How to Clip a Budgie's Wings

Wing clipping is a regular part of budgie care.
Wing clipping is a regular part of budgie care. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Budgies are a popular choice for pet birds. Clipping their wings helps to protect your bird from hurting itself by flying around inside your home. It also protects your home from being damaged by your budgie. You should not clip your budgie's wings until after it has learned to fly. Learning to fly boosts confidence, builds muscles and creates a sense of balance. Budgies often have the ability to fly a few feet after their wings have been clipped.

Things You'll Need

  • An assistant
  • Towel (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Styptic powder
  • Cotton ball
  • Tweezers

Have your assistant firmly but gently hold your budgie in one hand. She may have to protect her hand with a towel if your budgie is known to bite. Have your assistant gently stretch out one of the budgie's wings.

Locate the 10 primary flight feathers that you will be cutting. These are the long feathers closest to the end of the wing. Check to make sure there are no blood feathers in the area. You can identify blood feathers by looking for the appearance of blood inside of a feather's shaft. Be sure to avoid cutting any blood feathers, as doing so can seriously injure or even kill you bird.

Begin clipping the 10 primary flight feathers. Start with the feather closest to the outside and move inward. Clip the feathers so that the cut ends are covered by the major coverts. The major coverts are the second layer of feathers that are right above the primary flight feathers. The coverts will cover the cut edges and keep them from irritating the skin.

Clip the feathers of the second wing the same way. You must clip both wings in order to protect the bird from injury caused by uneven balance if your budgie tries to fly or land.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply pressure to the blood feather if you accidentally clip one. You can also apply styptic powder on a cotton ball to stop the bleeding. Gently pull out the blood feather using tweezers if you cannot stop the bleeding. If problems persist, take your budgie to a veterinarian.
  • Have your veterinarian demonstrate how to clip your bird's wings before attempting it yourself.

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