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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I know the whole "clipped vs flighted" thing is highly controversial. I've read a lot on the pros and cons to both in the last year of research but I just can't bring myself to accept that clipped is the way to go. So here's my question.

I'm a new bird owner, and I know it's going to be difficult. I don't mind a little hard work. But I have two possibilities right now. First, I have a breeder, who is currently handfeeding his cockatiels right now. I'm goign to meet them soon I hope. Anyways, he's for clipping and he won't NOT clip the birds wings, which I totally understand. It's his belief and there is reason for it. Anyways, I would like to flight train my birds (inside only of course) but I'm not sure how to with a clipped bird. I plan to do some bonding while the wings are clipped, but I'm not sure when I would start teaching her to fly (he only has females right now).

So here's some of the main questions from this. I know a clipped bird can fly, slightly. Do I wait until the weathers are starting to grow early and begin the really simple flights when the wings are still clipped (obviously very carefully since the clipped wings would be a handicap)? Do I just wait until they grow out? And how long would it take for the wings to grow back out? And how should I really go about doing this? Has anyone on here ever done it?

But, I do have another option I've been looking into, and I am leaning towards it, but the girl hasn't gotten back to me recently. So she has a male bird, flighted, but he's shy. It's not that he isn't 'tamed' persay he just needs some work to be more social and trusting, so I'd have to work on bonding a bit more with him.

So question set number two: do I just totally abandon the headache of teaching a clipped bird to fly or stick with enhancing the skills of this male while bonding?
 

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You probably won't have to teach the clipped bird to fly. Flying is instinctive, although steering and landing have to be learned so you'll probably see some avian indecision after your baby gets airborne. Some of the heavy-bodied birds like Amazons will give up trying if they're clipped before fledging, and do have to be taught later on. But slim-bodied birds including cockatiels usually "forget" that they are clipped and keep trying to fly. So most likely all you have to do is wait for your baby to grow in some new flight feathers.

I let my babies fledge but I do like for them to be clipped when they go to a new home unless they are going into an aviary/breeding situation instead of a pet situation. Cockatiels are fast, powerful flyers which is a safety issue in an unfamiliar place. You could ask if your breeder could let your bird fledge and then clip it before you take it home. Some breeders aren't set up for this though, I know people who clip before fledging so the baby will be safe in their own home. Alternatively, you could ask the breeder to only clip lightly so the baby still has some ability to fly but won't be able to achieve as much speed and distance as an unclipped bird. If the breeder won't do either of these things it will be up to you to decide which breeder you want to get a bird from.

Was the unclipped bird handfed? If he was, it should be fairly easy to persuade him to eat treats from your hand and this will help with the bonding process. If you can work with him in a small room with the door closed and windows or large mirrors covered up, he shouldn't be able to build up enough flight speed to hurt himself if he crashes into something.
 

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It's extreamlly important for fledglings to learn to fly.
It's a Phycolodgical thing. Also the birds muscle will decend
To a point they can't gain liftoff. If there always left clipped. It's a birds life. Flight
But it's An opinion matter and everyone feels different. It's a touchy conversation
But I do recommend allowing flight first then clip
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sadly, the wings have already been slightly trimmed. And honestly that's what I figured but I guess they didn't agree. I'm not sure. So my question is to Tielfan, babies learn to fly at about 4 weeks old from what I've read, but if they were never allowed to fly, would that still be instinctual?
And as for the other bird, he is friendly apparently and will step up he's just shy. As the owner said "he's like the kid who wants to fit into the group but is too shy to". I'm trying to set up a time to meet with her and her bird.
But has anyone had this experience?
 

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Even if they never were allowed to fly, they'll still try it. I bought two babies a few months ago and they both still try to fly even though they were clipped when we bought them. The one's tail is a mess but that happens when learning. As for a bird that's shy but steps-up, I have one of those, Bubbles. She's a sweetie, but is wary of people. But she'll step up no problem. Not super cuddly, but that's because she's in love with Fuzzy right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys!
 

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The babies start flapping their wings while they're still in the nest, and it's a popular cockatiel "sport" to flap hard while gripping a perch so that no actual flying takes place. There doesn't seem to be any power on earth that can stop a frightened cockatiel from trying to fly away. So yes, your baby should still try to fly even if it isn't given the chance to fledge at the usual time.

When we bought Vlad he had already been clipped, and quite severely too - when he tried to fly he dropped like a rock. When he started getting new wing feathers it was obvious that he didn't learn to fly as a fledgling - he had absolutely no idea what to do after he took off and would "hover" indecisively until fatigue caused a crash landing. He learned pretty quickly though and is a good flyer now.
 

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I'm in the process of waiting for my clipped tiels feathers to grow in and she's a pretty adept flyer already! She has the occasional crash landing, but that doesn't stop her from trying! Anyone know how long it take flight feathers to grow in fully?
 

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Anyone know how long it take flight feathers to grow in fully?
They should grow in fully during her molt so if she's molting they should come in then.
 
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