wing clipping advice

mrs. brisby

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Nov 18, 2023
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40
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turquoise gcc
First I want to thank everyone for their advice on controlling hormonal behavior. My gcc is now getting at least 12 hours of sleep a night. In a couple of days he was much better. He stopped attacking our feet in the kitchen and I didn't get bit for 5 whole days!
Then a couple of days ago, he started flying to my head and attacking. I walked into the kitchen, and he flew to my shoulder and immediately bit my ear. Hard. Today, he came out of his cage and bit my lip. I don't understand what's wrong with him. We have put him mostly on pellets.
Someone suggested clipping his wings for awhile. i don't really want to do that, but I'm thinking that he won't be able to fly at my head anymore. But I'm worried that he will get hurt, trying to fly and not being able to anymore.
 

Terry57

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My GCC loves to nip my ears, and their little beaks sure do hurt! When Jax first started doing that we clipped his wings, but he was miserable not being able to fly. It did curb his nipping when his feathers grew out but then the nipping came back. When he's out of his cage, I wear my hoodie into the room and the hood keeps him from getting to my ears. He's really good about sitting on my shoulder and not trying to get through the hood. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it keeps me from bleeding and him from being unhappy.
Not all birds react to clipping like he does so your mileage may vary. Clipping is a personal choice we make based on what we think is best for our birds. I know how hard it is to be afraid that you're going to be attacked at any moment :(
 

wrench13

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So the idea most people have when clipping a parrots wings is to only remove enough feathers to allow a glide to the floor, gently. Remove too much and they will drop like a stone and thats when bones get broken and the bird hurt. That is why it is very important to have a person who knows exactly how much and what to cut on a given parrot. This is not the store clerk at the Pet box store!!! My Amazon Salty has then clipped by his Certified Avian Vet or her technician, who is really good at this.

The good thing is feathers grow back. Also take note - many parrots who have been clipped, even as described above, can still generate enough lift to fly away if they are startled or scared, so dont think it will be OK to take your GCC outside after he is clipped. That extra burst of adrenaline can give them the energy to fly away. Happened to me, but because I never ever take Salty outside unless he is in his harness, he did not escape.
 
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mrs. brisby

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Nov 18, 2023
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40
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turquoise gcc
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  • #4
My GCC loves to nip my ears, and their little beaks sure do hurt! When Jax first started doing that we clipped his wings, but he was miserable not being able to fly. It did curb his nipping when his feathers grew out but then the nipping came back. When he's out of his cage, I wear my hoodie into the room and the hood keeps him from getting to my ears. He's really good about sitting on my shoulder and not trying to get through the hood. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it keeps me from bleeding and him from being unhappy.
Not all birds react to clipping like he does so your mileage may vary. Clipping is a personal choice we make based on what we think is best for our birds. I know how hard it is to be afraid that you're going to be attacked at any moment :(
thank you for your advice. I don't know where my hoodie is, so i put on a do rag. so far no ear bites. of course it won't help if he flies at my face
 
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mrs. brisby

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Nov 18, 2023
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40
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turquoise gcc
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
So the idea most people have when clipping a parrots wings is to only remove enough feathers to allow a glide to the floor, gently. Remove too much and they will drop like a stone and thats when bones get broken and the bird hurt. That is why it is very important to have a person who knows exactly how much and what to cut on a given parrot. This is not the store clerk at the Pet box store!!! My Amazon Salty has then clipped by his Certified Avian Vet or her technician, who is really good at this.

The good thing is feathers grow back. Also take note - many parrots who have been clipped, even as described above, can still generate enough lift to fly away if they are startled or scared, so dont think it will be OK to take your GCC outside after he is clipped. That extra burst of adrenaline can give them the energy to fly away. Happened to me, but because I never ever take Salty outside unless he is in his harness, he did not escape.
yes i will have the avian vet do it. I just don't really want to do it at all. When we got him he was clipped and he could fly, but he ran into things a lot. I think they weren't clipped right. It was so awesome when they grew out and he could fly normally. I just hate to take that away from him.
 

Denise1229

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I do keep my birds wings clipped and it helps with his aggression. Idk why, but when his wings grow back in and he is able to fly, it gives him courage and he thinks he is the boss. With clipped wings He doesnt bite as often or as hard. I only clip the feathers that keeps him from being able to fly upwards. He can fly downwards. My vet did it the first time and taught me how to do it. So now I am comfortable doing it myself. Ive been doing it for 6 years now.
 

LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
First I want to thank everyone for their advice on controlling hormonal behavior. My gcc is now getting at least 12 hours of sleep a night. In a couple of days he was much better. He stopped attacking our feet in the kitchen and I didn't get bit for 5 whole days!
Then a couple of days ago, he started flying to my head and attacking. I walked into the kitchen, and he flew to my shoulder and immediately bit my ear. Hard. Today, he came out of his cage and bit my lip. I don't understand what's wrong with him. We have put him mostly on pellets.
Someone suggested clipping his wings for awhile. i don't really want to do that, but I'm thinking that he won't be able to fly at my head anymore. But I'm worried that he will get hurt, trying to fly and not being able to anymore.
Yes, I would definitely get his wings trimmed at an avian vet. It's nothing to worry about, as they can still fly, just not always as far or upwards. One of mine can fly just was well w/them clipped so I gave up on that. They will grow out in a few months. As far as the flying at your face/head, that's a hormonal behavior (one of my male birds started doing that when he got super hormonal). Keep in mind the raging hormone thing doesn't just switch off completely in a week or two with more sleep/less light, etc. You will see better behavior (as you have) in a few days, but it literally will take a couple months of consistency for them to gradually go down back to "normal". Sometimes if he's too obnoxious that way, you made need to put him back in the cage for a day or two, just for everyone's safety. My avian vet said to do that & I had to w/mine, but really only for maybe 3 days total. I would let him out daily & see how he did. If it was really bad, he had to go back in & go to bed a little earlier than usual. It worked. Keep up what you're doing, as it will only help the situation & it will take a couple months. In the worst case, if it doesn't seem to be working, you can inquire w/your avian vet about an anti-hormone shot as a last resort, or any other methods you can try. Good luck!
 

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