When to Clip Your Cockatiel’s Wing Feathers

Part of the Cockatiels For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you first get your cockatiel, you need to clip her wings for her safety and your good relationship. You’ll develop the closest relationship with your bird if she is easy for you to control and if she needs you. With clipped wings, your cockatiel needs your help to get off the floor and up to safer heights. She also needs you to go from room to room. When she needs to go somewhere, you’re the one who can get her there. She just has to figure out how to ask. That fosters trust and communication, especially when both of you are successfully getting your points across.

Other signs that say it’s time to clip your cockatiel’s wing feathers include:

  • When your friend is gliding about the room easily. That may mean there’s only one grown-out feather on each wing to trim, but that’s all it takes for a cockatiel to have a great deal of airlift.

  • When your cockatiel is at the end of one of her twice-a-year molts. She will have grown in new wing feathers. If you haven’t noticed, she may not have noticed, either. But eventually she’ll discover that she has the power of flight back again.

  • When your male cockatiel is being uppity with you. He can reach high heights and look down on you, but you can’t reach him. He’s snappy and controlling. Clipping his wings will make him rely on you again for transportation and will soften his tone.

  • If you need to trim back an occasional stray feather that grows in out of turn.

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Cockatiels For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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