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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Just had a question about clipping your birds wings. (Not sure if this is really a health question but wasn't sure where to put it). when we got Roxy her wings were clipped and the pet shop owner said to bring her in every 4 -5 months for clipping. when she is out of the cage she does fly about 3 ft (I think maybe all the flight feathers were not clipped??) But doesn't land well.

Should a bird's wings be clipped?? If they aren't how far can a parolette fly? (I know with our budgies they didn't fly very far or long).

Also just as an update Roxy is settling in much nicer. Still nervous but we stopped trying to get her out of her cage. Just this morning she took a treat from my daughter's hand. We put our hands up to the cage and just rest it there so she knows we are not going to hurt her. She is not moving away from us now. Eventually I hope she'll trust us and come out to see us. She eats very well - loves celery!! She looks good and sings quite a bit.

I think we should have researched before be bought so we were more prepared. But we are coming along!!

Denise
 

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There are many strong opinions on this subject. I'll just tell you what we did. Bitsy's wings were clipped - he could still fly a little. We decided to let him be flighted - after double and triple checking the house for dangers (boiling water on the stove, open toilets, open doors, ceiling fans, and many more). Bitsy absolutlely loves to fly, and he gives us a lot of joy as we watch him. In our experience, he flew into a few walls and even a window while he was learning to fly. That was scary. I'm glad we made the decision we did.
 

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Kiwi's wings were clipped when we got her from the breeder. She could still fly about 10-15 feet but only got about 4 foot in height. she then got her flight feathers and I thought she maneuvered quite well. However, I had read somewhere that Parrotlets should be clipped to avoid harm. I wish I would have joined the forum before I made the decision to have her wings clipped just enought to keep the height down since I was afraid she would injure herself. I also have 3 budgies who have full flight. When Kiwi had her flight feathers she would chase the budgies (and she was much faster)!

So -- she is growing her flight feathers back in and they will no longer be clipped. In researching it further...first of all it is important that they fly for mental and physical needs..it's their natural instinct to fly and I feel bad that I have taken that away from Kiwi to an extent. She flies about 20 feets and gets about 5 feet in height. But it is important for you to determine if your little one can fly freely and that everyone in the house is diligent about open doors, windows and all the items that Musicjan lists above. Hope this helps. I look forward to once again seeing Kiwi buzzing through the house again (the parakeets won't be looking forward to it). Hope this helps.
 

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IMO its best to let them fly - they are small birds with lots of energy and flying is a great way for them to burn some of this off - I vote unclipped also :) . Yes, there are some risks but I believe the benefits for the bird outweigh the risks.

I set a time of day mine are out and try to stick to it as much as I can - this way I get into the habit of setting up for them to be out - no cooking at that time, fans off, doors closed, window blinds down etc - of course as careful as I think I am being mistakes do happen - I had both my birds out flying recently and I noticed I forgot to turn one of the ceiling fans off - they flew directly beneath it - I probably won't forget that again because of the panic I felt - plus I stopped it with my hand and it kinda' hurt :eek: - luckily it was just my hand and not one of my birds. :(

Here is a quote I pulled from the internet ( Fosterparrots.com)

As animals whose metabolism, respiratory, cardiovascular and muscular structures were engineered to fly, the inability to do so has a devastating effect on the health of most birds over the course of their long lives.
 

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I agree with that quote. Seems like common sense to me. A bird needs to fly mentally and physically.:)

If a home for some reason cannot be safe, clipping may have to be done since safety is important. We have to make the home safe and then let them fly. Chipper is quite a flier and I see her joy. Great exercise and fun. Keeps the muscles strong too.

There are risks with clipping a bird badly too. They cannot land safely, since Parrotlets usually fly even clipped. Landing safely is important, having destinations like playgyms, cages etc. is important too. Safe places to land and the bird is taught where to land so there is no banging into walls, etc.
 

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To answer the first question: How far can a parrotlet fly with a full set of feathers - far and fast! Assuming the bird is in good physical shape it should be able to fly for miles.

To answer the question on whether you should clip: In my opinion, this depends on many things:
1. what are the chances that your bird will escape if it can fly; if they are high, then do a mild clip to impede flight but not eliminate it.

2. A flighted bird is more confident (remember, flight is a safety mechanism for birds) but may also be more independent and agressive.

3. If your bird is tame and considers you as part of its family or flock, then letting it fly is a wonderful experience for both you and the bird.

My birds are ot clipped (well the boy kind of clipped his own wings; but that's another story...:rolleyes: ).

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Luckily when they are re-growing their flight feathers they don't all grow in at once and I'm sure it also helps that their flight muscles aren't strong - so they don't have their full flying power.

While my females were growing in she was a TERRIBLE flyer and would just take off, she would fly along the ceiling, hit and slide down the wall :eek: - I'm so glad she couldn't fly full force or she probably would have broken her neck. She learned very quickly how to maneuver - she's a very talented flyer now. I'm pretty sure she was not allowed to fledge so this was her first time flying.

