Ask Lafeber


December 14, 2020

Conure nail/beak trim

my gc conure had a nail and beak trim a couple days ago, and has been since been reluctant to fly, she’s in free flight and usually flying all around, the wings were not trimmed. she almost seems afraid to fly, very little flying, she did stumble a few times also.


Hi Cindy,

Trimming the nails can definitely change your bird’s sense of balance and can take a few days for her to adjust. A beak trim can also have this effect. Because of the cost, and particularly if this was done by a Vet, they may trim the nails a bit on the short side as clients can be unhappy if they feel like they have to bring the bird back too soon for the next trim. Cutting the nails shorter can also train the vein to draw back. Hopefully she has made her adjustments and is back to flying again. If this goes on, but she is eating well and otherwise acting normally, I would just give her a bit more time. Then next time discuss this with the Vet or groomer before the trim so that they are aware of her reaction and your concerns. I do find that nails tend to get too sharp before they get too long. I groomed birds professionally for over 20 years in a store as well as an in-home grooming service. There are grooming perches that can help. You would want the solid concrete type and nothing with loose abrasives such as sandpaper type perches or covers. Loose abrasives can be ingested and cause digestive issues or become embedded in the foot, causing foot problems. You would buy a larger size than her regular perches and place it where she uses it to get to another perch, but not where she would use it as her main perch or sleeping perch – so not the highest perch. I have found these are most beneficial for keeping the nails under control between nail trims and they can reduce how often the nails need trimming.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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