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One of the services we offer at About Birds is to clip birds’ toenails and to trim their wings.  To alleviate any fears your pet parrot may have, I first set them on a low perch in the grooming room and explain the process to them.  To non-bird people, this may seem a little strange.  For those of us who have been owned by a parrot or parrots, we know that birds understand far more of what we say than we think they do.  Not only that, but their ability to read minds is uncanny.  I use a towel to restrain the bird if they need restraining, some do not.  I allow the parrot to see, touch and to bite the towel so they know what it is.  I tell them the color of the towel and explain that I am going to wrap it around them.  I also tell them that their nails are a danger to them (catching in a toy or rope) and that they are hurting their person when they are held and that I need to clip their nails.  I also stress that I will NOT hurt them, that we love birds here, and that we want them to be happy.

As for wing-clipping, only the flight feathers need to be trimmed to keep a bird from finding danger in a household.  Wing trimming done correctly does NOT hurt your bird and the feathers will grow back.   When we have parrots in our lives, it is our responsibility to keep them safe.  A proper trim will keep your parrot from gaining altitude, but will allow him to fly down without falling like a rock and injuring himself.  Even flying level can lead to a dangerous collision with a window or a wall or even an escape out the door.  Attitude adjustment is another reason for keeping your feathered friend’s wings trimmed.  A parrot that can fly usually feels that they can “rule the roost” and do just about anything they want, including biting.  Leaving the first two flight feathers for “looks” is something I try to discourage.  Many parrots can catch wind with those feathers, especially if spooked by something that gives them an extra burst of energy.  Of course, these are my feelings on wing-clipping.  How I clip your parrot is up to you.

Your parrot’s beak should never have to be trimmed unless it has been damaged or there is an underlying medical problem, such as liver disease or malnutrition.  Some parrots (I am owned by one) are hatched with a malocclusion better known as scissor beak, where the top beak is bent to one side and the bottom beak is either straight or bent to the other side.  In this case, your parrot will need to have his beak trimmed.  Always provide your parrot with lots of things to chew on. After all, in the wild, that is their second major form of activity after foraging for food. If you see a problem with your bird’s beak, you should consult an experienced avian veterinarian to properly diagnose the problem.

It is extremely important to me that a visit to About Birds for grooming should not be overly stressful for your parrot or for you!

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