Small pet birds and anything related by Pete Etheridge – aka – 'Stanton Birdman'

Posts tagged ‘budgerigar’

Pet birds – Wing clipping

Today I received an interesting email from someone who bought a budgie from me recently asking about wing clipping and if I knew how to do it.

Although I am aware of the procedure, wing clipping is something I have never actually done in practice.  I’ve kept birds for well over ten years and never actually clipped any wings.  It suddenly dawned on me that for such a simple procedure I wondered myself why I have never actually tried it in over a decade of bird keeping as a main hobby.

The simple answer is most of my birds are housed in a large outdoor aviary so I’ve never had to, and although I have kept a number of birds in cages as household pets I have never considered actually clipping their wings.

Some would argue that the procedure is cruel and unnecessary, whereas some would argue that all pet birds should have their wings clipped.

All I can say is it is a matter of personal preference, the bird feels no pain or loss whatsoever apparently and it does prevent them from flying away as with clipped wings they are unable to get any lift, and also if attempting to fly from a height they’ve climbed would simply glide to the ground with no pain or injury incurred.  If they attempt to fly it would go some way to preventing injury by crashing into windows and other inanimate objects.

So it’s up to you.  If you wish to tame your bird then wing clipping will help but if like mine your birds live in an aviary in a semi-wild state then there is no need.

The procedure is simple with just a trimming of the middle section of the primary feathers on each wing.  It would be quite easy to do yourself but if you are unsure then the best bet is to call in the professionals.

Below is a few videos I’ve found that will show you the procedure, just click on any or all of the links to access them, the diagram above will also show you where to clip.

http://youtu.be/eqhxMWBcNO8

http://youtu.be/NftNrmu3LFo

http://youtu.be/kvXMZ0kgeq0

http://www.ehow.com/video_2349545_wing-clipping-parakeets.html

Thanks!

‘Stanton Birdman’ – aka – Pete

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The flutter of tiny wings

I will be giving more details about the Australian grass parakeets soon, as promised, although somewhat delayed due to my other commitments.

Thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little upgrade post about the bird situation at home.

Stanton Birdman currently has 5 baby budgies for sale to good homes only.  They have now been taken from the aviary and placed in a cage ready to go to eager buyers.  There was 6 to start with from 2 clutches but one has already been claimed, a beautiful bright yellow from Squeek’s first clutch of the year, go to my earlier post https://stantonbirdman.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/small-pet-birds-cleaning-nest-boxes/ to learn a bit more about their upbringing and a photo of them when they were younger.

To try and make sure they go to good homes I am asking £10 each for them.  I am only selling them locally however to minimise the phychological damage that they would suffer should they have to travel far to new homes.  If you would like any and live fairly local to Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK then please email me at stanton.birdman@gmail.com.

Of the 5 that are left, 2 are from ‘Squeek’ (hen) – not sure who Dad is –  and the other three are from ‘Blue’ (hen) and ‘Pied’ (cock), my most prolific breeders.

This year's first babies ready to go

Check the picture to take a look at them now but please excuse the quality as I only have my mobile phone’s 2mp built-in camera to take photos with.

They are all strong and healthy birds that are eating well and ready to go, but as they have not yet seen their first molt I can’t tell which are female and which are male.

So far there’s no cockatiel chicks (although they’ve laid eggs) and no Java sparrow chicks (they have laid eggs also), the Bengalese (society) finches and the zebra finches appear to be struggling with the concept of egg laying – the nests are built but no eggs laid.  Meanwhile both ‘Squeek’ and ‘Blue’ have already laid again, but I will only allow my birds to raise a maximum of 2 clutches each per year.

On a similar note, ‘Squeek’s’ baby from last year – another beautiful bright yellow – which I decided to keep myself because of her colour has also laid eggs but no chicks yet, so good luck to her!

Apart from the budgies the other birds seem to be struggling but I live in optimism.

Small pet birds – cleaning out nest boxes

'Squeeks' chicks

Spent a full hour today cleaning out nest boxes and faeces off chicks feet.

First I took down one nest box at a time, but only the ones that contained hatched chicks (just 2 fortunately, or not depending how you look at it).

I opened the end panel of the nest box, took out the three chicks that were in there and put them safely in a cardboard box.  Then I removed the concave insert and was forced to scrape the dried up faeces off it with a wallpaper scraper, and then I had to also scrape part of the inside wall for the same reason.

After returning the concave insert I got to work on cleaning my baby budgies feet.  To do this I had to soak each foot in turn for about a minute in luke warm clean water (no additives or detergents), whilst trying not to give the baby budgerigar a bath in the process.

Then I needed to carefully prise the dried faeces off the chicks feet and claws – difficult to do without a soaking first, the soaking of the foot loosens the dried up faeces so it’s easier to remove, but still challenging as it is important not to injure the baby bird in any attempt to clean.

When done i dried the chick by padding down any wet with a piece of kitchen roll (highly absorbent and does a better job of drying and soaking up any dampness) before returning the baby budgie to the nest box.

I then had to repeat the process with the other two baby budgerigars from that nest box, then repeat the whole thing with the other nest box that also contained three budgie chicks; much to the annoyance of the parent birds who were often squawking at me for disturbing their babies. 

Fortunately my birds never seem to hold a grudge whenever I do this and are soon my friends again, especially if I bribe them with some treat.

Comment

If you are breeding your pet or aviary birds this is a process I’m sure you will be familiar with, if you’re not familiar with this then you should  be!

Until they fledge and leave the confines of their nest box naturally all their activity is within there, including going to the toilet.  Bird droppings, whether from adults or chicks, will dry up into solid clumps that can be very difficult to remove.  Even more difficult when trying to remove it from a baby birds feet and claws, which will undoubtedly get clogged up and can in worst cases cause a permanent deformity in your birds as they grow.

So be sure to check your nest boxes regularly and do whatever cleaning is required!