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Why & How Do I Clip My Tiel's Wings??


I strongly advise bird owner's to clip their fid's wings. Those who are not familiar with clipping a bird's wings have questions.. So I will try to answer as many questions here as I feel would be asked. After this reading material below you will find a picture and instructions on how you can clip a fid's wings.

Is there any certain age I should or shouldn't clip my fid?? This is a subject that may vary from breeder to breeder. I believe that a fid should never be clipped until he has learned to fly and mastered the art. Some breeders clip the wings before the fid masters flying. I personally have tried both ways to see the difference before judging..and I found that the babys that were clipped before they learned to master the art of flying crashed harder to the floor and were very clumsy when taking a landing..In my opinion this can lead to unnecessary danger and injuries, even internal injuries. It makes very logical sense to let the baby learn to fly so that his wings are still strong enough and he/she knows how to use them to glide to a graceful less impacting landing. Even though a bird is clipped he still uses his wings to a degree to jump from place to place and fly a very short distance at a low height to reach certain destinations. I clip my fids between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks old; it really varies from baby to baby as human children they will develop at a different rate than their clutch mates at I clip them according to their own individual development. After the first clipping I will clip them at every molt unless they damage their feathers and a full newly flight feather grows back.

Does Clipping hurt my fid?? NO,clipping in no way hurts your fid and his wings will grow back everytime he molts and sometimes sooner if he/she happens to break clipped flight feathers then new ones will grow back fully flighted.Keep in mind that a strong flier may fly with only one flight feather grown on one wing..Because of this I recommend keeping a close eye on the wings to see if a feather may have grown in.

Another common question I hear is "Is clipping the wings necessary?" In my honest opinion I have to say YES...This of course is a personal opinion but I in all honesty feel that by clipping our fids we are helping to keep them safer. There are many dangers in a house for a bird who can fly; such as windows being left open accidentaly.. flying into bathrooms and falling into open toilets...Flying fast and harming themselves flying into windows or walls..and a very common danger is our birds sometimes become such a natural part of us that some forget their feathered friend is on their shoulder and they answer the door or walk outside and lose their feathered friend. These losses are very tragic and overwhelming for any who has ever suffered in such a my personal rule is "PREVENTION" is the key. It is much easier to prevent a feathered friend from flying free than it is to find him/her and bring them back home safely once they have flown away outside.

Another question is "Does clipping my fid help me to bond with and tame him/her easier?? Most definitely is the answer to this one!! I find tiels are extremely intelligent feathered creatures and once they realize their wings are no longer flighted they seem to literally depend on their humans to a much deeper level. This allows us a wonderful more open opportunity to gain their trust and love. They become quite content to depend on us for their means of transportation through the house displaying much more eager displays to catch a ride as we walk by while they are out playing.


This picture above gives a guideline approximately where to clip wings; before I begin though I feel this is really a job for 4 hands as fids can be rather restless and squirmy during clipping.

The coverts are the thicker section of overlay feathers and you should always be very cautious to never cut into this area. The coverts are very obvious with wing examination as they are a thicker feather which appears to create an overlay. Use the red line as a general guideline as to where to clip, leaving some space between the coverts and the cut line; you can cut a little longer than this but never any shorter or you may run into the coverts.

Before I begin clipping I always first hold my bird upwards facing me with his back to a bright light; I spread his wings so the bright light can shine through giving illuminating good lighting (sunlight works great for this; I just pick a sunny window and hold the bird facing me with his back facing the sunlight). I examine the wings in this manner before I even pic up the clipping scissors. During this I will closely examine the wings for actively growing blood feathers because these can not be cut. Upon good examination you will notice if your bird has a blood feather as you will be able to see the blood filled featherquill.

In the picture I state that I never cut the secondaries unless required..I have 2 reasons for avoiding the clipping of secondaries...
1. Leaving the secondaries allows the bird a little more control; therefor illiminating the risk of crash landings because the bird will have more control over his wings allowing for more graceful and gentle landings. However; With strong fliers though often I will have to cut the secondaries but I only cut to the 2nd or 3rd secondary feather.

2. Leaving the secondaries leaves a much nicer appearance for your fid's wings; and it is not quite so bluntly obvious your bird is clipped; just a nicer overlay appearance is all.

I always keep corn starch on hand and if there is ever any bleeding I will take a q-tip and dab a bit of starch on the area that is bleeding to clot the bleeding. I have never had to do this yet from clipping my fid's wings though as I am very cautious when I clip; however the corn starch has been a saver when one of my tiels has a nightfright breaking open blood feathers and I need to stop the bleeding..very effective.

If you have anymore questions about clipping that I have not answered please feel free to email me and Chico and just ask..:)
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