Trimming and caring of budgies nails

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07-Nov-2008 10:27

Can I trim my budgies nails? Yes, but it is important to be careful when trimming the nails. The quick is the blood and nerve supply that grows part way down the middle of each nail (birds have a very long quick). In light colored nails it is visible as the pink area in the nail. In dark or black nails the quick is completely hidden. When cut, the quick may bleed profusely. Birds do not have a very good clotting mechanism, so be careful. If you choose to attempt nail trims at home then you must have a clotting agent or styptic powder on hand. A pet store or your veterinarian may have a safe pet product available. Powdered clotting agents seem to work better than liquids.

Small bird nails may be trimmed with a human nail clipper.  The bird should be securely and safely restrained.  This is usually a 2 person job.  One person holds the bird and the other person does the trimming.  You can wrap your bird in a towel to secure him/her better. The nail may be trimmed a little at a time to help lessen the chance of bleeding. It takes good judgment and practice to trim nails properly. If bleeding occurs, remain calm, restrain the bird safely and securely and use finger pressure to pinch the toe just before the nail. This will provide a tourniquet action while a clotting agent or styptic powder is pushed into the cut end. Cornstarch or flour may be used in an emergency but is not an adequate substitute under normal situations.

Your veterinarian can trim the nails safely during regular health examinations and is prepared to deal with any bleeding should it occur. Finding an Avian Vet

Ways to keep your budgies nails healthy. Do not use sandpaper perch covers as they do not keep the nails short and could cause terrible sores on the bottom of the feet. Bumblefoot is a good read for everyone.

Natural washed branches from non-toxic trees make great perches. Trees such as elm, apple, plum, pear, magnolia, citrus trees, and poplar are just a few suggestions, Leave the bark on for texture and chewing. They should be of varying sizes and provide the opportunity for the bird to grip or grasp the perch, not just stand on with open feet. Birds are less likely to slip off, startle or fall from perches that they are able to grasp tightly. Varying sized perches provide better exercise for the bird’s feet.

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