When my males re-grew he didn't have any of the issues she did - he took to flying right away so I believe he must have fledged before his first clip. He always picked a spot out first and flew to it.

They are fun to watch :)

Check with your breeder to see if yours was allowed to fledge - if so she will have an easier time of it.
 

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Finn is 'semi clipped' now. He was allowed to fledge and learned to fly well before he was trimmed, and I only went through with it because I was moving and I'd rather him be safe. The last thing I needed to worry about was possibly losing him as he was transferred around a lot during the first month or so. Even though his very outer flights are gone, he can still get a good amount of lift, and has surprising maneuveribility. He'll jump off of his cage to fly to me and almost pause midair to make last minute decisions. He will be fully flighted when they come back in, though, for the same reasons everyone else has stated. c:
 

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What if YOU could fly and never got a chance to. Stupid humans have walk and pound the ground with our big old feet. THEY can FLY. THEY CAN FLY
 

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Memmey,

Please don't climb on the roof and start flapping your arms real hard...:D



My wife pointed out that one of the reasons we have birds as pets is because birds have the ability to fly. So why would we want to take this ability away from them? This is actually why many people on this site are proponents of BIG cages, if the cage is big enough, the birds can actually fly inside the cage!

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Memmey, don't jump off anything with an umbrella either. hehe. I tried that as a child. Didn't jump off anything too high thank goodness. Kids LOVE to see if they can fly, it is so funny.

The thing that must be remembered is to make sure they are in the cage if a door is opened or fan is on etc. We always have to be so careful about that. It is worth it to see Chipper flying.

This is a good article. http://theparrotuniversity.com/flight.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can see the arguement for not clipping

Thanks all for the input. I understand the reasoning behind letting a bird fly - as they should. If I leave the wings and don't clip them again, will they grow in as they should?? Also when letting Roxy out to fly do I just let her go even if she is bumping into things and explore the room without running over and picking her up?? I know these may sound like silly questions but this is the first bird we have had.

Thanks all
Denise
 

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Hi Denise -- the flight feathers will eventually grow back in as they should. When you say that Roxy is bumping into things...is she flying into walls? I can't recall right away about her age...I know I would take Kiwi into our living room which had the most space to give her a chance to fly and hopefully stay somewhat straight and then land on the carpeting. It takes a young one a little time to be able to manuever around and as long as she is not flying into walls which is when I get concerned about major injuries. Hopefully other members will provide feedback. I'm allowing Kiwi's flight feathers to grow back but even without them, she can fly about 25 feet.

Another thing we did with Kiwi when she was learning to manuever...one of us would have her and then the other would be about 10-15 feet away and we would have her fly to us. She enjoyed doing that and eventually was off and exploring with us nearby since they can get into so much!

Hope that helps.
 

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To clip or not to clip

We tried to not have our Buddy's wings clipped. We found that he is VERY aggressive when he has full flight feathers. We do not do a full clip like they did at the store we bought him from. Even with a mini-clip he is a very proficient flyer-being able to fly at least 5 feet.
With full flight feathers he flies circles around the upstairs from our living room to our Dining room.

Again, like everyone has warned ANYTIME you are boiling water in the kitchen or using the stove. MAKE SURE your bird is secured in the cage with the door shut. You know how they can sneak out. Luckily, Buddy survived a boiling water incident and it was the most terrifying experience of my life. I do not wish that on anyone.

Here's a picture of him just after his accident. His right eye never re-grew eyelashes and has a tiny scar on the lid. His little nose hairs never grew back either. We are very lucky that he lived and made such a good recovery.

 

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Poor little Buddy. Thanks for the post. Every once in a while we will get a scarey post here one where you want to start screaming at the owner for being irresponsible.
Accidents happen to owners who ARE careful too. I can't imagine the horror of seeing your little bird fall in boiling water. This post is hard to read but some people need to read this a take heed. Bad things happen all the time when your careful and when you are not the odds go way way up that one day something tragic will happen. I just wonder how many are lost by neglect or ignorance that we never hear about here.
Little Buddy is a survivor story...God bless him.
 

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buddy's mom -- my heart broke as I saw the photo and thank you for telling your story. sharing this information is something we all have to take very seriously and not let our guard down no matter what. A split second is all it takes for these little birds to get into trouble. They are so quick and so curious. I'm very happy that Buddy survived and healed. the pictures you attached are sweet.
 

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What's all this talk of clipping wings off? You people are cruel. Let's just clip their toes and beaks off too...Oh you you guys are talking about feathers (sorry if i'm getting annoying with my sense of humor). In all seriousness, the breeder recomended that I intially, keep the wings clip, until get the bird tamed, and get the hang of things (safety reasons), and then let the flight feathers grow out. Lots of danger zones in my house (ceiling fans ,overhead spot lights,). We have a very large master bathroom (looks like the safest area in my house ) that they could fly in. I like seeing the birds fly about, but I'm new to birds and so I don't quiet how to handle them yet soo, I 'm thinking clipping maybe an option I need to explore for my first parrotlet. Any advise?
 
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