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Readers Respond: Do You Clip Your Bird's Wings?

Responses: 97


Wing clipping could be labeled one of the most controversial subjects in aviculture. There are many reasons why some bird owners choose to clip their bird's wings, and just as many reasons why some bird owners do not.

While wing clipping is generally recommended for most captive birds, the decision to trim a bird is one best left to the individual owner. What did you decide for your bird? Respond below to let other bird owners know whether or not you clip your bird's wings and why!

Why I clip

My very first parakeet flew away one day when the door was opened. And that taught me a very valuable lesson. Clip the flight feathers or lose your bird! Now I have an expensive Grey. Sorry I am not taking any chances! Keep those wings clipped, and even if they are clipped, don't be an idiot and walk outdoors with your pet bird, unless of course he is in a little cage of some sort. Birds with clipped wings have lived long and healthy lives. Ask those who have had them and they'll tell you the peace of mind they have had just having a bird that cannot take off! And while you're at it also read the testimonies of those who lost a very valuable bird all because they did not do some simple wing clipping. Clip those wings and live a peaceful life with your pet bird!
—Guest Spooky Jinx

Are they depressed?

My grandma clipped my parakeet's wings and now they stay in one spot of the cage and are very quiet,what is wrong with them?Are they depressed?I don't think Iever want to clip their wings again,i'm sad.
—Guest bear

At a certain point, yes

I have had a sulphur crested cockatoo for quite a while, and when I first got him, I had his wings clipped. I did this so I would be able to interact with him in a more intimate manner and he would not suddenly fly away if I approached him. I spent so much time with him that he grew very attached quite quickly. After that, I've never clipped his wings, since all I have to do is call his name and he'll come over to me. So in the beginning, when I began to tame him, his wings were clipped. Afterwards, I left them alone, and we're as close as ever!
—Guest Ish

Wing clipping

We have 4 house birds and a galah who roams around the house and back yard when we are home. The 3 yr old Lorikeet we have had since a chick is clipped because she wanders around the yard and gardens with us. Buy the Galah is clipped e ause she comes for walks and drives nd has the freedom f the yard when we are home. One Lorikeet inside was injured, is taming but cannot fly. All our other inside birds and two aviary cockatiels fly around freely. It means Lots of cleaning but they are all extremely happy birds. Each bird is an individual and all bird keepers are different. Also different households have different opportunities and needs. We have an extremely safe backyard and no other pets. We do bird rescue and have another fourteen rainbow lorikeets who we have released. They still come home for breakfast and supper.
—Guest Ros63

Depends on the Bird

I have a ringneck. He's, uh, not clipped. If he was the only thing he'd be able to do is sit around. Unclipped he can at least fly from perch to perch to my shoulder. He doesn't really do much else though. If you're birds a weak flyer like my dove, maybe keep him unclipped so he can get some exercise.
—Guest Kernel


It's just wrong to clip a bird's wings. It's like cutting off a human's arms! I would never make my birds go through a "wing-cipping". I actually let them outside of their cage everyday to fly around the house and they go back in the cage by themselves when they want to.
—Guest Sarah

just until he's tame...

hey i just recently clipped my lovebird's wings for the first time, under the instruction of a knowledgable person, who frequently clips her birds wings. im thinking that im only going to clip his wings until he is fully tamed/trained, as he is kind of crazy and not fully trusting of people yet. then, i may or may not clip his wings after he is tame.
—Guest lovebirdguest

Dont clip

I personally don't clip my parakeets wings because I let them fly around my room whenever they want and their "cage" is a nice big table with food water and perches, and when they fly around their only way to get back up is to fly up. Flying isn't hazardous because the windows are always closed and they never crash into walls or cielings. They tend to fly into mirrors occasionally but that doesn't make me clip there wings
—Guest KLM

Mabey or Mabey Not

I'm not 100 pecent sure that clipping a birds wings is a good idea, I own other pets that may try to hurt my sun conure. But I would not want him to posibley "fly away." Yet there are lots of tricks that involve flying. I know that it does not hurt your pet but I still think its crule, it like taking away your legs so you can't walk.
—Guest Conure

your own opinion.

Me and my bird Marley have a very good relationship. She is with me a minimum of four hours a day. Sometimes I clip her sometimes I don't. You see . I ride around on my bicycle with Marley on my head. I live in St Andrews (Panama city Florida) .Marley is a six year old. Blue front Amazon. She loves her Bike rides. I tend to give Marley all the freedom that I can aford her.(I don't want to loose her) at the same time give her, her freedom. When she does fly. It's not far and she always squaks.(let's me know where she is at) all my neighbors know her and help look after her. Normally she stays in her own yard (depends on what's cooking).I always have her with me.She is very social and I can put her on almost anyone. She likes to have her picture taken. (she's a Ham) I take her to all the events around town such as Friday fest,October.fest,matigraas.The more attention she gets the happier she is.She hates her cage to be closed. And believe me she knows who daddy is.I'm one lucky fellow.
—Guest Noah

yes... clip them

my cockatoo bird flew away and she hit the fan..... :'( .... so i clipped my lovebirds as soon as i got them.... and after one month, i just had to call their names.... they come back.... and never runs on a fan! :D
—Guest maain

yes and no

I have a green cheek and we clipped his wings as a baby untilled he learned some basic traing but now we leave them unclipped and he flys around the house and if you are worried about him flying out the windows THEN KEEP THEM SHUT !!
—Guest ashleysmith

When It Comes To Clipping

Well met. When it comes to clipping a birds' wings, I tend to look at it from a different point of view. A bird with its wings clipped gets into less trouble and there's minimal risk of your friend escaping. With that being said, clipping is not cruel, but nearly all birds have the instinct of flight. Why take that away from them? If you tend to be an indoors type of person, like myself, then why not let your pet roam free? As long as your bird is put away when you have visitors, and you leave the windows closed, there should be no problem. If the doorbell rings, locate your bird /before/ you answer it. Its as simple as that. Good parents always keep an eye on their child. If your bird is not tame, I would recommend clipping its wings until you have proper control. Otherwise you might have a problem when its time for lights out. :)
—Guest Amber

NO flight, NO fun

I have two beautiful cinnamon headed cockatiels, I have never clipped my birds wings and got them when they were just babies. I would never clip their wings because it would be like taking away our legs. I use to bring one of my birds outside on my shoulder and it would just sit there tamely, however once it tried to "explore" and flew into one of our ginormous oaks, we used the pool cleaner to get it down, another time my other bird flew into our pool when we first got it but i jumped in and saved it. I reccomend letting your birds fly, unclipped, but only under supervision. Also if you let your bird fly around during the time you are at school/work, then make sure the room(s) are safe and have no sharp, hot, or dangerous items. Never leave a door open, or a window.
—Guest kitty

Clipping wings.

Hawkie3 I really don't think that spelling has anything to do with birds. There are great old trainer that unfortunately had no education and don't know even how to read and they are great trainers so... I have 2 babies (2 months old) green cheek conure and I'm really think about clipping their wings. They will bit my ear until it bleeds and eat my fingers. It's really painful, sometimes I need to scream at them because it's too painful and I can't take it. They are too confident and if I clip their wings can be that they learn those behaviour problems...
—Guest ViciousR
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