Join Date: Oct 2011
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In the UK we have the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it clearly states that all animals must be 'free to express natural behaviours'. Clipping a bird is not allowing to do this, flying is a natural behaviour.
You will never convince me that clipping a bird purely for the selfish reason of 'taming' it quicker is ever the right thing to do.
I have taken in various birds that had been clipped their whole lives, you want to know how many of those ever learnt to fly again properly? NONE. Their muscle wastage was so severe from years of being clipped and denied their most natural of behaviours that they never managed to build the muscles back up again. They also did not live their full lifespans and were no where near as healthy as my fully flighted birds.
The only good thing for those birds was when they did come to me and were finally able to express themselves they lived in my aviary, with others of their kind, with good food and toys to play with, plenty of ladders and platforms to get around, some of those birds came to me in their own time, others much preferred the company of the other birds.
We don't cut the legs off dogs to stop them running away from us so why is it deemed so acceptable to mutilate the beautiful wings of birds so we force that bird to spend time with us because we are far too impatient to actually step back and build a bond of trust and mutual respect?
As a side note all the birds in my aviary at current, including all the rescues I took on who had been mistreated, they all come to me when they feel like it, they will fly over to me to play around in my pockets or my hood, some of them just enjoy riding around on my shoulder for a bit.
My rescued Amazon Parrot was petrified when he came to me, the first time I let him out the cage he came out and went straight back in again, it took him a good 6 months to settle in, and yet now he flies across the room to me, not because he is forced to, because he WANTS to.
Then of course you need to factor in the psycological damage you are doing to that bird by taking away its ability to fly out of danger, plus the danger you are putting that bird in by doing so, when a bird is spooked what does it do? It flies away, when it can't fly away you end up stressing it out more and it is far more likely to injure itself or indeed have something else injure it. The amount of times I have heard of people stepping on/ sitting on their birds and killing them, and it's only possible because the bird was clipped and unable to get away.
Then the issues you get with the self mutilation that occurs, I have seen this first hand and it is not nice to witness and it could have totally been avoided by not clipping.
The only time a bird should be clipped in my opinion is when there is a medical reason, or when that bird is such a danger to everyone around it is the only thing to do, and I mean when all the options have been used up.
Flying is the best form of exercise for a bird so you are in effect making your bird unhealthy by taking that away from them.
There is no greater reward than having a bird choose of it's own free will that it wants to come to you and spend time with you.
A flighted bird is by no means 'spoilt'.