How to Trim Your Bird’s Nails

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Written by Arlene S. Lane

One of the major parts of owning a pet bird is to take care of its grooming which can be a nerve-wracking experience for any pet owner. But it is most stressful for new pet owners. If you are wondering how you can Trim Bird’s Nails then you aren’t the only one. A number of pet owners are looking online for guides, tips, and tricks regarding this.

This is quite an important part of pet grooming so leaving it to professional pet groomers is crucial. However, not every pet owner wants to hire a groomer and wants to clip birds nails by themselves. Though this is a good thing only if you know what you are doing. Here is what you need to know regarding this.

Why Bird Nail Clipping Is Important?

The nails of a bird will keep growing just like any other living being. Their nails are important not only for catching their food but they have for sitting on branches, climbing trees, eating food, and do other things. Plus, they are part of your bird’s aesthetics. However, the problem will arise when they are overgrown because the owner didn’t know how to cut birds nails and didn’t care about taking them to professional groomers.  

Their nails will start to curl and they will be unable to sit tightly on the branch if you didn’t Trim Bird’s Nails. Without bird nail clipping they will go towards their feed eventually making them unable to walk or hold anything. They will be unable to eat their food and they cannot sleep properly. In short, there are plenty of things that can go wrong when you don’t trim your poor birdie’s nails. 

How To Cut Birds Nails?

When it is time to trim a bird’s nails then it could be one of the most stressful tasks in taking care of a bird pet. If you are going to clip birds nails for the first time then I would recommend you to not do it unless you know how to cut birds nails and you have everything around you just in case of emergency (bleeding). Yes, this is possible as one single hand shaking or birds moving and bird claws may get injured and lose blood. You should consult your vet to learn about useful and personalized tips for a particular bird nail clipping. 

Here is a simple guide regarding how to cut birds’ nails. Just continue reading the following.

Prepare Yourself

One of the first things you should do before trimming bird claws is to get every useful thing around you so you will not have to leave your birds again and again. You should prepare for the saloon with items for bird nail clipping:

  • Trash can
  • Flashlight
  • Treats
  • Two towels
  • Clotting powder
  • Nail clippers or file

Spread a towel near your bird and set all the equipment in a way so you can reach it easily. While a human nail clipper is a good option to take a start, you can use a specially made bird nail clipper as well to trim bird’s nails. Have a styptic powder near you just in case your bird got injured.

Hold Him Carefully

When it comes to trimming or clipping the bird’s nails then you should know how to hold them carefully. You can even take the assistance of another person in this process as well. Your birds will require a lot of work. You should start by swaddling the bird gently with a soft towel and make sure it isn’t too tight for them. You will get an even better grip with a towel and it will provide him better security as well. Don’t act in rush, instead, take your time to handle the bird and let your bird adjust to the process. Dont just scare them with bird nail clipper 

Clip One Nail At a Time

Once your bird has got calm enough and you are holding him comfortably now is the time to trim bird nails carefully. As mentioned earlier, don’t act in rush. Take your time and continue trimming or clipping one nail at a time. If you are trimming the nails then gently raise the little toe and start trimming. You can take the help of a flashlight in this process. Birds with light-colored feet will be easier to see the situation. Take care of the eyes while flashing the light because of the sensitive eyes.

However, the problem will be the darker nails that can be hard to find and trim. Remember not to do it quickly because you can hurt your bird’s nails. Even while doing it, you should trim a tiny bit of the nail at a time with a bird nail clipper. This may consume time but you don’t want to injure his tiny blood vessels. Don’t forget to file the nails for further safety.

Understand When To Stop

When you are about to Trim Bird’s Nails, you may get a little blood. If you see so, quickly stop doing anything, even if the nail is half trimmed. Apply pressure to the wound. Now rub the powder on it gently. This will help the blood to be stopped in long run. Stop trimming the claws and clean the blood with a towel. Leave the nail clipping and trimming for another day. If your bird is a chatterbox and vocalizes all the time, he may not shout about the hurting. This is their instinct because in the wild they would just invite hunters. It’s your job to look really closely for signs of distress.

Treat Him and Appreciate Him

Just because they are small in size doesn’t mean they will not appreciate your praising words and soft-toned voice. Once they are done, calm them by gently showering them with appreciation. Let them know how well they did while putting them back in the cage. Not only just that, give them some treats so they will know this was a great thing done by them.

You will have to keep repeating the process until you have trimmed bird nails. Depending on the breed of the bird, they will not require to do it again sooner but when it is, repeat the whole process once again. If you keep doing it with care and gently then proceeded to give them the treats then they will be ready for nail trimming calmly without any effort in near future.

Words of Caution

In this article, I tried my best to guide you on how to cut birds nails. If you find that your bird is acting abnormally after the injury such as not standing straight, not bearing any pressure on its claws, or will not let you touch the feet then get it to the vet as soon as possible to see if everything is all right. Make sure to talk to them about how to cut birds’ nails for some useful tips for pet bird care.

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

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