What About Wing Clipping?

If you are considering owning a bird or a new bird owner, you may have heard of wing clipping. Wing clipping is a way to prevent your pet bird from gaining significant altitude when using their wings. It still allows for a controlled descent to the floor.
Many people compare this procedure to the declawing of a cat, but this is not an accurate comparison. Wing clipping is similar to trimming your nails or getting a haircut. Three to six of your pet bird’s long flight feathers will be trimmed at the tip. The procedure is neither painful nor permanent, which means that if you change your mind, you can choose to not do it again.

Why Wing Clipping?

Blue yellow and green macaw

Bird owners choose to use this procedure for many reasons. The first being their bird’s safety. Restricting a bird’s flight gives owners some control over the safety of their bird. Birds tend to be curious creatures. Curiosity can often get them in trouble if they are not being closely supervised.
Another reason for owners to consider this procedure is to foster a good relationship from the beginning. By trimming their wings before you bring your pet bird home for the first time, you will cause your new bird to be dependent on you. This also will allow you to evaluate your new bird’s behavior with less chance of an accident. This is especially helpful with smaller birds who have been raised by another bird rather than a human.
The final reason that most larger breed bird owners choose to get this procedure done is to prevent any accidents that can be caused by their bird. Larger birds can be destructive and cause trouble when they are left with full flight abilities. They can also realize their power over their owners, causing even more issues.


Since this procedure is neither painful nor permanent, for smaller bird breeds, it can certainly be done at home. However, you risk breaking your bird’s trust in you. You should also do some research before going in with the scissors to ensure that you’re trimming the correct feathers.
For larger bird breeds, it’s best to seek out a professional. Larger breeds can be unpredictable and they can be quite strong. A breeder or a pet shop employee may have special techniques and equipment to better be able to handle a bird of a larger size.



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