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Wing Clipping Parrots

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Clipping a birds’ wings has always been the subject of much debate. Here, Sophie Piper, experienced bird keeper/trainer, shares a variety of opinions on this controversial topic

The most common form of de-flighting in captive birds kept as pets is ‘wing-clipping’ which is a relatively simple technique that typically involves the non-surgical cutting of the primary (flight) feathers. This de-flighting procedure is temporary as birds regain their flying ability following the natural moult and re-growth of feathers within a year to 18 months (Graham, 1998).

A review of the available literature provides a wealth of examples of authors promoting wing-clipping in pet parrots. For example, Hartman (2007) emphasises clipping wings will make a parrot easier to handle. Furthermore to this, wing-clipping needs to be done in order to facilitate successful training and will help the bonding process with a new owner, otherwise the bird will simply fly away. (Molenda, 2009) and Leach (2015) states that clipping the wings of a young bird will help to maintain control for training.

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