getting him clipped... I feel so guilty. - Talk Parrots Forums

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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getting him clipped... I feel so guilty.

Hi all,

Kuzco the lovebird is coming out west to work with me this summer, which means a seven hour plane ride. He's coming in the cabin with me, but he has to get taken out of his carrier when he goes through airport security. This is making me really nervous because he hates being held for long periods of time. We're practicing, he's just very choppy when it comes to being carried in any way that is not him sitting on my shoulder. So today, I made the decision to have him clipped so that if he gets loose in the airport, I can still grab him. I feel really bad. He's very active and loves to fly and I know he'll be upset when he goes to fly and can't get more than a few feet off the ground. I feel really guilty for doing this to him.

What can I do to make this easier for him? What can I expect in terms of an adjustment period? How upset will he be? I'm trying really hard to make this trip a positive experience for him, I don't want his lack of flight to be traumatic.

Nala , Chip , and Kuzco
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 10:16 AM


 
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I don't understand, why would they want you to secure your pet in a carrier and then take him out of the secure carrier? (I mean I guess it's to check the carrier, but it seems like such an inefficient way of doing so, especially with a nervous animal). As for clipping, I know how you feel, I wouldn't want to clip my bird's wings either, but it is not permanent so you shouldn't feel bad. Are you going to do it? I would start off with only a few primaries on each side (2-3) and see how much he can fly. Also, most birds will molt by the end of summer, so they'll probably grow back then. Birds and other animals, adjust pretty quickly to their physical handicaps so will he.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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My vet's going to clip him. He likes the vet so I don't think he'll have an issue with it. We're going to clip him a week or so before we head to the airport so he has some time to adjust.

The issue with the carrier is that he's coming in the cabin with me. If he were flying as checked baggage, he'd never have to leave the carrier. The carrier, like all carry-on bags, has to go through the X-ray at security, which is dangerous for small animals. The airport will not put small animals through the X-ray. So they ask that animals are carried through the metal detector and then they go right back into the carrier on the other side. The problem is that Kuzco is not a fan of being held for extended periods, especially when stressed. If there's not a ton of people around, I'ld trust him to sit on my shoulder, as he doesn't spook easily and is most confident there, but we'll see. The airport did say that I could request a private search room at the airport and if one is available, they will let me use it, as it's what they recommend for animals who are stressed because it's smaller, quieter, etc.

Nala , Chip , and Kuzco
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 10:14 PM
 
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Poor little guy. I think you are making the right decision to clip. He may not be the happiest but he will be safe and it is temporary.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 02:12 PM


 
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Ariel, why don't you buy him a harness for the journey?
Maybe he will hate to wear it, but that would be better than clipping the wings.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ah yes, the harness. Kuzco has an aviator and he HATES it. I've yet to successfully get it on him, although he will crawl through it for treats. We have to leave for the airport at 5:30am. Would it be mean to put him in it while he's still groggy and sleepy? He's pretty easy to handle when he's tired. I could take it off him once we get through security.

Talked to my vet this morning. Apparently he's clipped small birds for airport purposes before. He's only going to take the first couple of primaries so he'll still be able to get some air, but airport security is a very long space and he won't be able to fly the length of it before I can catch him, so that makes me feel better. Plus, he's due to molt in a few weeks anyway, so he'll likely only be clipped for a week or two before he has new primaries come in.

Nala , Chip , and Kuzco
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 03:09 PM
 
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I think clipping is the right thing to do in this situation. I always believed that if there's no reason to clip, don't do it. But if safety is a concern, by all means do so. They will grow back and I think you'd much rather have him in possible slight discomfort for a short period of time than risk having him injured or even losing him forever.

I also think it's a great idea to practice! I wouldn't have thought of that. Have short "sessions" a couple times a day.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Will he be upset at being clipped? What should I expect as far as behaviour changes? I want to make this trip a positive experience for him and do whatever it takes to make him feel confident.

Nala , Chip , and Kuzco
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2015, 05:37 PM



 
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He probably won't enjoy it and he may feel a bit hurt that he can't fly any more. Not meaning to make you feel bad! From my experiences I personally wouldn't have him clipped. As much as he wouldn't like it, could you not just restrain him? You could do the two fingers around the back of the head with the back in your hand so he cannot physically move or bite you and you'd have a lot more security with him. Even if he is clipped just a little bit he could still be a pain to catch should he get free anyway

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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He will be restrained either way, he has to be carried through the metal detector. He doesn't do well being carried like that when he's stressed, which he will be. It makes him very aggressive and wiggly after about 10 seconds. I am concerned that should he manage to wiggle out of my hand, he'll get loose in the airport.

I talked to my vet about it today, who is normally pretty against clipping, and even he agreed that a partial clip might be the safest bet in this situation. It's his first time travelling by airplane and I want to do whatever I can to minimize the chances of him getting lost or traumatized. He's due to molt in the next couple weeks, so he won't be clipped long. That's how I've been justifying it, anyway.

Nala , Chip , and Kuzco
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