Should You Clip Your Budgie’s Wings?

should i clip my budgie's wings?There are a lot of ‘taming’ practices that pet owners do to their companion. For example, ‘Should we put our dog on a leash or let them free?’, or ‘should we declaw a cat or not?’ While some of the practices are downright cruel, some often get in the grey area of morality. Clipping your budgie’s wings is one of them.

Should you clip your budgie’s wings? You can but you should know when you should and shouldn’t do. They can become more obedient, social, and are generally fit when you clip them when they are young. However, clipping a budgie’s wings should only be done to offer the animal more space to explore (i.e. a garden) or to ensure safety.

It is your choice if you want to let them have good flights or not. But what matters here is the situation versus your expectation. Let us shed some light on the important aspects of clipping your budgies wings.

The Area Of Concern Is Not Morality But Safety

Whenever we discuss this topic, it is often perceived as a question on ethics. Should we let them be like nature has it? Or should we tame them to suit our needs? We are always trying to find a middle ground. That middle ground ethic is safety.

Adapting To Unnatural Habitat

Our constructions of homes and apartments are unnatural to birds. When we adopt them into our homes, we will have to inevitably cut down some of their wild instincts so that they blend-more in our habitat.

Their adaptability depends a lot on how we train them and when we train them.

Baby budgies are often easier to train than older ones. It is difficult to tame older ones to our environment than training baby budgies to adapt to ours. That is why is it important to consider their age when deciding to adopt one home and train them.

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    Ensuring Safety For Longevity

    One of the main reasons why people prefer clipping their budgies is because of safety reasons. Clipping doesn’t mean they will lose their ability to fly and fall like a rock when they attempt.

    It only means that we are lowering their altitude of flight so that they are easier to catch in case they get out of hand.

    This would help them stay safe inside and not become prey of other animals or birds. It would also become easier for you to let them out of their cage and let them fly across the room without worrying much.

    A clipped budgie would grow out to be a more tamed adult than an un-clipped one.

    The Right Time For Clipping

    Baby budgies should be allowed to fly before you clip their wings. They should learn how to fly for some amount of time before you tame them a little. The idea is to lessen their altitude of flight, not to devoid them of the ability to fly.

    The former is ethically correct while the latter is downright cruel.

    It is better to tame a baby budgie (6-8 weeks old) than to tame an older one. The act of taming might frighten older ones. They might not take it in their best interest. On the contrary, baby budgies often rely on you to make the best judgment and even take this as a bonding lesson.

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      The best thing to do first in both cases would be to develop a bond with your pet before you try to tame them. Make them feel safe first then proceed with clipping cautiously.

      A scared, flighty bird would bounce off from every corner of the room, injuring itself and knocking itself. This is why gaining their trust is important.is clipping a budgie's wings cruel?

      It Is Not A Solution To The Behavioral Problem

      It will always be in the nature of birds to chirp, sing, give calls, and also fly. These are not behavioral problems. So do not mistake it as one and try to tame them. Their behavioral problem is more to do with their interaction with you and their self.

      If you feel there is any resentment, anxiety, or gloominess lurking around your interactions with them or them displaying such for themselves, seek help.

      But clipping them is not an act of taming their behavioral problem. Clipping only helps you train your budgie on how to live in this social construct consisting of humans. After they are trained, you can choose not to clip their wings and let them grow out their full feathers.

      A clipped budgie is often found to be more confident and social than the one who wasn’t ever clipped.

      So the problem is not clipping their wings – it is how you interact with them and act on their issues. If you bond enough with them, clipping only becomes a tool for the training period and not a tool for suppression.

      How To Ensure Safety For Budgies?

      If you decide on not clipping your budgies or letting them grow their wings after their training, you have to ensure their safety. You should keep in mind following things when you let them embrace their nature.

      1. Have a room dedicated to them where they can fly as much as they want.
      2. Make sure this room doesn’t have a sharp object or any object that can be knocked off by them.
      3. Any glass, pokey material, adhesive, etc. should not be in the budgie’s room.
      4. Make sure all the doors and windows are closed when you let them out of the cage.
      5. Make sure there is no other pet around when you let your budgie out of the cage. Do not allow any pet to enter that room. Conduct interaction in a common area.

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        Should You Clip Their Wings Yourself?

        If you are new to taking care of birds, then you might run a risk of injuring their blood feathers. If you cut or trim these feathers, then you might injure the bird. They would be feeling pain when you do that.

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          On top of it, they will grow scared of you and might flee with the first opportunity they find. That’s not an ideal situation for anyone.

          Instead, you should find an avian veterinarian and let them do this. They might even educate you on how to do it yourself. They mostly clip primary wings, never the secondary wings.

          You should learn the difference between the two before you attempt to do that on your budgie.

          Related Questions

          Do clipping a budgie’s wings disable them? Clipping a budgie’s wings the right way wouldn’t disable them. You can also let them grow out their feathers when they molt the next time. Clipping is more desirable during training time. After you feel that they are in their good behavior, you can choose not to clip their wings.

          What are the advantages of not clipping your budgies after their training? Keeping them flighted is a great way to ensure they get their exercise and keep obesity at bay. After they are trained, they become more social and confident than those who were never clipped. This will work for their all-round development – both physically and mentally.

          Is it absolutely necessary to clip your budgies wings? Nothing is absolute. You can choose not to clip your budgies wings ever but you will have to dedicate your time, energy, and attention in making sure they adapt well to the new habitat. If you are ready for that, you can choose not to clip their wings.

          Photo of author

          Gaurav Dhir

          Gaurav is an animal enthusiast. He lives in beautiful Ontario with his energetic family. As a part of his work at beautyofbirds.com, he has been working with ace parrot trainer, Cassie Malina to understand bird behavior and learn more about how he can train his feathered companions.

          2 thoughts on “Should You Clip Your Budgie’s Wings?”

          1. My budgie came from a breeder who had hand trained him, he was a young chick, but she clipped his wings the morning she was putting him up for sale and I got him that afternoon. Yes, he’s trained, but he can’t fly, he crashlands after a few feet, I have to lift him up, but he’s confused, scared, hurt and I’m only adding to the stress, so after a month I’ve had him he’s still running away from me in the cage, running up and down, showing other signs of distress. Let them have freedom to make up their own minds id they want to stay with you or leave, I don’t know how to heal the hurt he’s had, I think I’ll need to start at the beginning again, approach him quietly and give him all the attention he’ll need till he can trust me, I hope.

            Reply
          2. Hi, I have a male about a year old who has a lot of spirit. He was born into a large family and allowed every freedom. I believe that he may have had a poor diet because he now has a second respiratory infection since I got him. They seem to be connected with my feeding him millet, and it’s my belief that it’s a result of a compromised immune system.
            He was in shock when I got him because he went into a quiet room (with no bird noises). I spent regular time with him but he seemed depressed and unwell so I went ahead (after quarantine) and paired him with my other bird ( and older female). They are quite bonded now. After he was treated for his first illness, I began making progress with my birds by regularly holding out my finger as closely as they would allow. But now that he is sick again- I’ll have to start over if I can get him well (vet appointment tomorrow). I have considered clipping his wings for taming but am afraid to break his spirit. He’s quite a little “spunk” and a birds-bird. He’ll sit like a lump if I don’t play bird forest sounds for him most days. And they get excitement from the bird- feeder too. My question is- do you think clipping could ever break the spirit of a bird? My fella, Gideon, loves to fly. He reminds me of fierce B-52 bomber. Lol. I’ll attempt natural training/bonding if he gets well, but if you have any advice- I’d love to hear it!

            Reply

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