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To Pluck or not to Pluck.....


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Sorry for the corny title, but it does get to the point of my topic.....

I would like to take a survey on wether flighted birds vs Clipped wings have any bearing on weather clipping a birds wings has any impact an a bird plucking his or her feathers. My CAG name is Gaby, and I just brought her home 2 weeks ago. She is now 3 1/2 months old. She  is currently fully flighted. I'm debating on wether I want to clip her wings or not. I know there is ALOT of debate on wether or not clipping is ok or not. I bought Gaby from a well known breeder. I did tell him I was worried about Gaby down the road plucking her feathers. He told me not to clip her wings, thinking that could cause her to pluck. If you have a clipped bird that is plucking, could you please chime in and let me know if you think there could be a connection there. 

If anyone has a preference on clipping or not, please chime in. I would like to hear your opinion. Also if you thing clipping their wings has any impact on plucking. I know this can be a delicate subject. I would appreciate if you could voice your own opinion on this subject.

Thank you,

Keith & Gaby

 

 

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A birds happiness is directly tied to their ability to fly, forage and socialize.  Clipping takes away one of those aspects.   Not every clipped bird plucks but you are increasing your chances.  People usually clip to prevent a fly-away, keep the bird out of stuff or some other reason.   Whatever your reason for wanting to clip, I would find an alternative around it.  I put up chain curtains on our doorways to prevent an accidental escape and I built aviaries to give them lots of stuff to do and be free of their cages.  I took in a couple of birds that had been clipped and caged and not allowed to fly.  It took about a year for them to learn how to fly and get past the clumsy stage.  Neither are as good as the birds I have which have never been clipped.  I have one bird which plucks and we can't figure out why.   She didn't before she came to us.  She was a 100% cage bird before coming here and I think her sudden freedom to roam and find nesting holes has probably led to her pulling her feathers.  However I couldn't go back to watching her perch potato in a cage all the time.   There's lots of ways around clipping and I love having a bird that can come to you on their own power.

I guess in the interest of your survey:   I bought my Grey as a baby at the same time as my manager at work.  I've had previous experience with a Grey in my early 20s.  He had zero experience.    I was hell-bent against clipping and tried to steer him away from it as well.  He clipped his bird and within the first year, his Grey was plucking.  They have struggled with it ever since.  They have gotten a handle on it now that they are both working from home (socialize!) but I think they could have prevented it maybe if they chose not to clip.

Edited by SRSeedBurners
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Timber was clipped when I got him, and I haven't clipped him since (7 years now). He doesn't fly though, I don't think he ever fledged. That said, he doesn't pluck. I think it depends a lot on the individual bird, but as SRSeedBurners said, I'd assume they are less likely to pluck if flighted but I have seen members with flighted birds who did pluck.

Ha, this post really doesn't add anything but that's the only experience I have!

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15 hours ago, SRSeedBurners said:

A birds happiness is directly tied to their ability to fly, forage and socialize.  Clipping takes away one of those aspects.   Not every clipped bird plucks but you are increasing your chances.  People usually clip to prevent a fly-away, keep the bird out of stuff or some other reason.   Whatever your reason for wanting to clip, I would find an alternative around it.  I put up chain curtains on our doorways to prevent an accidental escape and I built aviaries to give them lots of stuff to do and be free of their cages.  I took in a couple of birds that had been clipped and caged and not allowed to fly.  It took about a year for them to learn how to fly and get past the clumsy stage.  Neither are as good as the birds I have which have never been clipped.  I have one bird which plucks and we can't figure out why.   She didn't before she came to us.  She was a 100% cage bird before coming here and I think her sudden freedom to roam and find nesting holes has probably led to her pulling her feathers.  However I couldn't go back to watching her perch potato in a cage all the time.   There's lots of ways around clipping and I love having a bird that can come to you on their own power.

