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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wasn't sure exactly where to post this, so admins feel free to move it if it's in the wrong spot :)

So as some of you may know Kirby knocked out a flight feather on the end of his wing some time ago, and keeps breaking it off again everytime it grows in. Since he broke the feather, we refrained from clipping him (we had him at a partial clip before) until that feather grew back in. My dilemma is that I'm wondering if we should let him grow out his feathers or if we should clip him again once that feather is grown out.

The main problem is that it's difficult to birdproof my house. I still live with my parents, and they like having the ceiling fans on, as well as other dangers. We have a large, sliding glass door and a picture window in the front room (though the dogs are usually covering it :lol:). We also have a high ceilinged home, and I'm worried about him flying up somewhere where I can't reach him and getting into something toxic to him. Also, I would like to take him to Fallen Feathers and on educational events (which are usually outside), and always have him in his Flightsuit or harness, but I'm still concerned about the safety of these activities for a flighted bird.

On the other hand, I'm home alone most of the day (everybody works except for me :p), so I could leave the fans off, and just put Kirby in his cage when my family gets home or I leave the house. He also doesn't know how to fly yet, so I thought that maybe by teaching him to fly to me there'd be less of a chance of him flying up where I can't reach him and not coming back down? And maybe putting stickers on the door and window would be enough to let him know there's glass there? We also have security doors and screens on all of our doors and windows except the one leading out into the garage, but we could always just shut the laundry room door when he's out so that it kind of makes a double door system like the one in many outdoor bird aviaries.

It would be really nice to have him fly to me on command, and for him to be able to fly to and from his cage whenever he wants. I know that being flighted can really increase the quality of life for a tiel. I'm also hoping that it might help me bond with him (by teaching him to fly to me) because, though I'm his favorite person, I don't think I'd quite call it a bond.

Another option might be only clipping him part of the time; maybe something like two to three months flighted, then clipped until he grows his feathers out or something like that? Does that work well for any of you? I feel worried that if I did that he would try to fly while clipped and get hurt (which is how we got into the feather situation in the first place).

I've been mulling this over for weeks and I can't seem to settle on one choice or another. What do you guys think?
 

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I'd let him learn to fly first then decide. I let all my birds learn to fly. Some I could handle flighted others were too big a buttheads to let them keep their feathers. I always let the new wings grow in, then clipped them, give them that chance of freedom for a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That seems like a good idea. Should I wait for his flight feathers to be 100% grown out before teaching him or can I start as he's growing them in?

Did the safety precautions I mentioned sound good enough? Also, I think that getting a net would be a smart idea in case he flies up where we can't reach him? Even if I don't actually catch him in the net (I would really rather not anyways), I might be able to drive him off of the high places to where I can reach him. Do you know where I can get a good one that is pretty long (or at least adjustable) for a good price?
 

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A long dowel rod should be enough to fetch him from places you can't reach to, if he knows to step up on it. A net seems quite unnecessary for a tame bird imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A long dowel rod should be enough to fetch him from places you can't reach to, if he knows to step up on it. A net seems quite unnecessary for a tame bird imo.
I would do that first; I'm just concerned if he's being a little butt and refusing to step up or to come when called. I agree that it is unnecessary, and I hope I would never use it, but I would like one just in case as we have stuff high up that could be harmful (like fake, decorative grapes that are probably toxic if he chews on them).

Does anybody know where I can find a net that is safe for tiels and either adjustable or pretty long?
 

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Greetings! Both of my girls are fully flighted. It was the hardest decision I have had to make since getting them. The pros really have to out weigh the cons... my main concern with what you have in your first post would have to be the other people in the house, other pets (are the dogs okay with him?), picture window, and the sliding glass door. Its going to be vitally important that you do a safety routine every time you take him out or open his cage without fail, complacency kills! For example, when I bring my girls out I make sure all doors are closed, windows without blinds are covered (I do not believe that stickers would be adequate, he may fly at full speed and try to go between them, so covering it with a sheet would be best), other pets are put up, and ceiling fan is off. You will have to be fairly certain no one will be coming or going during that time. No cooking, unless your kitchen is closed off from the area. I never leave them alone in the room. If he does fly up some where high, once he gets used to landing etc., he will fly back to his cage periodically, and this can be sped up by the introduction of treats too. Until you know more about his free flying habits, make sure that you have a large chunk of free time yourself, so that you can wait him out if possible. I love letting my girls fly... but I know also that it could go badly even with all of my precautions. Definitely read as many articles as you can handle on the pros and cons.... and bird proofing tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, thanks! I will definetly do more research for now and decide later; I still have plenty of time before we'll even be able to clip him; I may have to deal with a flighted bird anyways because of this stupid feather!

Another idea I'd had was to tape a paper sign on all the doors leading out of my house saying "WAIT! LOOK: Is the bird in his cage?" to remind my family to be aware of him.

Unless I can find a net, long dowel rod, and a way of covering the sliding glass door and "peekaboo" window near my door, I think I'll just wait until I move out to let him grow out his feathers.

Thanks everyone.
 

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You can't really just temporarily clip. It could take up to two years for those feathers to grow back. In a year, he'd likely only get to a halfway state before "clip time" rolled around again.

My guys are flighted, giving them their own space (our bedroom for now) behind a closed door made life 100x easier. Their cage is open from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. If I need to go out, or have the bedroom door open for whatever reason, I can easily bribe them to come down and go in the cage with some millet ;)
 
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