Vet gives young parrot a new pair of wing tips after ‘severe wing trim’ left it unable to fly 

A doting vet has given a twelve-week-old bird a beautiful new pair of wing tips made from donated feathers after a ‘severe wing trim’ by its owner left it unable to fly. 

Like many pet birds, Wei Wei — a young Green Cheeked Conure — had her wings clipped to stop her from flying away.

However, the procedure had left her falling to the ground and hurting herself. 

Animal doctor Catherine Apuli, 31 of Brisbane, Australia’s ‘The Unusual Pet Vets’ assembled the new wing tips which were glued on while Wei Wei was unconscious. 

Known as ‘imping’, repairing a damaged feather by attaching part of a new one is a centuries-old practice that is painless for birds to undergo.  

The operation was a complete success, with Wei Wei taking to the air again within hours — allowing her to learn how to manoeuvre and land herself safely. 

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A doting vet has given a twelve-week-old bird a beautiful new pair of wing tips made from donated feathers after a 'severe wing trim' left it unable to fly. Pictured, 12-week-old Wei Wei

A doting vet has given a twelve-week-old bird a beautiful new pair of wing tips made from donated feathers after a 'severe wing trim' left it unable to fly. Pictured, 12-week-old Wei Wei

A doting vet has given a twelve-week-old bird a beautiful new pair of wing tips made from donated feathers after a ‘severe wing trim’ left it unable to fly. Pictured, 12-week-old Wei Wei

Like many pet birds, Wei Wei — a young Green Cheeked Conure — had her wings clipped to stop her from flying away. Pictured, Wei Wei's new wing tips, which were donated to the clinic

Like many pet birds, Wei Wei — a young Green Cheeked Conure — had her wings clipped to stop her from flying away. Pictured, Wei Wei's new wing tips, which were donated to the clinic

Like many pet birds, Wei Wei — a young Green Cheeked Conure — had her wings clipped to stop her from flying away. Pictured, Wei Wei’s new wing tips, which were donated to the clinic

Animal doctor Catherine Apuli, 31 of Brisbane, Australia's 'The Unusual Pet Vets' assembled the new wing tips which were glued on while Wei Wei was unconscious, pictured

Animal doctor Catherine Apuli, 31 of Brisbane, Australia's 'The Unusual Pet Vets' assembled the new wing tips which were glued on while Wei Wei was unconscious, pictured

Animal doctor Catherine Apuli, 31 of Brisbane, Australia’s ‘The Unusual Pet Vets’ assembled the new wing tips which were glued on while Wei Wei was unconscious, pictured

The operation was a complete success, with Wei Wei taking to the air again within hours — allowing her to learn how to manoeuvre and land herself safely. Pictured, Wei Wei and veterinarian Catherine Apuli

The operation was a complete success, with Wei Wei taking to the air again within hours — allowing her to learn how to manoeuvre and land herself safely. Pictured, Wei Wei and veterinarian Catherine Apuli

 The operation was a complete success, with Wei Wei taking to the air again within hours — allowing her to learn how to manoeuvre and land herself safely. Pictured, Wei Wei and veterinarian Catherine Apuli

WHY ARE PET BIRDS’ WINGS CLIPPED? 

Pet birds have their wings clipped to stop them from flying away — such as through open doors or windows.

It also keeps them from dangers like ceiling fans, stoves and toilets.

Light clips allow the bird to fly downwards and land safely indoors. 

Clipping also makes birds more dependant — with some suggesting this can improve the pet–human bond.

Clipping is typically done by owners, breeders, vets or pet stores — and is painless when done correctly.

However, some pet owners believe that the procedure is cruel, as it takes away the bird’s natural freedom.

Clipped birds also lose a primary means of getting exercise. 

‘The bird had a severe wing trim, which means that the flight feathers were cut too short and too many feathers were cut,’ said Dr Apuli.

‘As a result of the wing clip, the bird was sustaining heavy falls to the ground, which has the potential to injure the bird.’

‘In Wei Wei’s case, she was falling heavily and the owner noticed she was painful on her feet.’

When done correctly, clipping should leave a bird able to fly downwards and land safely indoors.

‘Primary flight feathers — the big feathers at the ends of the wings — which have been traumatised may result in pain, bleeding, unwanted aggressive behaviours and self-induced feather plucking.’

