How to Groom a Bird
by: Grant Carroll
Just like dogs and cats, birds also require grooming to maintain optimum health and happiness. The basic essentials to bird grooming are wing clipping, nail clipping, beak filing, preening and bathing.
Wing clipping is one of the most important parts of bird grooming. Not only does it help prevent the bird from flying away or flying into something and hurting itself, it helps the taming process and builds a bond between bird and owner. Be sure, however, that an alternative form of exercise is available since they will no longer be able to fly easily. Big cages and play pens are great for a bird to walk and climb around. The best method for wing clipping is to clip the outer primaries of both wings below the level of the primary coverts. When the new feathers grow in after a few months, wait until they are completely mature before clipping again. New feathers contain a pulp of blood vessels and nerves that will cause profuse bleeding and pain for the bird if clipped.
Nail clipping is essential for both the bird’s and the owner’s comfort. The bird won’t enjoy walking around on long nails and it will be uncomfortable for the owners arm skin if the bird decides to perch there. Be sure not to wait too long before clipping so that the quick doesn’t get any longer. Don’t cut the quick or just as in dogs there will be a lot of pain and bleeding.
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