How To Clip Your Birds Nails (10 Easy Steps)

Clipping and Trimming Your Bird Nails – A Stepwise Guide

Start off with Using a perch made up of concrete in the cage can help in filing nails.

Don’t use sandpaper perch covers -they’re irritating.

When your bird’s nails are too long visibly, you can visit the avian vet and get them trimmed in the first place.

Vets generally charge $15 to $20 for a nail trim. During the vet visit keep a recoding of how he does it at home.

How to Trim Your Bird’s Nails -What You Need:

  • Paper towels
  • A helping hand
  • Work gloves for your helper
  • Nail clippers designed for pets
  • A towel that is  large enough to wrap around the whole bird’s body
  • Blood clotting powder such as cornstarch, wheat flour, or Styptic Powder
  • A bird nails that could use a clipping

6 Visible Signs Your Pet Bird Needs a Nail Trim

  1. Overgrown Nail Length
  2. Abnormal Perching Behavior
  3. Difficulty while Getting Around
  4. Scabby Patches on the Bird’s Skin
  5. Scratches on the handler Skin
  6. Nails getting stuck in clothes
How To Clip Your Birds Nails

10 Steps to clip and trim birds nails

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 15-20 minutes depending on the size, temperament, and length of nails of the bird

Step #1

Locate the toenail’s blood source, if you can. Like humans, the bird’s toenails have a blood source that bleeds badly if a cut is made.

In pink nails (such as the Lutino Cockatiel) you can clearly see its colors is dark pink or red, but fairly difficult to see on dark nails.

Step #2

Use scissors made for cats, dogs, and small pets, or especially birds if you can find them in shops around.

These clippers are usually round in shape so that you can simply put the nail tip via the hole and clip off.

Avoid mixing the nail trimmers for your cat or dog with the trimmer for your bird.

Avoid using the same nail trimmer for all your pets as it may result in transmitting infections or diseases.

Step #3

Obtain a good clotting powder present in homes like flour or cornstarch

You can use this to stop any bleeding.

Do not use Styptic Powder on the skin, as it will burn. Only use it on toenails.

Step #4

Get a towel large enough to wrap around your bird’s body. Don’t let it be so long that it gets in the way.

One person should towel the bird.

Take and wrap the towel in such as way that both ends meet near the belly of the bird.

Step #5

Your index finger and thumb finger should always be around the bird’s neck, below her beak. This will stop her from biting you.

Do not compress the bird’s belly!

Like humans, birds don’t have a diaphragm, and an absence of expansion and contraction of their bodies, they may suffocate to death.

Keep your other hand loosely around and above the legs of your bird’s body.

Step #6

The Helping person should slowly extend a toe at a time for clipping.

Avoid pulling toes or feet harder; these limbs are so delicate that even a small pressure can rupture them.

Be very gentle. The bird will struggle. A gentle but firm grip can get the job done.

Step #7

Using the nail clippers, take off a small amount of nail on each foot to avoid cutting into the blood supply.

Take off the sharper edge, will help to blunt the nail thereby increasing safety towards sharp cuts.

Step #8

If you cut quickly and the nail starts to bleed, wet the tip of your finger and dip it in the Styptic Powder, flour, or cornstarch.

Slowly put the powder over the affected area of the nail thereby packing it lightly, this way The bleeding should stop.

If the blood flow is fast and uncontrollable even after applying powder, immediately seek your vet.

Excessive and frequent bleeding can cause the birds to die due to blood loss.

Step #9

After each nail has been clipped, gently release the bird.

She will probably be disoriented and stressed out. Keep her calm, return her to the cage and give her a treat.

Step #10

Make sure she’s warm and comfortable.

If there is prior bleeding history, Give a periodic check to make sure the bird hasn’t started bleeding all over again.

Some for Friendly Tips:

Tip #1

Use nail clippers designed specifically for birds.

You can also use rounded nail clippers mostly used for cats, just make sure to keep a separate clipper for your bird.

Tip #2

Keep a blood clotting powder on hand at all times, and not just for clipping.

You can simply use flour and corn starch available in-home groceries or buy Styptic Powder in shops.

Tip #3

NEVER use Styptic Powder on the skin! It will burn!

Tip #4

Always use two people when clipping nails.

One should hold the bird gently and firmly, the other should just focus on clipping nails.

Tip #5

Give your bird a treat or what she loves to eat as a gesture of cooperative behavior after the clipping session.

She’ll be frightened from being restrained and need reassurance that everything is ok.

For Further Reading