Most people don’t realize the dangers of letting their beloved birds fly freely around the house. An unexperienced bird may fly to hard into a wall or hurt himself in a ceiling fan. That is why it is important to clip a birds wings. And if you have ever gotten your shirt snagged by a little birds nails you know it is important to clip those too.
As long as you do this right you will not hurt the bird in anyway. For the bird feathers and nails are equivalent to our fingernails.
Always try to get someone to hold the bird while you do the clipping. A good thing to buy is ‘Blood Stop’. This helps stop any bleeding if you cut too much. For a small bird stopping the bleeding is very important to the birds life.
Have your partner hold the bird while you gently expand the bird’s wing. On a cockateil the inner most (the ones closest to the birds body) feathers should be aprx 2 ½ inches long to prevent flying. The feathers farthest away from the body are normally the longer made and harder feathers, so they should be kept fairly long.
Take a pair of scissors and gently work from the outside in. The long feathers on the outside (or farthest away from the bird’s body) should be cut so that they are aprx. 5 inches long. Cut at an angle towards the body, not going any shorter than 2 ½ inches long near the birds body.
Some people will only trim the outer feathers at about 4 ½ to 5 inches and then cut the inner wing feathers separately. Some people prefer to do it this way and cut the inner softer/smaller feathers at about 2 ½ inches.
Once you have trimmed the bird on both sides see if he flies. If he does you may need to take off a little more from the inner feathers. However, if he can only do a small flight/or hop, that is fine. The key is to keep the bird from flying high or too hard into something. So short small jumps are fine.
When you look at the birds nails they may look awfully long, but you will be only clipping a very small amount. It is very easy to make a birds nail bleed so be careful.
Whoever holds the bird needs to hold them in a position that will not hurt the bird but will keep him steady so that no blood arises.
Use finger nail clippers and only clip when you are confident that you are not clipping too much. The ends of their nails tend to be sharp and the idea is to only clip the VERY end and reduce that sharpness.
You should only cut off 1 to 1 ½ millimeters of nail. And do not cut the birds nails weekly, otherwise you run the risk of cutting them too short.
If blood occurs then dab some ‘Blood Stop’ on it until the bleeding ceases.