Do parrots need pedicures?
The claws of a parrot, if not kept trimmed, can quickly get out of control. If they become too long, they can begin to curl down and grow into the bird’s legs, causing significant pain and discomfort. This is why it is very important to take good care of your parrot claws.
Some people may prefer to entrust their bird to a professional, but I have found that it is much faster and less expensive to do it at home. Here’s how to do it.
What you’ll need to cut a parrot’s claws
A washcloth. This one will be used to hold the parrot. It will protect you from bites and will help you to keep the parrot calm.
A pair of clippers. If you don’t have them yet, you can find them in any pet store. However, they are much cheaper online.
A helper. Although it is not absolutely necessary, it will be very helpful if someone else holds the parrot while you clip its claws. You will eventually learn to do it yourself, but for now, it is wise to have a little help.
Step 1: Securing your parrot
Before you start clipping your parrot’s claws, you will need to securely and comfortably tie it in a washcloth. To do this, place a clean washcloth over your parrot and grasp it by the back with your hand. Make sure its wings are folded to the sides; if they are spread and you try to hold it in this position, it could injure itself. There is no need to squeeze it, just hold it in place very gently. As long as he can’t spread his wings, he can’t go anywhere.
Note: He will probably scream a lot. This doesn’t mean you’re hurting him, as long as you don’t squeeze too hard. It’s not really fun for him to be confined like this, so he’ll be a little distressed. I’m used to singing to my parrot songs that I know she likes. It calms her down a bit.
Step 2: Locate the vein
Now it’s time to start cutting. Before cutting each nail, it is important to examine it carefully and locate the vein. Parrots have veins that run about halfway through the upper part of their claws. It looks like a red line and should be clearly visible through the light colored claws.
You should avoid cutting the vein. Simply place the tip of the pliers in the center of the pliers, and press the handles together. Although this may scare your parrot a little, don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt him to get his nails cut!
What if you cut a vein?
If you accidentally cut a vein, put styptic powder (available at pet stores), cornstarch (baby powder) or flour in the palm of your free hand and dip the bleeding nail into it. This will help stop the bleeding. In general, the nail bed will heal and your parrot will be fine! But if the bleeding does not stop, you will have to take your parrot to the vet urgently.
Step 3: Release your parrot
After cutting off all the claws of your parrot, you are finished! All you have to do is release it from your grip. He will recover very quickly from the stress he may have felt a few moments ago. You will have to repeat this process every time you notice that his claws are getting too long.
I have to cut my parrot claws every couple of months or so. It depends on how fast they grow and how naturally they are filed between cuts. If that sounds a little scary, don’t worry. It will get easier every time you try. You’ll be more comfortable with the process and you’ll be more confident in your ability not to hurt your parrot. Keep going. If you have any questions or problems, call your local veterinarian for advice. Good luck!