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Budgie Harness or Clip Budgie Wings? Forbidden flight

Budgie Harness or Clip Budgie Wings? A lot of you want to tame your Budgie bird quickly. Is that the right way to do it? No matter how your Bird is feeling about that? Do you want to satisfy your wishes or your Birds?

Budgie Harness: This Is Why You Should Not Get it

We all want good for our family; parents, kids, and pets alike. And in a bid to keep them happy, we try to comfort them as much as we can. But sometimes our idea of comfort may not match their reality. Our comforts might be a sense of displeasure for them and when it involves pets, they do not even get a chance to speak against it.

Everyone who happens to be reading this either has harnessed his little budgie or is probably thinking of doing it and is in a great dilemma of it being the right or wrong thing to do for the bird. But you found the answer to it in the opening para itself. Budgies are little birds who are fragile enough to get hurt easily; physically and mentally. This is the reason that harnessing them has always been a subject of conflict between those who love freedom for their little bird and the ones who can’t see these sensitive birds getting abused. Since we all know why we think the harness is the solution to all our problems, let’s understand why this solution must not be applied at all.

Is it Okay to put a harness on Budgie?

There are numerous brands manufacturing harnesses for birds as small as Budgies. Yet there are a few who refuse to make one in the pretext of budgies being too small to fit in safely there. And many budgie parents and bird lovers side with the latter philosophy, along with their valid reasons:

The physical discomfort of Harnessing a Budgie

⦁ For many, harnessing a bird is no less abuse than clipping his wings. If you aren’t in favor of clipping your budgie’s wings because it shatters you, you will not harness your little bird to obstruct his movement even this way.

⦁ The majority of the harnesses are made from uncomfortably stiff material. Even if a softer material is used in manufacturing a harness, it would always have the metal buckles to fasten the belt around your budgie. All these harsh materials/metals always end up hurting the bird while making him wear it or take it off. Many budgie parents have shunned harnesses as their budgies got their body feathers damaged and ruffled feathers on the head.

⦁ For the times when the bird flies with a harness attached to a leash, the excited little bird always stretches to the full length of the leash and ends up getting an uncomfortable jerk backward. This has been a cause of injury in many instances reported.

⦁ And lastly, which also happens to be the most common concern of loving budgie parents dumping this accessory, is their bird getting unleashed accidentally. And beyond this point, the chances of an unfortunate event are boundless. With some budgies getting stuck by their leash at a tall tree’s top branch to the others getting strangled by their leash itself, we all are hearing many accidents proving fatal for the sensitive birds.

Mental discomfort of Harnessing a Budgie

⦁ The very premise of doubting the harness’ use stems from the mental abuse it has been causing to numerous pet budgies. And chances are high that you must have also faced your bird’s refusal when trying to help them fit in. For the little sensitive brains of budgies, the harness is nothing less than a physical binding, just like wing clipping. If forced to wear a harness, even a strong rejection, the bird might end up taking you as his enemy. Hence, always be careful with your attempts and prioritize your bird’s will over your wish.

⦁ The harness is meant to have some protected outdoor time for the little bird. But rather than having some flying freedom, the bird feels traumatic with the jerk he gets every time while trying to test his limits. The mental discomfort that is caused to the bird this way is worse than him taking short flights inside the cage.

How to get your Budgie outdoors for Safe Flights? Budgie Harness?

⦁ Many people stress on getting the harness on your budgie early on. This way, it would just be another normal for the bird like toys, cage, et al. But even this way, you can’t keep your bird’s feathers from getting damaged and feeling the jerks later on in life. Hence, the best solution to offer some free flight to your little bird is to train them for it early on. Just the way he is taught to step-up, bathe, groom, or eat, he can be taught to fly safely outdoors. Hence, practice flight training over harness strapping.

⦁ For those worrying about calling their bird back to them, birds are naturally inclined to come back home in the evening in the wild. So, make a bond with your budgie so that he comes back to you after having short free flights. To do this, use reward training. If the bird knows that he’ll get his favorite nut on running back to you when you call them, they would never get lost outdoors.

⦁ Lastly, to prevent him from flying afar on his outings, train him indoors to restrict himself to a set area. Scold him a little if he tries to go off your range. Don’t be too harsh though. This way, he’ll know that getting out of sight would mean disappointing his favorite human. This training is particularly important to prevent your little bird from the big predatory birds during his time outdoors.

Budgie Harness or not

Training your budgie for free flights outdoors is not impossible, as claimed by many budgie parents. The key is to start training them early on. The adolescent brain of the bird can easily be molded. For all those budgie parents whose birds are scared at just the sight of the harness, mostly happen to be ones starting pretty late on the free flight attempts for their bird. Start early and be a little patient. Your little budgie will learn to fly safely real quick and come back to you at your call even quicker.

Budgie Harness or Clip Budgie Wings Forbidden flight bird clipping

Clipping Bird’s wings and Why you shouldn’t do that

One of the most debatable topics for all the bird owners is ‘wing clipping’. There are two sets of bird owners, each with polarized views. Where one section thinks to clip their bird’s feathers is a necessity, the other takes it as a total abuse of the bird. Which side are you on? Or you haven’t still decided on the rights and wrongs of the act? Let’s get into the details of it starting right from why it is practiced?

