Pinioning anxiety - need pointers/encouragement

Jarhead

Songster
11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
626
7
141
Arkansas
OK, we have muscovies hatching in about a week. We live in town, and these will be backyard birds. We do not want nor can we have them fly. They need to stay put in the confines of our privacy fenced backyard. Pinioning seems the way to go, since I don't want the hassle of clipping wings. I know it should be done the first week after hatching. Any tips on what day to do it, should I wait a couple of days after hatch? Do I cut right at the joint or above it or below it? After cutting I just dip the cut end in quick stop? Should I give antibiotics in the water or just let them heal naturally? I just want to make sure I do this right and not totally hurt or kill them. Thanks for the help.
 

cawooduck

Songster
10 Years
Mar 21, 2009
314
5
131
Livermore, CA
When pinioning you should do it the first day after hatching, maybe the second, their bones are still soft at ths age and bleeding will be minimal if any. You will want to cut just after the first joint from the end of the wing, dont cut into the joint, you are actually cutting through the bone. Just use a sharp pair of scissors. All you are doing is removing the portion of wing that the primaries grow out from, they wont be able to fly, but they do amazing cart wheels. I dont like to pinion birds, but i do have a drake pintail that i bought from a guy and the bird is pinioned, he tries to follow my hen when she flies around the pen and he just ends up doing a cart wheel, it really sucks since i like watching the wild ducks fly around.
 

Jarhead

Songster
11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
626
7
141
Arkansas
I wish I could allow them to fly, but we are in the city. Our backyard is 1/3 of an acre with an 8' privacy fence. I am sure our neighbors would not like our birds in their pools and backyards
So this is the option we have if we are going to keep ducks. Thanks for your input
 

MoodyChicken

Songster
10 Years
Feb 15, 2009
1,869
26
181
Northern California
I've never pinioned, but I thought you cut the tendon, not the bone? But that sounds incredibly difficult. I think that's how they do it in parrots maybe. But if you don't want to pinion, you will only have to cut the feathers when they grow back. I'm not keen on ducks, but chickens only lose their wing feathers once a year during molt. Are ducks the same?

If they bleed a lot, a pinch of flour will stop it. Then rub neosporin on it to keep out infection. I think that will do the trick just fine.
 

Bossroo

Songster
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
1,450
27
171
The best way that I use is do it on the youngest birds that you can ( newly hatched) is heat a sharp knife on a gas burner or torch, then just slowly apply it onto just above the last joint on one wing. I never had one bleed and it is sterilized from the heat.
 

cawooduck

Songster
10 Years
Mar 21, 2009
314
5
131
Livermore, CA
Quote:Jarhead im not knocking you for pinioning your birds, a lot of wildfowl breeders do it as well as people want to buy birds for their ponds but dont want them to fly away!! It is a harmless solution to keep birds around, unless you want to wing clip, but you really have to keep up on the birds in order to do because as soon as the primaries grow in they wiill fly!!

As far as cutting the tendon, that is usually done in adult birds, and it really should only be done by a vet or someone that has lots of experience.
 

LilRalphieRoosmama

Officially Quacked
12 Years
Oct 15, 2007
3,406
19
221
Elyria, OH
I've been reading about pinioning and they recommend doing it on very young ducklings. My ducks are almost 4 months old now but a couple of them have very bad angel wing. I'm wondering if pinioning the bad wing at this age is a bad idea?
 

LilRalphieRoosmama

Officially Quacked
12 Years
Oct 15, 2007
3,406
19
221
Elyria, OH
Thanks - already saw that (thanks Niki!) and it looks simple. Just want to make sure that I don't cause more harm than good to my ducks. Quail bones are much thinner so I'm afraid.
 

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