I was chatting with a friend the other day about our pet parrots, and the discussion came up about clipping our parrot’s wings.
One of us was pro-clipping, and the other negative.
It led me to think does everyone know about the pros and cons of clipping a parrot’s wings?
If not, do people believe parrots wings don’t grow back.
Let’s look into the facts and discuss, Can the parrot’s wings grow back?
Yes, the parrot’s wings do grow back after clipping. Regrowing feathers is a natural process for our parrots. All birds replace feathers as the old ones fall out; it is just like us humans and hair regrowth. Old scruffy feathers fall away and are replaced with new feathers.
The discussion of feather clipping can leave some of us on opposing sides of the debate. There are pros and cons to clipping our parrot’s wings.
This article will discuss why parrots owners choose to clip their wings, the good and the bad of clipping feathers, and if clipping wings are permanent and much more.
Let’s dive into this topic and work out what is best for you and your parrot.
Why do you clip parrots’ wings?
Wing clipping is a controversial discussion between parrot owners. The main reason to clip wings is to prevent your parrots from accidentally flying away. It debilitates the ability to fly. The clipped feathers are known as the ‘flight feathers.’
A domesticated parrot may find themselves in danger out in the wild, which is a significant concern for parrot owners and why they choose to clip their wings.
How often should you clip a parrot’s wing?
Flight feathers tend to grow every 1-3 months. It is advised to perform a parrot’s flight test regularly, as this is just the rule of thumb. Some parrots will grow their feathers quicker or slower than this suggested range and depend on the bird. You should never assume your bird can not fly, as just a few new flight feathers can give them enough lift to fly.
If you need to perform a flight test for your parrot, it is suggested you use perches for your parrot and move them slightly further apart to encourage them to hop from one to the other. By slowly extending the range, you will see the attempt to fly. As soon as you see them try to flap their wings, it is a giveaway they could take flight.
What are the pros and cons of clipping my parrot’s wings?
The benefit of clipping your parrot’s wings is to ensure their safety.
Trimming their feathers stops them from flying away into dangerous situations and prevents them from harming themselves in your home.
Things like ceiling fans, windows, or hot hobs can be of danger to your pet as they lack understanding of these man-made items.
Parrot owners will choose to clip wings because it makes the parrot more dependent on its owner, establishing a bond between them.
Non-clipped parrots do bond with their owners, so it is down to personal choice.
The negative aspect of clipping feathers is the act of removing your bird’s free will to fly.
It is a natural instinct the want to fly for your parrot. It eliminates the ability of exercise and mental stimulation for a parrot.
Many owners argue the risk of clipping is outweighed by the benefits of your birds’ ability to fly and is removing their freedom.
A supervised bird should eliminate the risks, and clipping may be harmful to your parrot ownership experience.
If you have other pets, such as a cat or a dog, they may see your parrot as prey, and unable to fly it leaves them at greater risk.
Clipped wings can also give you bird other concerns such as mental well-being and physical health; they are at an increased risk of becoming overweight due to lack of exercise.
If in doubt, discuss with your vet what is best for you and your bird.
Personal circumstances and your parrot’s well-being can be different for each situation.
Not every method is right for every parrot species, and a veterinary professional can help you decide what is best.
Is it cruel to clip a parrot’s wings?
If a parrots’ wing is over-clipped, it can cause them to fall and cause other injuries such as breaking fragile bones. Clipping can also cause irritation, leading to a bird plucking its own feathers and creating a parrot’s downward spiral to overpluck and cause more significant irritation.
A parrot’s natural instinct is to fly; they take enjoyment from physical exercise and the mental stimulation it offers.
It is a judgment you must make on your own if it is cruel, as most parrot owners only want the best for their bird. It should be a considered choice made between you and a veterinary professional.
Does clipping a parrot’s wing hurt them?
Physically your parrot won’t be in any pain while having its feathers clipped. It is much like you or I getting a haircut.
The concern of feather clipping is the parrot’s mental well-being. Some birds will allow the clipping process and even willing to take part in the activity. However, many parrots are distressed and scream during having their feathers trimmed. They can find it traumatic, and there is evidence of birds being wrapped in a towel to force the process upon them.
A parrot who has previously been able to fly can sink into a depression. Evidence of depression is a lack of appetite, aggression, feather plucking, and screaming.
Is clipping my parrot’s wings permanent?
The answer is no. it is not always permanent. It does, however, depend on your species of parrot. It is dependant on your bird’s health at the rate feathers grow back, and some parrots such as parakeets don’t grow their feathers continuously.
Why aren’t my parrot’s feathers growing back?
It may be due to a health concern or dietary issue. In this case, veterinary advice is required.
Overplucking from your parrot can cause damage to the follicle; therefore, the skin cannot support feather growth. The feather is attached to a feather shaft, and overplucking can damage the tissues and rip or tear the follicle causing infection. This damage can cause permanent baldness.
Seek professional advice from your vet if you are worried about your parrot in any way.
How do I help my parrot’s feathers grow back?
Ensure your parrot is getting all the nutrients they need with a varied and mixed diet. You can buy supplements to aid your parrot’s diet and offer them regular bathing opportunities as it is essential for proper feather condition.
Giving your parrot exposure to natural light can also stimulate feathers to grow. You can use UVA and UVB lighting to encourage growth but ensure you turn out lights during the night to allow your bird proper rest, which is also beneficial to feather regrowth.
Wing clipping is a very personal choice for you and your parrot. Careful consideration is required to know what is best for your circumstances.
We have discussed the pros and cons of clipping and have answered a full range of questions about the subject to give you a transparent and varied approach to making the best decision for you.
If you are ever unclear on what is best for your parrot, always seek your vet’s professional advice.