What is Wing Clipping?

It is the process of trimming your bird’s primary aka flight feathers to prevent the bird from flying in a room that is not bird-proof. While clipping the bird’s feathers, the tips or edges of the flight feathers are cut off with the scissors. The bird cannot fly until the next molt as full-flighted feathers will grow after shedding the old trimmed feathers only.

Why do people clip the wings of their birds?

The primary reason for bird owners clipping their bird’s wings is to keep their bird safe. When the bird is yet untrained, the owners tend to clip their feathers to keep them from flying into dangerous places like windows, doors, kitchen, heating or cooling vents, et al.

That said, they can still take short flights indoors since only the tips of the feathers are trimmed and not the whole feather itself. This is the main reason people condemn this practice as it does not even fully solve the very purpose.

Why you Shouldn’t Clip your Bird’s Wings

Now when you know the meaning of wing clipping and the reason why it is practiced on a bird, which side you seem to be on? To help you decide better, let’s start weighing the many effects it has on any bird.

⦁ Wing clipping tends to limit the ability of your bird to fly. Though that is the basic premise behind doing it, albeit with a different reason. But what if there are any other predators in the house and the bird gets into a situation where he needs to fly away to prevent a supposed attack from that predator? You just stripped him of his natural defense mechanism: flying.

⦁ Reports have shown that the birds whose flight feathers are clipped in the initial years never learn to fly well in the later years. This increases the risk of them not learning balance while taking off or landing ever.

⦁ Improper clipping of the bird’s feathers might land the bird in frequent accidents while taking short flights indoors. This mainly happens when the trimming is unequal on both sides of the flight feathers and troubles the bird while balancing. Many instances have shown birds crashing while landing with improperly trimmed feathers, thereby causing injury to their beak, wings, and keel bone.

⦁ The birds are naturally inclined to fly even when their wings are clipped. If the feathers are trimmed way too much, they might crash in an attempt to take a flight. This has been reported to cause injuries to their fragile bones.

⦁ For many new bird owners, distinguishing between a fully-grown feather and a blood-feather might be tough. Blood-feather is the live feather that is still connected to the live blood vessels. If it accidentally gets trimmed, it can cause the bird to bleed. And with the pain of being hurt, the bird tends to flap to escape that further worsens the situation with increased chances of more such wrong trims. If the bleeding is not brought under control in such situations, the bird might need immediate medical attention.

⦁ Behavioral and psychological problems are the biggest perils of clipping a bird’s wings. Nobody likes their very freedom of movement being taken away from them. With the realization of their inability to fly, the birds soon start falling into depression. Inactiveness, feather picking, loss of appetite, and a weakened immune system are a few withdrawal symptoms after the bird’s wings are clipped.

⦁ The bird might get obese when he is not given a fair chance to take daily flights. After obesity, major deadly diseases like fatty liver disease follows. So, clipping can shorten your bird’s life than otherwise.

⦁ Lastly, flying is imperative for birds to strengthen their chest muscles. If they are not given the chance to do what is natural to them, you are raising your bird weakly.

Care for your Bird without Clipping the Wings

When our kids are small, we don’t tie up their limbs to prevent them from getting hurt. We are naturally accustomed to take care of them and take different measures in a bid to do so. It shouldn’t be any different with our avian family members either. Just taking a few basic measures can help you protect your bird from all the assumed dangers:

Budgie Harness or Clip Budgie Wings? Forbidden flight

⦁ Bird-proof your room; keep the windows locked, shut all the doors leading to the kitchen or washroom, replace the blade fans with the bladeless ones, and cover the windows with curtains to prevent your bird from flying into it.

⦁ Gradually train your bird about what is good for him or not. For example, birds can be trained pretty quickly for not running into windows.

⦁ Never leave your bird out of sight alone in the room until he is trained to fly safely.

⦁ You can always choose to tape your bird’s flight feathers instead of trimming them. But only if your bird allows.

Why you shouldn’t do that

For many bird owners, clipping their bird’s wings is just like giving a hair trim to other pets. They are in favor of the sheer painlessness of the act. But every hurt can be seen. Their desperation to set themselves free from your grip while you are clipping them is the strongest message the little being can send across. So, the next time, you are trying to trim your bird’s feathers forcefully, think of the breach of trust and independence you are inflicting on your family member. Would you cause such mental grief to someone you love? If not, try to find a middle path that neither bothers you nor your bird.

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3 Comments

  1. hi, I m Saikat from Bangladesh. yesterday I owned two budgie. these are my first budgie, named them Charlie and Cherry. your articles are really helpful and I’ll try to follow. I m not also prefer clipping. it seems to me to force yours children in which they are not interested.
    lastly, pray for me so that I can be a good dady for my budgie. and also keep praying for my new budgie, Charlie and Cherry.

  2. I just want to be able to spend some time outside with my bird so would harness training him be ok just to spend about 10-20 minutes outside with him?

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