Wing pinioning isn't for everyone, there IS blood involved and ofcourse it does hurt the bird for a bit. With that said, it avoids the need to everytime they moult needing to clip the wings over and over again. I used to do that, until one day I opened up my one pen to feed my quail, and one just flew out like a professional... I lost the bird for an entire day and night.. luckily he came back the next day... anywho.... I had just clipped his wings not even a month before... and he regrew his feathers so fast I had no idea he could fly until it was too late. Pinioning while they are young (right after they feather out) is really easy to do, and for ANYONE who's interested hopefully this will help you make the decision wether or not you'd like to maybe try it. OR make you totally against it .
Please take note that I've NEVER had one die from this. I grab one at a time, quickly clip the wing and put them right back in their pen...the more you hold them the more stress they endure and the MORE they bleed. So putting them down right after you're done and letting them just clot up on their own seriously is much better on them. Sure you can use clotting stuff, but I don't reccomend it that stuff burns like crazy and just more added-needless stress.
If you flip a birds wing over you'll see theres a small strand of wing tip, thena "knuckle" I am pointing at the knuckle in this picture (ignore hubbies dirty finger nail ).
You want to snip before the knuckle but almost to it. Once you get over pinioning the first one all the second ones are so easy I've pinioned over 100 quail now. It's as easy as cutting hair for me now....only messy part is you will get blood on you.
Here I am showing you with hubbies help where to set the scissors:
This is after (yes that is a big glob of blood):
And here is to show you how little has been actaully trimmed off (and look how many feathers are in that small area...these are the feathers that aid the bird in flying, omit them from just one wing and the bird can no longer fly like a wild bird. The most I've seen them do is a 2 ft hoover off the ground and then a bit of a spin....it's still a pain to catch them if they are scared, but no more hard than hatching a small chicken).
And here is an adult who's already healed from pinioning months ago:
Now if for some reason I forget to shut a pen, and the wind blows it open, sure my birds still can get out, but they're caught easily because they're just walking around like chickens happily. Now, many of you say that evne your browns get out and just walk around like chickens and don't fly away even if their wings aren't cilpped...however YOU ARE LUCKY! lol. Many have lost birds this way happens a lot so please do not put it past your birds. The varieties like Tibetan (british range), Tuxedo, and even the smaller A & ms are normally pretty skiddish....so the littlest thing can make them take off....and you're very lucky if they come back. So I deffinatly reccomend atleast clipping the wing feathers, OR the perminant pinioning.
I've read some call it cruel...I do not feel it is anyworse than non-perminant beak trimming, getting a childs ear peirced etc. I pinion my ducks wings as well, and it's deffinatly reccomended to pinnion young birds, NOT older birds. I have pinioned my older call ducks and their bone was a lot more dense and I'm sure the pain was a lot more upsetting to them. So I deffiantly reccomend to not wait unti lthey are adults, 2-4 weeks max if you can. Say you want to pinion your adults, you can, but expect egg laying to stop for a while because I do not pretend that this doesn't hurt them. They do cry, but by the next day they are normal birdies again Just like ANY scab though, do not mess with them for like 2 weeks afterwards, because if they freak out and flap they can tear open the scab and bleed all over again and it's unneeded stress.
One of the controversial things about owning birds is this subject, but I'd rather be able to catch my birds on the ground than watch them fly into the wild blue yonder. You may disagree if you don't have a fenced in area, and lots of pet cats (or dogs)....but even though my bird sare fenced in they can still escape that and theres plenty of cats around here and I still perfer to have them pinioned no different than wing clipping to me, except you only have to do it once.
WARNING:::: ONLY put the bird back in with OTHER *JUST PINIONED* birds... because the ones that aren't in pain will run around literally drinking the blood beading up out of the others. But if you say take thema ll out into a carrying pen, and sit by their normal pen, pinion a chick, put it back init's home leave it be, pinion another add it to the pen and so on This way they are all pinioned so they won't be running around drinking eachothers blood. I don't do it this way, but I am fast at pinioning, I just open their pen, take one out pinion it put it back in, take another out pinion put it back in and so on and so forth until they are all pinnioned. Then I leave them alone. Make sure they have food and water before you pinion so you don't need to bother them for the rest of the day.
Edited by monarc23 - 7/4/09 at 6:50am