Golden blue macaw parrot showing its blue wings

Should you clip your parrot wings?-Any Alternatives

If you own a parrot or planning on getting one then there are some hard decision that you have to make. Although parrots are beautiful pets, but unlike some other pet birds (hens, ducks, Francolin etc.) they can’t be left open in the home. Either you have to close the doors and windows or you have to keep them in cages. What to do then? Well, some people find the solution in clipping their wings. But is it good should we do it?

Clipping parrot wings Yes or No?

A wild ring-neck parrot aming to fly

A wild ring-neck parrot

Clipping parrot wings is not a good idea and I will tell you why, but first let me tell you what is wing clipping. Wing clipping means cutting parrot wing feathers with some scissor etc either from one side, i.e one wing or from both sides. Most people clip parrot wings because they are scared that their parrots will fly away. It’s a very bad thing to do with your bird. When you cut your parrot feathers than those feathers will not grow again unless either they are plugged out or dropped in a natural way(which can take years). There are lots of complications in wing clipping. Let me tell you some points and after that, you decide by yourself whether to clip or not.

Complications of clipping parrot wings

  • When wing feathers are cut parrots have more chance of hurting them by any collision as they have now become weak.
  • Due to again and again collision with their cage or other things last wings also called primary wings may become disable permanently.

  • Cut feathers will not grow again until half cut feathers that are remaining in the wing are plugged out. Which is a very painful process for parrot and is highly not recommended. But if you have already cut your parrot’s feathers than what you can do. Either you have to wait a long time so that the cut feathers drop naturally and new feathers grow at their place or you have to plug them out. Naturally replacing of old, damaged feathers with new fresh ones is called molting or molt. In parrots, primary feathers or the last few strong feathers and they are responsible for flying. Most probably if you have clipped parrot wings than those are the feathers that you have cut. These primary feathers are sometimes replaced in one year and sometimes it can take several years also it depends on your parrot type. As primary feathers are responsible for the flight so parrots don’t replace them all at once as it will disturb their flight. Rather they are replaced gradually and mostly it will take more than a year.
  • After clipping the wings Parrot’s can’t fly so they are vulnerable to predators like cats and hawks, etc. And most people will let their parrots wander around after clipping as their fear that parrot will fly away is now gone. Some predators can eat your parrot in minutes even a cat can do this. Be very careful if you have already clipped your parrot wings.
  • If feathers are cut too short blood will come out and it will come out every time on little disturbance to the wings.
  • Parrot will not look beautiful. A parrot with complete and undisturbed feathers is always more beautiful.

My dear friend’s wing clipping is not good for parrots no matter whether it’s done right or wrong. How can a wrong thing be done right or wrong, it’s always wrong.

Macaw parrot couple flying in air.Their wings are not clipped

Macaw couple flying.Their wings are not clipped they are free birds.

Suitable Alternatives to wing clipping

  • If you can, arrange a separate room for your parrots. Let them free in it with toys and try to place some plants in it. Go and talk with them and don’t make them scared of you. Let the time pass, may be after some months they become your friends.
  • Use wider and bigger cages so that parrots have enough room. Also, place toys in them to engage them as parrots are intelligent birds they need lots of mental exercises.
  • You can use bird flight suits if your parrot like them.
  • Make your parrots your friends. Take them out for some chilling and then bring them back to home. In this way, they will get required refreshment.
  • Let them free when you are around close the doors if you are scared that they will fly away.
  • Use a stick to take them in and out of the cage or room. Soon they will learn to sit on it and you can move them to your desired position easily.
  • Keep them in couples so that if one parrot flies to some place use the other one to get it back. They will come for each other.
  • Name your parrot and always call him/her with its name. Soon they will start to respond to their name and if unfortunately some parrot fly away to some place you can easily locate them as they will respond to your voice.

Instead of clipping, try to make a bond with your parrots. So that they become easy for you to handle and also joyful for you to play with.


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