I guess in the interest of your survey:   I bought my Grey as a baby at the same time as my manager at work.  I've had previous experience with a Grey in my early 20s.  He had zero experience.    I was hell-bent against clipping and tried to steer him away from it as well.  He clipped his bird and within the first year, his Grey was plucking.  They have struggled with it ever since.  They have gotten a handle on it now that they are both working from home (socialize!) but I think they could have prevented it maybe if they chose not to clip.

 

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Thank you very much for your reply. I am with you. I do not want to clip her feathers. I soon will be buying her a outside aviary. We have a small back yard with a pool. So space is limited. Its going to be a 7' hexagon aviary. I'm hoping there will be enough room for her to fly a little. I will have her out there during the day only on good weather. I. 'm currently training her on recall. We are up to around 30' . I'm starting to try and get her to turn a corner to come to me. My breeder teaches all his birds that he sells on basic recall . He's the one that got me started on recall training. I definitely see the advantages on flighted birds, but it does take more work.

 

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1 hour ago, Timbersmom said:

Timber was clipped when I got him, and I haven't clipped him since (7 years now). He doesn't fly though, I don't think he ever fledged. That said, he doesn't pluck. I think it depends a lot on the individual bird, but as SRSeedBurners said, I'd assume they are less likely to pluck if flighted but I have seen members with flighted birds who did pluck.

Ha, this post really doesn't add anything but that's the only experience I have!

Thanks for the reply. I do think being flighted helps with plucking, but there is no guarantee.

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  • 2 weeks later...

All 3 of mine were clipped when I got them. One at 6 weeks, one at 6 months and 1 at 1 1/2.  I let all their wings grow out. My 6 week old flies effortlessly and always has. My 6 month old was taught to fly by my youngest son, she is an amazon & is heavy, she can fly well, but she is like a missile  when she flies, you gotta duck or get hit!  LOL.  MY year and half one took almost a year to grow out, she learned to fly but but was difficult. She still forgets she can fly at times. They are now 15 years old & 11 years old.  they never plucked due to flying. the 6 week old that is now 15 is started to pluck, I  feel it is due to stress and she is the lowest on the totem pole and gets the least amount of attention due to my work schedule and the others not letting her get much attention from me. I am quite sad about that, she does get special things and time out the others don't get, but it doesn't seem to make up for it.

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Thank you Talon for the reply. Sorry to hear about the one starting to pluck. It must be very difficult trying to give even attention to all 3. Hope things will turn out for you soon.

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I got Alfie at 11 weeks old. The person I got him from recommended a light clip on one wing. I was 17 at the time and advice on to clip or not to clip was rather lacking so I followed the advice I was given. I got the second wing done a few weeks later to even it out then decided to let them grow out. I didn't see the benefit of clipping wings - I wanted Alfie to be fully flighted so that if he ever did get out of the house he had the best chance of getting himself out of trouble. I also felt like clipping a birds wings were like asking a dog not to wag it's tail. Birds have wings and are meant to fly. I think it has a massive impact on a bird's mental and physical health if they are not allowed to fledge and learn to fly properly. I think it also has a knock on their confidence too. So that was the last time he was clipped. And thankfully it was a light enough clip that it didn't have too much of an impact on Alfie. He enjoys his time out of the cage and enjoys being able to fly from spot to spot.

I can't really help answer your question because Alfie is 17 years old, fully flighted and has been since that initial light clip. He has never plucked.

I believe a lot of the issues that cause people to clip their birds can be mitigated. Alfie knows where all the windows are and not to try and fly through them. I'm super cautious about doors and windows being opened and have mesh over any that may be opened whilst he's out so he can't get through. He can fly at quite a steep ascent and knows how to descend (useful in case he ever gets into a tree). He has an aviary to play outside in during the summer and lots of places to play when he's inside.

