Bird Care – How to Clip Wings

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 43,021
    Susan Vandenbroek from FeatherHeads in Sterling Virginia demonstrates how to clip a birds wings.

    Susan: Hi, this is Susan and Rob, back from Featherheads. Before we get started in showing some actual wing clipping, just want to show you some of the growth of feathers. This is not a sick bird. This is actually a very young, African Grey. Hes about six weeks of age now. One thing you never ever want to clip or touch are new feathers that are growing in. These are the coverts up here. These are his primary flight feathers. No feather that is still growing should ever be clipped. They have blood in it, the bird may bleed, you may have a very serious problem. So, you never want to clip anything with the plasticy sheet still on it. Now, let's take a look at an actual bird that we are going to clip. This is also a very young bird. This probably will not work for you at home, but again, I want to show you the wings and how it works. This baby has actually had a, what I call a baby clip, where I just take part of the primary flight feathers off. She now has been flying; we are going to do the rest of the clip. I am only going to take five, five should be enough right now for this Cockatoo. Again, around the side of caution, if we need more, we can always do more. You want to cut right under the upper coverts. So, you are going to take you are going to take your scissors, and again, your bird will probably not allow you to do this, but you want to cut right under those, right straight across. Always symmetrical, same thing on this side, right underneath coverts, right along here, okay. We are showing you a very easy baby bird. We are going to show how its probably going to work in real life. We probably have to tell a bird when you do it. This is not something that you may want to do. We want to show you how you do, do it, but for many of you, you will want to either employ a professional, or your veterinarian to do the actual clipping. We are back here with a bird that we are going to clip her wings. You saw Katy perhaps earlier in one of the pictures. This is more realistically what it's going to be like. First of all you need to put your bird in a towel. This is a two person job, unless you have a very small bird. Birds do have a solid neck ring. You are not going to strangle your bird. You want to put the towel over the face also your fingers go all the way around and close around the towel. Rob do you want to take her? Alright. Once you've got her under control in your towel, you are going to take the first wing out of the towel. You just need to pull it up here. Again, you are watching your coverts; you are going to cut right underneath them. We are going to do five for Katy, which should be enough. We do the other side now. Once you've gotten that side down, we bring out the other side. If you noticed, we used a towel thats big enough to completely control Katy, but doesnt leave us with a lot of extra towel lying around. The smaller the bird, you may want to go do a wash cloth if you've got a very small bird. Conversely, if you are trying to do a Macaw, you are going to need a bath towel.

    Again, you may want to consider having a professional or your veterinarian do this job. The other problem you may run in to is you also dont want to break the bond of trust you have with your parrot. So, you may be better off not trying this at home.

    We've been talking to you about how to care for your parrots, that was just wing clipping that we've covered. Next thing we are going to talk to you about is How to know when you need a vet.