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need encouragement regarding not clipping wings


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Echo's trimmed flight feathers have officially grown out and she is fully flighted! (well, mostly, we're still waiting on one more feather on each wing). This is a decision I have agonized over for a year. I've researched the pros and cons to death, and simply can't bring myself to trim her wings. However, it seems like everywhere I turn, I'm hearing about some bird getting lost. Everything I pick up to read, websites, even a friend sent me a picture message asking for help for a parrot they found on the ground at work. (The frantic owner posted fliers everywhere, and the bird was returned within hours) Needless to say, all of this is stressing me out. I couldn't bare to lose either of my birds. Echo's also due for her yearly check up at the end of October, and I dread having to battle this issue with the vet. So, I need words of encouragement that I'm doing the right thing! Also, it would be great to get some helpful hints on keeping my fully flighted bird safe in the house. So far, all ceiling fans have been made inoperable, and when the birds are out, there are two secure doors between them and the outside. Anything else I should be doing?

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i dont even have my grey yet (later today i will) but i dont agree with getting their wings clipped.

my opinion is it would be like me taking you to the doctor to have your feet removed

it stops you from being able to do something you would naturally be able to do.

my house has already had extra measures put in to make sure no one can just open a door or a windlw without taking atleast one extra step so they think about if the bird is out and about or not.

why you would consider having the wings clipped because of paranoia of losing your pet.

think of the animal its supposed to be. a bird, birds should have the ability to fly unless ya bought a penguin in a grey suit.

just my opinion and i know there are many more out here so dont take any of what i say as law =o)

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Whatever decision you make regarding your baby's wings is YOUR decision. Do not let anyone else try to pursuade you otherwise, and do not feel you have to explain your decision. If your vet argues with you, explain that you have made your decision, and if he pushes you to choose another option, that you will find another vet.


We personally clip our birds wings because that option is best for us. However, bird owners can only make the decision that's right for their flock, and I think it's GREAT you are so set on keeping your bird's wings fully flighted :) If you really believe that having your baby fully flighted is what is best for your bird, then that's what is best for your bird!!!

Hope the vet doesn't give you any grief! :)

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The thought of watching a bird fly away is always in all our minds. With all but one set of primaries in, your grey as already flying about and "Getting his Wings" as those skills grow stronger each day. You have done everything right from the description of precautions.


Just always remember, the chance of a clipped bird flying off is just as probable as a flighted bird. The advantage you have of retrieving a flighted bird is greater than that of a clipped one. A clipped bird cannot fly down and will not, I know from experience, as I sat and watched a clipped bird fly off! It took a few days and grueling working to get the bird out of a 75 foot tree. I was more worried about him being on the ground or low in a tree and the neighbor hood cats making a snack out of him, due to not having any true flight capabilities in evasion of a fast creature such as a cat.


So just keep doing what your doing, enjoy watching your flighted birds blossom and become more healthful from the benefits of the aerobic workouts they get from flying that they will never get just walking around your home. :)

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Neo came to me with a clip of just the ends of the flight feathers. He could still fly down. At the first vet visit the doctor said something about clipping and I told her that I did not plan to keep him clipped. That seemed to be the answer that she was hoping for as she told me that with a grey, you have to be very careful with clipping. She said that greys have heavy bodies and they can split (I forget the term she used but it is on the front of the bird).

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She said that greys have heavy bodies and they can split (I forget the term she used but it is on the front of the bird).


They can split their keel, thats that bone that is the center most of their chest and sticks out somewhat, greys are heavy bodied birds and if they drop like a rock they can split that keel bone, not something you want to happen.

Buffy I am glad to hear you want to leave Echo flighted and it is your decision to make and no one should tell you different, not even your vet for some do think that birds should be clipped, that is hogwash but you can keep a bird flighted and remain safe in your home if you take the precautions to make it so.

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six of our seven are fully flighted. The only one that isn't is a result of a broken wing. We've not regretted it, and seeing them flit through the house freely is very satisfying (minus the poop clean up!). We have a 2-door policy when the fids are out, though: no one leaves the house except via the garage, and that can be a 3 door policy if things get wild.