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Thank you neoow for your response. I have decided not to clip Gaby's wings. Alto its more work having a fully flighted bird, I do believe its much better overall for the health of the bird. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agreed with others -- I don't clip.  If my guy takes a flight -- I want him to be able to fly and land safely. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/5/2020 at 3:29 PM, KeithF said:

Sorry for the corny title, but it does get to the point of my topic.....

I would like to take a survey on wether flighted birds vs Clipped wings have any bearing on weather clipping a birds wings has any impact an a bird plucking his or her feathers. My CAG name is Gaby, and I just brought her home 2 weeks ago. She is now 3 1/2 months old. She  is currently fully flighted. I'm debating on wether I want to clip her wings or not. I know there is ALOT of debate on wether or not clipping is ok or not. I bought Gaby from a well known breeder. I did tell him I was worried about Gaby down the road plucking her feathers. He told me not to clip her wings, thinking that could cause her to pluck. If you have a clipped bird that is plucking, could you please chime in and let me know if you think there could be a connection there. 

If anyone has a preference on clipping or not, please chime in. I would like to hear your opinion. Also if you thing clipping their wings has any impact on plucking. I know this can be a delicate subject. I would appreciate if you could voice your own opinion on this subject.

Thank you,

Keith & Gaby

 

 

I had my greys wings clipped at 3 1/2 months because I was worried about him flying and having ceiling fans in every room. He started Plucking soon after. I don't know if related or not but I wish I didn't do it. I also heard after I did it that it lowers they're self confidence. 

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Deciding to clip or not clip is hard. About 3-4 of my lovebirds primary wings are clipped short just so she doesn't get height in the house (because we sometimes have the fans on) but she can still fly. Even with those feathers clipped, she still gets some height on her because she's such a strong flyer! We're doing recall training right now and she's loving it! I think it definitely helps with her confidence! 

Our CAG on the other hand, when we had gotten her, the secondary feathers were already clipped but we can tell she is very depressed about it and wants to fly since she sees our lovie flying around. So when her feathers comes in, we won't be clipping them. Maybe just a few of the primaries (like our lovie) so she doesn't gain height and fly into a fan but we're still debating about that. We might just adjust and not have fans on and have them both fully flighted. We also want to harness train our CAG. I think them having their feathers definitely helps with their confidence and giving them the freedom to leave a situation that they don't want to be in. 

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23 hours ago, Nini said:

I had my greys wings clipped at 3 1/2 months because I was worried about him flying and having ceiling fans in every room. He started Plucking soon after. I don't know if related or not but I wish I didn't do it. I also heard after I did it that it lowers they're self confidence. 

Thanks Nini for your reply. Sorry to hear about the plucking. Remember you can always let her wings grow back again.....

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2 hours ago, Rhubarb Pie said:

Deciding to clip or not clip is hard. About 3-4 of my lovebirds primary wings are clipped short just so she doesn't get height in the house (because we sometimes have the fans on) but she can still fly. Even with those feathers clipped, she still gets some height on her because she's such a strong flyer! We're doing recall training right now and she's loving it! I think it definitely helps with her confidence! 

Our CAG on the other hand, when we had gotten her, the secondary feathers were already clipped but we can tell she is very depressed about it and wants to fly since she sees our lovie flying around. So when her feathers comes in, we won't be clipping them. Maybe just a few of the primaries (like our lovie) so she doesn't gain height and fly into a fan but we're still debating about that. We might just adjust and not have fans on and have them both fully flighted. We also want to harness train our CAG. I think them having their feathers definitely helps with their confidence and giving them the freedom to leave a situation that they don't want to be in. 

Thanks Rhubarb Pie for your reply. I like your idea of harness training. I'm going to try and harness train mine too. 

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21 hours ago, KeithF said:

Thanks Rhubarb Pie for your reply. I like your idea of harness training. I'm going to try and harness train mine too. 

You're welcome! Goodluck! I know harness training can be a long process especially for African greys. We were planning on getting the Aviator harness because it has had the best reviews out of all the harnesses we've looked at. 

 

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