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I have a cockatiel names Kimchee. Currently her wings are not clipped, but I’ve been thinking about clipping them. The only time she flies is when she gets scared. She’s so bad at flying that she crashes every time. I’m worried she might get hurt from that. But is it cruel to clip wings? I’ve tried flight training but she still isn’t very good at flying. What should I do?
 

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Hi there, I think wing clipping is a personal decision and no one can say it’s right or wrong without giving you the pros and cons to both options.
I see the decision to not clip as an emotional one and the decision to clip as a logical one.
You need to keep in mind that pet birds are not the same as wild birds - mostly in the sense that if they escape through a window or door they do not have any instincts to survive in the wild and if they aren’t found it’s very unlikely that they survive.
I clip my birds wings because I want to keep him safe, birds can startle very easily and if they fright and fly through and open door or window it’s bye bye birdie.
Clipping they’re wings does not hurt them, it’s the same as us cutting our hair. Clipping their wings does not inhibit their movement if you give them they’re out of cage and floor time which they need. Clipping they’re wings does not make them less of a bird especially hand raised birds who are imprinted with humans (they think we’re the same species).

If your bird is young I’d wait until it learns to fly AND land properly before clipping the wings, remember that young birds are clumsy while learning but I would never say clipping a birds wings is cruel, it is a safety precaution, much like seat belts and vaccinating your dog or cat and giving them a collar and chip.

#PersonalOpinion #YourChoice #Research #LogicVsEmotion
 

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I think it’s a bird decision. I had one parakeet that was mean. I kept his fully clipped to make it easier to handle him. Another Parakeet was hand-fed, breed in captivity. I clipped her first three feathers so that she could fly but wouldn’t get far.
My current cockatiel is full feathered. She is a rescue bird that was released into the wild by irresponsible owners. She had to fend for herself and obviously did ok with it since she lived free until she flew into a friend’s garage one day and was capture. She is an excellent flyer and will fly from her cage and land on my shoulder if she wants company. The only time I have cut her wings is when we were moving and I didn’t want her to get lost.
For your bird, I would definitely cut the first couple feathers.
 

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I am against clipping. It really doesn't protect the bird- most birds can still fly very well with a clip. My GCC included.
There really aren't any pros. It is mostly false security. They say it keeps them safer, but I think you should make their habitat safer instead :)

Cons of clipping:
-Your bird won't receive much excessive and may become overweight.
- Your bird may become overly dependent of you
-you are taking away an instinctual ability of theirs. They are built for flight.


I will say some things about leaving your bird flighted also. It provides your bird with wonderful excersize, and mentally challenges them also. Your bird can get around whenever they need to, rather than relying on you. There are so many things I could add to this..

I would recommend leaving your birds flighted








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I never clipped wings until I got Percy - he flies wildly when startled and crashes badly into walls. After a couple of these incidents I realized the wings needed clipping or he was bound to get badly hurt. Even with all the primaries trimmed now he can go pretty far but doesn't crash like he used to. I only bring him into carpeted rooms so when he comes down it's not on a hard surface. So I would say it depends on the bird when it comes to the clip issue - sounds like Kimchee is one who needs it before she breaks her neck or something else. Just be mindful of it being harder for the bird to land safely and it won't prevent her from flying away if a door is opened so continue to be careful with doors/windows kept closed. This is always a controversial topic - you can read up on it in the archives.
 

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There are avian vets on both sides of the issue. I prefer flighted partially because they get more exercise.

If you do decide to clip her wings, I would start with only a partial clip for balance reasons. Cockatiels sometimes end up doing this terrible "drop like a rock" thing if they are clipped too short. If you have never done it, have your vet show you how. You'll want to be able to do it yourself in any case; it's easy, I promise, and it's easy to find a guide online for a refresher. You do have to have the same vigilance that you would for a fully flighted bird because you really cannot assume that they cannot fly. One or two feathers growing in can make all of the difference. In addition, you also have to be extremely careful about doors, stepping on them, and anything hazardous that they could land on. They should still be able to sort of glide down to the floor, but they may not have a lot of control about where they land.
 
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