying, breaks his little heart.

Anyway. Here are my thoughts:
(1) IF your cockatiel loves flying, and IF you clip -- make sure it is a Conservative, CAN-STILL-GLIDE clip. Otherwise he may decide he can fly anyway, and then fall.

(2) How does your cockatiel deal with being caged? (My own flying budgie gets freedom all-day on most days. Since covid work-from-home, we have a sort of bargain. He trusts that I only lock him in if I leave the house, and that I usually don't leave for more than a couple hours. Before work-from-home, he was becoming more & more resistant to being confined to his HUGE cage. Because. He wants to fly.)

(2a) IF your Cockateil is used to spending good chunks of time IN his cage, then personally I would recommend NOT clipping his wings. If he is used to spending time caged, I think the lack of exercise for a Week is Not gonna do substantial harm, vs loss-of-flight for significantly longer.

(2b) IF your Cockateil is used to flying freely in your home for most of the day (like my budgie)... then hmm I don't know. Well looking at my Jefferson right now - I think if it were me at this moment making a decision for Your cockateil, I might say, do Not clip. One week caged is probably better than several months non-flighted. BUT BUT really at that point it would be more of a coin-toss; i do Not know your cockatiel's personality personally.

(3) Think about your cockatiel's personality. I have two fully-flighted budgies, but only One who thinks FLIGHT=LIFE. JEFFERSON would be heartbroken if I clipped Calliope's wings -- but, even though Calliope flies beautifully, She Would Not Care if her wings were clipped. With it being only One Week, I don't think the concern is exercise vs no exercise. (IF exercise is your Only Concern -- then do Not clip, there will be More exercise lost in the ensuing non-flighted months.) I think the main concern is what will be more upsetting (or more unsafe) for your bird. A week caged vs several months non-flighted. Which one do you think your Bird would Choose?

Best of luck with your decision, and I feel for your dilemma.
 
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Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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I don't want my bird let out at a store. Too many things could happen. 7 days in a cage u
Is fine.

Plus he will still think he can fly and will not stay put. So he will crash or glide but , clipping won't make him stay at cage if he is used to flying. Takes them a while to learn they can't fly. Plus can take 6 month to a year to grow back. Mine was clipped and its been 6 months.....
 
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Momele

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May 3, 2021
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Thank you both for your advice. My cockatiel does not spend much time out of his cage on a daily basis....maybe three hours tops. His cage is quite large, so he does have a lot of room to move around. I have three dogs so I have to make sure they cannot hurt him, which means confining them when the birds are out. He and my amazon have cages next to each other...my tiel likes to go in the parrot's cage and eat his food, which the other one does not mind at all.
I was leaning toward the side of not clipping his wings due to the time it would take to grow back. I love that he has the freedom to fly where he wants and does not have to depend on me to pick him up and move him around.. Like you both said, it is only a week. As long as he has his buddy near him, he will be ok.
 

texsize

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Oct 23, 2015
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My Tiels exercise in there cages as well as fly outside.
They will climb onto the side of the cage (inside) and flap like mad.
If the cages are big enough he will be able to exercise in the cage.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
if there's risk if escape from cage and escape from pet Store? Then I would think about clipping, even tho it sucks, as you don't want to loose your bird.
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I'm more concerned about where you are boarding-- sounds like a very high risk for disease spread among other birds (as many birds spread serious/deadly disease via microscopic dander particles in the air----PDD/ABV/PBFD are 3 of these diseases...)


The less you have your bird around other (even seemingly healthy birds) the better--- especially in a high stress situation like boarding, where viral shedding in carriers is far higher than in low-stress situations. That is why they say you need to quarantine any new bird that your bring home for 45 days minimum (3 months ideally) in a separate air space or at least totally opposite room. These tests are often inaccurate on asymptomatic birds and they cost a lot but at least a few sources say that up to 40% of captive parrots are carrying abv/pdd...and it can make a bird sick within as little as 2 weeks, to as long as 10 years after exposure (if they become symptomatic)


Any chance someone could just come to your house 2 or 3 times a day instead? There are some boarding facilities that actually have (basically) separate hvacs/ air systems within each enclosure for this reason.
 
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