We take no chances. We're in hawk/falcon/eagle/owl country. Too many raptors to risk anything.


Having said that, I realize not everyone has the luxury of a 2-door barricade, so just be careful, disciplined, and your fid will be fine.

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I have been where you have been and would love to offer my thoughts. As bird owners we always wrestle with the thought of how to best give our birds a life in captivity. The more you love your bird..the harder this is. You definitely have the love to be here asking this question. All I can say is..make it work for flight. It is a super beautiful thing. This is from a member who lost his bird due to a very stupid mistake but ended up getting my baby back. I am not telling you that because I want you to think its easy having a flighted bird and recovery is easy should they get lost. I am just saying..that I still left my baby flighted even after that...and that you can always find a way to keep em safe. Issac is a shoulder bird..and he flys there all the time to be right next to me...I can't imagine it any other way. Birds Fly. ;)

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Birds fly. Allow them to fly.



Here is Janis flying while Riko is on my shoulder. Janis is located above the soccer goal and above the trees, in the far right of the photo.




Janis, again. At the time (May 2010), Riko's wing weren't fully grown. Now, both Janis and Riko are good flyers





I trained them the whole summer on a soccer field, two or three times a weeks.




Be safe not to lose them but let them fly. You will notice quickly that they become different birds: more confident in themselves, happier, stronger, healthier, a bit heavier, better to anticipate. I read somewhere that flight develop their anticipation capabilities for direction findings, landing, possible threat, etc. In a way, they have to plan (or to think about) their flight and these abilities can be used later inside the house or just when taking a walk with them. I realized myself that it happenned to be true.


And the most important thing is, have fun with them. They will be happy and proud to fly.

Edited by Loupin
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ive been in your situation, but you have to be careful with vets, i took our cockatiel a month ago to get his wings clipped, we went to the vets and he said now they only clip the one wing, not both of them, and when he lands, he will land in like a spiral i thought it was strange cause ive always known it to be the 2 wings that get clipped, but obviously you suppose to trust a vet and i thought he did the right thing, i had loads of doubts in my mind about it though when we got home, and we looked it up on forums,websites,videos on youtube. and they all came up with the same answer its Dangerous to only clip the one wing, cause obviously when there flying all the pressure is on the one wing, and when they land in like a spiral shape, they could be at risk of braking a bone. it annoyed me cause i payed £15 and i know for a fact if i went back he would want another £15 for the other wing to be done, plus i didnt really trust him and didnt wanna go back.

so me and my BF did our research on the net looked at videos and we decided to do his other wing ourself, we found it difficult at first cause we havent had him long plus he isnt tamed, but we did it and made sure both wings were clipped the same on each wing, and when he needs it doing again, were either doing it ourselfes or just leaving him im not saying to do the wing clipping yourself we wouldnt dare do our african grey's wings lol

my dad whos bred Zebra Finches and other birds, hes never owned a parrot though, hes one of them people who dont believe in wing clipping and dont think it should be done.

Our budgie Lenny we have decided to leave unclipped and also Georgia our Grey


its completely your choice what you decide :D

if you leave her unclipped just make sure obviously she cant get out any doors or windows,

Georgia seems fine, her favourite place to go is on her curtain pole, and like to fly and explore the kitchen and go onto our cupboard lol

it does seem a hard decision wherever you want them clipped or unclipped, it took me a while to thing about our cockatiel and i learnt the hard way about the vet doing the wrong thing

but its completely your decision, what you want to do with Echo :D

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Thanks everyone. The last month of having a flighted bird have been quite an experience. She was only flying when spooked and it has just been in the last few days that she has decided to take 'fun' laps around the room. It truly is a beauty to watch (minus the crash landings which she is working on). When she lands, she expects me to come and retrieve her. I have very high ceilings, and yesterday she decided to land on the curtain rod where I couldn't possibly reach her. She got so angry with me that I didn't come get her! It was quite comical, me trying to convince her to come down, and she trying to convince me to come up! We got a few kinks to work out, but we're getting there. I can't wait to see what its going to be like when my other grey molts and both are flying!

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