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Should I Get My Birds Wings Clipped? Pros and Cons of Wing Clipping

Should I Get My Birds Wings Clipped? Pros and Cons of Wing Clipping

Wing clipping is a complex topic that is often asked of exotic veterinarians. Generally, it is not a long term treatment as flight training should be considered. It can be a controversial topic, and ultimately the decision falls with each individual bird owner. There are advantages and disadvantages to wing clipping, and it is something you should carefully think about and research on before making any commitment.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, small and exotic pet vet, posing with a bunny patient

Dr. Bobby Ortiz, M.V.B.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, aka 'Dogtor Bob', is a small animal and exotic veterinarian based in Dublin. He has a strong interest in Small Mammal (rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets) and Reptile medicine and surgery.

He grew up in a family of avid animal lovers, which led him to work as an Aquarist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific in California. It was there he decided he wanted to become a vet, and specialise in exotic animals, that needed the same care and medical attention that dogs and cats are given.

He lives with his wife and Brittany Spaniel Bodhi, and has dreams to build a new tropical marine fish tank in the near future!

Advantages of Wing Clipping

1.Keeping Your Bird Safe

One of the main reasons bird owners will clip their bird’s wings is to ensure they are kept safe. Birds are curious creatures, which can often land them in hot water. If left to fly around and explore, they could find themselves trapped or in danger before you are able to rescue them. By having their wings clipped, this gives you some level of control over their safety.

2. Can’t Escape

Obviously, you don’t want your pet bird to fly away. By clipping their wings, they cannot accidentally fly out the open door or window. The outside world can be dangerous for a domesticated bird, so this will help reinforce his safety.

3. Easier to Train

It is harder to train a bird if they are flying uncontrollably around your room. Having their wings clipped can be useful when teaching them to come out of their cage or step up onto your hand.

cockatiel resting on owners fingers looking into background

Disadvantages of Wing Clipping

1.Prone to Obesity

Your bird’s exercise is limited when his flight is restricted, which can increase chances of obesity developing. You will have to substitute this with lots of interesting and simulating toys for him to play with to ensure he is still getting adequate exercise.

2. Self-Harm & Plucking

A bird whose wings are clipped has little control over his life or activities, which can lead to stress and psychological issues. Some birds may engage in self harm like excessive plucking.

3. Is it the Right Choice For Your Home?

If you also own animals like cats or dogs, they may see the bird as prey. If your bird’s wings are clipped, they will not be able to use their natural defence mechanism of flying away to escape danger.

It is Your Decision

At the end of the day, the choice to clip your bird’s wings will ultimately fall to you. I highly recommend consulting with your avian veterinarian, and of course, don’t ever attempt to clip the wings yourself. With careful thought and consideration, you are sure to reach a conclusion that will benefit the needs of both you and your feathered friend.

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