Timneh African grey parrot getting face pet while holding mans finger with zygodactyl foot

How Do You Know That Your Greys Nails Need to Be Trimmed?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Betty M. wants to learn more about pet bird nail trimming.

I don’t know how much I should trim my AG’s nails. They are all black. I trimmed one nail too much, and it took a long time to clot.

 

I used the clotting gel which didn’t help much. Thanks.

 

Dear Betty

How do you know that your Greys nails need to be trimmed? Is it because when it is on you and they are sharp and pointy? If that is all then it is not a reason to cut the nails.

 

Birds need their nails to be able to safely perch and climb. 

 

When they are trimmed just to remove sharp points the bird is in danger of harming itself until they grow back.

 

In the wild the birds keep their nails worn down because they climb trees with bark and dig in the ground for food.

 

In their cages with their food handy in dishes, their nails can become quite sharp and pointy.

 

The Ultimate List of 13 Bird Beak and Foot Structures.

 

Yes, the very tips can be trimmed but most of the time a groomer will trim further than needed so the job lasts longer.

 

But as you know, a shorter trim can result in cutting the quick and causing bleeding. Groomers will often use a cauterizing tool to stop blood loss. This still all results in pain for the bird.

 

 

How Hagen grooming perches also help prevent arthritis in your bird’s feet ~ Video

 

However, unless the birds’ nails are growing improperly, are deformed, and thus harming the bird, a heavy trim is not needed, ever.

 

A much more natural approach is using grooming perches.

 

Placed properly, they can help remove the sharp nail tips that make holding our sweet birds more comfortable and allow them to stay in control of their perching and climbing abilities.

 

A large grooming perch mounted low and inside the front of the cage, the door is ideal will give your bird a place to sit and dance when it is waiting for you to take it out of the cage and thus is filing the tips of its own nails.

 

Small grooming perches mounted next to the food and water dishes act as birdie napkins to wipe their beak on which helps with the little cracks that form there.

 

Grooming perches should never be mounted high and in the rear of the cage as that is where the bird will want to sleep and asleep perch should be natural wood or rope.

 

If you feel you must trim the nails keep it to the very tips only. An electric rotary trimmer can help. We have them available here.

 

Regards,

Catherine

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Thank you, Catherine, I was feeling guilty because I thought I wasn’t clipping my Red Lored Amazon’s and Blue & Gold Macaw’s nails often enough. I don’t do it unless it’s necessary. When I do, I take only the smallest amount. Now I realize that’s a good plan.
    Jeanne Cowan

  2. Are those grooming perches the ‘sand paper perch’ type of perch or are they like compressed and hard calcium or concrete type?
    I’m on my tiny phone and can’t tell.
    My CAG, Enzo, sleeps on a coiled rope type perch and hangs out mostly on real branch wood perches or rope type but we have a sand paper type one between food and water.
    I swear he loves that perch and also uses it for beak maintenance.
    When the old one broke, we let someone convince us that they were evil and super harmful to Enzo, but his feet became crazy sharp, like Japanese chef knife sharp, and he was constantly messing with his feet
    Then when we replaced it, within a week, his daggers were dull and it became safe to handle him again and he stopped picking on his feet.
    I think he knows what that perch does and really likes it. It’s funny watching him grip-pull it with his feet when doing a dance ( I think he is intentionally sanding his claws) and prefers the perch over all other items for beak maintenance.
    I’m looking for a new one as the one I have is getting fugly but curious as to what your identified perches were/ are like.

  3. A properly placed pedicure perch will help keep nail tips worn enough to make for a less painful perching on your body.

    The pedicure perches we offer come in two types.

    Oyster shell/calcium-based which can be chewed/eaten by the birds

    Concrete/cement types that are not edible and will last for many years

    Gravel paper-type perches are not long-lasting and best for small birds like canaries, finches, parakeets

    Pedicure perches are best placed either in the front of the cage, low, as to not encourage sleeping on them or by the food dishes.

    If placed low in front (not real low, figure midway) on the inside of the door will give the bird a place to “dance” while they wait for you to let them out and thus file their nail tips.
    Or placed by or between the food dishes so the birds stand on them while eating and it also helps as a birdie “napkin” for when they eat, then rub their beaks on the nearest perch to clean their beaks, which then also helps to smooth the little cracks along the edges of their beaks.

    Also, pedicure perches should be ordered in sizes larger than their usual perches so their nails rub ON the surface and do not wrap around them.

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