Should I clip my bird’s wings?

Flapjack

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Nov 10, 2023
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Green cheek conure
Hello all! My ggc Kure had a little scare and flew into glass earlier today. She’s ok, but its making me rethink my decision to let her flight feathers grow back out.

When I got her, her wings had been clipped very short and she could barley hover if she fell off of something or got spooked. Now she has almost all of her flight feathers back and is starting to fly when she wants to go places. The only reason that this is an issue is that my living room has a lot of glass. There are 3 pairs of glass doors and a large window. She usually comes down to hang out with the family on her play stand down there, but after today’s collision I worry that she could get spooked and hit a window again.

I’d hate to restrict her or stop her from hanging out with everyone but it’s either that or clip her wings and I’m not sure which way to go. Any advice is appreciated.
 

wrench13

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Clipping - always a hot button on any parrot site. I keep Salty's wings trimmed just enough so he can glide rather then drop like a rock, but they need constant monitoring. Remember though, most parrots even though clipped, can in an emergency generate enough lift to fly away or crash.
 

Vampiric_Conure

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Yeah. It's a very hot topic amongst parrot owners. Personally I don't because my little heathen o f a service dog is prey driven like it's nobody's business. I keep my birds untrimmed for safety's sake.
 

hiriki

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I don't clip wings. I have in the past partially clipped the wings of birds who had poor control and/or were too fast for their own good, to prevent crashing into walls. Just enough of a clip to slow them down but they could still easily fly from one end of the room to the other so it was almost like they weren't clipped.

When it comes to glass, you're better served adding stickers to the glass so that the bird realizes there's something there, imo. Flight is the best exercise a bird will get, and I personally like when my birds have the freedom to hang out on their cage and fly to me and then back to their cage if they so desire--with clipped wings they pretty much have to hang out wherever you put them. But yea you'll get answers on both sides of this debate for sure.
 

wrench13

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Just a note here, please. We can discuss this topic as long as it remains friendly. :)

A good practice for flighted birds is to do 'real estate agent' and walk them thru the various rooms and halllways, etc. This way they have some idea of a flight path. Also, getting the parrot used to what glass and mirrors are is a very good idea. Bring the parrots face up very close to them and tap with your finger several times, say 'glass'. Try to get his beak to also tap on it once or so, say "glass" . And a treat! We do this even with Salty once in awhile, since he does fly well, and even when he is freshly clipped, a good scare sends him flapping. WHen he falls off his over head chains, he just glides down to the floor, lazy thing.
 
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Flapjack

Flapjack

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Nov 10, 2023
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Green cheek conure
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Yeah. It's a very hot topic amongst parrot owners. Personally I don't because my little heathen o f a service dog is prey driven like it's nobody's business. I keep my birds untrimmed for safety's sake.
that’s a good point, I have two dogs and a cat as well and one of the dogs is always very interested in Kure.
I don't clip wings. I have in the past partially clipped the wings of birds who had poor control and/or were too fast for their own good, to prevent crashing into walls. Just enough of a clip to slow them down but they could still easily fly from one end of the room to the other so it was almost like they weren't clipped.

When it comes to glass, you're better served adding stickers to the glass so that the bird realizes there's something there, imo. Flight is the best exercise a bird will get, and I personally like when my birds have the freedom to hang out on their cage and fly to me and then back to their cage if they so desire--with clipped wings they pretty much have to hang out wherever you put them. But yea you'll get answers on both sides of this debate for sure.
Thanks for the tips on glass, it’s crazy because all of the glass in the room that she crashed in had tape and stickers already to prevent wild birds from crashing into them :( I’m going to go through and let her tap the windows for now so she can see how solid they are.
 
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Flapjack

Flapjack

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Nov 10, 2023
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Green cheek conure
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Just a note here, please. We can discuss this topic as long as it remains friendly. :)

A good practice for flighted birds is to do 'real estate agent' and walk them thru the various rooms and halllways, etc. This way they have some idea of a flight path. Also, getting the parrot used to what glass and mirrors are is a very good idea. Bring the parrots face up very close to them and tap with your finger several times, say 'glass'. Try to get his beak to also tap on it once or so, say "glass" . And a treat! We do this even with Salty once in awhile, since he does fly well, and even when he is freshly clipped, a good scare sends him flapping. WHen he falls off his over head chains, he just glides down to the floor, lazy thing.
Thanks! I’ll definitely take her through the house some and make sure she understands windows better.
 

Shoegoo

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Nov 3, 2014
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And they always know they have been clipped. I didn't like the look my GCC gave me after she had been clipped. My GCC has been successfully navigating around five ceiling fans for 8 yrs. Tomorrow may be a bad day. But, I think she has a better chase of moving around things with full wings.
 

caring

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Aug 9, 2020
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Hello all! My ggc Kure had a little scare and flew into glass earlier today. She’s ok, but its making me rethink my decision to let her flight feathers grow back out.

When I got her, her wings had been clipped very short and she could barley hover if she fell off of something or got spooked. Now she has almost all of her flight feathers back and is starting to fly when she wants to go places. The only reason that this is an issue is that my living room has a lot of glass. There are 3 pairs of glass doors and a large window. She usually comes down to hang out with the family on her play stand down there, but after today’s collision I worry that she could get spooked and hit a window again.

I’d hate to restrict her or stop her from hanging out with everyone but it’s either that or clip her wings and I’m not sure which way to go. Any advice is appreciated.
It is a difficult decision. When we purchased our GCC, he was "alredy clipped". His avian vet said it was best not to clip him and let his feathers grow out. We did put cling stickers on the windows and he did well avoiding crashes.
However, right after celebrating his second hatchdate, he flew out the front door when it was opened for a friend.
 
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Flapjack

Flapjack

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Nov 10, 2023
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Green cheek conure
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It is a difficult decision. When we purchased our GCC, he was "alredy clipped". His avian vet said it was best not to clip him and let his feathers grow out. We did put cling stickers on the windows and he did well avoiding crashes.
However, right after celebrating his second hatchdate, he flew out the front door when it was opened for a friend.
I’m so sorry that happened to you. But, thank you for reminding me of the dangers of having a fully flighted bird.
 

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