How to Clip Budgie Wings (Pros and Cons)

Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by Ali Shahid

How to Clip Budgie wings

The budgie is a popular pet bird and should be kept inside for safety reasons. If you want to prevent your budgie from flying away, you may need to clip its wings.

In the debate over wing clipping’s ethics, it’s made evident that preventing birds from flying, increasing their risk for accidents, and even causing behavioral problems have all been raised.

The practice of clipping Budgies’ wings is not cruel, although they don’t need it. Without trimmed wings, budgies can escape through open windows and doors, so if they get out of sight, they pose a hazard.

A bird can also fly into ceiling fans, low doorways, hot stoves, and toilets, which is a safety concern.

Therefore, before proceeding with this debate, you should talk to a veterinarian. A veterinarian’s instructions should be sought first if you wish to clip the wings yourself.

If you attempt to clip your bird’s wings without professional assistance, you may seriously injure it.

Start by determining which wings need to be clipped. Restrain the bird while clipping each wing. Protect the bird by taking precautions.

How to Clip Budgie Wings

Gather your equipment before you begin. If possible, get assistance. Once you’ve decided where to cut, start cutting.

Wing feathers should only be removed from your budgie’s lowest layer. It is safe to clip these feathers, which are known as flight feathers. Test-fly the budgie to determine how many feathers it needs to be trimmed.

1.First aid kit

It is always better to be safe than sorry, even when you do your best to minimize the likelihood of injuring your bird.

Make sure you have your bird first aid kit handy before you begin chopping your bird’s wings. A bundle of medical supplies will be helpful for you in case of an unforeseen emergency.

2. Quiet location

Choosing a calm location for clipping your pet’s wings will help it remain calm. A bird should not be kept in a cage, exposed to loud and sudden sounds, or near household traffic. Your bird will be less likely to jump or fight while having its wings trimmed in a familiar location. For this reason, a quiet spot like a spare bedroom or bathroom is ideal.

3.Gather your Equipment

Ensure that you have all the clipping equipment you need before you begin to clip. There’s a good chance that your bird will be stressed, and you don’t want to aggravate it by rushing to get supplies. If possible, have someone else assist you in the process of clipping with a pair of small, sharp scissors, and a thick towel.

4. Get Assistants

You can clip his feathers on your own if you can hold him with one hand and spread his wings. To clip feathers and manage a bird’s wings, you will need both hands free to hold your pet. Gently hold the budgie in one hand while holding it firmly.

As you wrap your index finger and thumb around the budgie’s body, pass the budgie’s head between your index finger and middle finger. To make handling your budgie easier and prevent them from biting you, you can wrap them in a towel to make them less wild.

5.Clip only the Primary flight feathers

Although different types of wing clipping are popular, in general, thinning your bird’s wings by only clipping the first five primary flight feathers is the most widely accepted, efficient, and effective technique. Use sharp scissors to trim the feathers, and do not cut into dark feather shafts.

6. Cut one feather at a time

The first six primary flight feathers should be trimmed toward your bird’s body, starting at the wingtip. The short feathers should be cut a quarter inch below the overlapping ones. You should not cut these feathers, as cutting them can cause damage to your bird.

Clipping only one feather at a time is the best practice. Cutting the wings of a bird requires precision and concentration. It is possible to end up harming your bird if you clip all six feathers at once.

7. Cut More Feathers If Required

Your budgie should be able to fly in an enclosed room in your house. Make sure they can flap easily, let them gain a reasonable amount of height when in flight (not too much), and see if you can catch them easily.

You will need to clip two additional flight feathers from each wing if they can still fly up to the curtain rails with minimal effort. Clipping budgies’ wings do not immobile all of them. If the birds are already strong fliers, cutting their feathers will make little difference.

If you attempt to immobile such a budgie by clipping more than six flight feathers per wing, you will adversely affect the bird’s ability to regulate its body temperature.

Pros and Cons of Clipping Budgie Wings


Clipping will limit your bird’s vertical and horizontal flight, making it safe from certain things. The wings can be clipped to reduce the likelihood of being hit by ceiling fans, windows, walls, and doors. You will also be able to prevent your bird from flying out the door or window.

In the case that he escapes, he won’t be able to go very far, giving you a better chance of catching him. Because clipped birds are more dependent on their owners, they often form very good relationships with them. However, a bird that can fly similarly can be used for training.


You may want to go another route than clipping if you live with predatory animals like cats. When birds are clipped, they are unable to fly like their instincts dictate and would have a lot more difficulty escaping a cat.

This could prove disastrous for your budgies. Since your bird’s primary mode of travel is flying, clipping limits his exercise as well. As curious creatures, birds often fly about to explore new things. The bird will quickly get bored without the ability to fly if you don’t give him a lot to play with.

Consult a veterinarian if you intend to clip your bird’s wings. He or she will be able to advise you in your specific situation. Also, never let an inexperienced person clip your birds’ wings. Incorrect clipping can cause severe injury to a bird.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you clip both wings on a budgie?

Rather than trimming both wings at once, it’s best to trim only one side so that budgies can adjust to the new length and still maintain their accuracy.

Does it hurt to clip budgie’s wings?

Bird owners fear that clipping wings will hurt their birds. As long as it is done correctly, it does not hurt as much as trimming your fingernails or cutting your hair. Nevertheless, wing clipping shouldn’t be excessive.

How much does it cost to clip budgie wings?

A cockatiel or budgie’s wing clipping costs $15, while an eclectus, or galah requires $20.

How often should I clip my budgie’s wings?

As new feathers grow back after a molt cycle, wings need to be clipped every 1-3 months. All birds are different, however; some require more clipping while others need less.

Why do budgies’ wings bleed?

Blood is absorbed into the shaft of the pin feather as it develops. A fracture or crack in the sheath can occur as a result of trauma or viral infection which can lead to bleeding.


Please be aware that your budgie’s wings should only ever be clipped to limit its ability to fly, not to eliminate it. Even if it’s just from one perch to another beside it, birds rely on their wings to get from one place to another.

If you clip your budgie’s wings correctly, your pet won’t feel any pain. If you let them out in your home, it helps them to stay safe, and it makes it easier for you to catch them and return them to their aviaries.


  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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