Ask Lafeber

Question:

January 19, 2021

Clipping wings


Are your birds wings clipped? Do you advise doing so?


Answer:

Hi Laurene,

Dr. Lamb’s birds do have clipped wings. She discussed this in a past webinar – I believe it was the Safety First webinar. Clipping wings can be a controversial topic. Dr. Lamb advises the same as we do. It is a decision that needs to be made on a case by case basis, depending on the bird and the household. Some birds are better pets when they have clipped wings. Some households are very busy, with kids going in and out, and having a flighted bird is risky since it could fly out an open door. We all make mistakes and unless your birds are kept in a room where there is no outside access, there is always the risk of escape if someone forgets and opens a door when the bird is out. Some birds don’t fly well, no matter how well you exercise them or try to train them, and flying is a risk of injury. What it comes down to is that we have pet birds in order to interact and provide enrichment for the bird. If clipping wings makes that possible, then you weigh the benefit with the risks. If being flighted makes a bird wild where he can’t be handled, then sitting in a cage all the time, fully flighted but alone, is hardly better for the bird. If your bird does well when flighted, and you can keep him safe from escaping, then don’t clip his wings.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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