‘The imping procedure was performed to prevent further physical injury and to regain flight for optimal mental and physical health.’

WHAT IS IMPING? 

Imping — or ‘implanting’ — is a procedure in which damaged feathers are repaired with parts of new ones. 

Donated feathers are cleaned, and sterilised prior to attachment.

The base of the feather is cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick, wire or other support, which is then secured in place with glue.

The procedure is painless — and often used to by falconers to repair feathers damaged when birds are hunting. 

‘The feathers were donated to the clinic; each feather was then cleaned, sterilised and dried prior to preparation,’ Dr Apuli continued.

‘The base of the feather was cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick, where it is secured in place with glue.’

‘The bird was then placed under a light anaesthetic to ensure the Wei Wei did not move whilst the feathers were placed correctly and the glue dried for this painless procedure to be performed.’

‘Wei Wei was then placed in our heated hospital room for a couple of hours before encouraged to fly.’

'The bird had a severe wing trim, which means that the flight feathers were cut too short and too many feathers were cut,' said Dr Apuli

'The bird had a severe wing trim, which means that the flight feathers were cut too short and too many feathers were cut,' said Dr Apuli

‘The bird had a severe wing trim, which means that the flight feathers were cut too short and too many feathers were cut,’ said Dr Apuli

'As a result of the wing clip, the bird was sustaining heavy falls to the ground, which has the potential to injure the bird — in Wei Wei's case, she was falling heavily and the owner noticed she was painful on her feet,' said Dr Apuli

'As a result of the wing clip, the bird was sustaining heavy falls to the ground, which has the potential to injure the bird — in Wei Wei's case, she was falling heavily and the owner noticed she was painful on her feet,' said Dr Apuli

‘As a result of the wing clip, the bird was sustaining heavy falls to the ground, which has the potential to injure the bird — in Wei Wei’s case, she was falling heavily and the owner noticed she was painful on her feet,’ said Dr Apuli

'Primary flight feathers — the big feathers at the ends of the wings — which have been traumatised may result in pain, bleeding, unwanted aggressive behaviours and self-induced feather plucking,' said Dr Apuli

'Primary flight feathers — the big feathers at the ends of the wings — which have been traumatised may result in pain, bleeding, unwanted aggressive behaviours and self-induced feather plucking,' said Dr Apuli

‘Primary flight feathers — the big feathers at the ends of the wings — which have been traumatised may result in pain, bleeding, unwanted aggressive behaviours and self-induced feather plucking,’ said Dr Apuli

'The imping procedure was performed to prevent further physical injury and to regain flight for optimal mental and physical health,' said Dr Apuli

'The imping procedure was performed to prevent further physical injury and to regain flight for optimal mental and physical health,' said Dr Apuli

‘The imping procedure was performed to prevent further physical injury and to regain flight for optimal mental and physical health,’ said Dr Apuli

‘She flew very well after a few attempts and appeared quite excited that she could suddenly fly!’

‘Now that Wei Wei has leant how to fly, she can safely land and manoeuvre herself through the air.’

‘She no longer falls to the ground and so does not hurt herself.’

'The feathers were donated to the clinic; each feather was then cleaned, sterilised and dried prior to preparation,' said Dr Apuli

'The feathers were donated to the clinic; each feather was then cleaned, sterilised and dried prior to preparation,' said Dr Apuli

‘The feathers were donated to the clinic; each feather was then cleaned, sterilised and dried prior to preparation,’ said Dr Apuli

'The base of the feather was cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick, where it is secured in place with glue,' said Dr Apuli

'The base of the feather was cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick, where it is secured in place with glue,' said Dr Apuli

‘The base of the feather was cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick, where it is secured in place with glue,’ said Dr Apuli

'The bird was then placed under a light anaesthetic to ensure the Wei Wei did not move whilst the feathers were placed correctly and the glue dried for this painless procedure to be performed,' said Dr Apuli

'The bird was then placed under a light anaesthetic to ensure the Wei Wei did not move whilst the feathers were placed correctly and the glue dried for this painless procedure to be performed,' said Dr Apuli

‘The bird was then placed under a light anaesthetic to ensure the Wei Wei did not move whilst the feathers were placed correctly and the glue dried for this painless procedure to be performed,’ said Dr Apuli

'She flew very well after a few attempts and appeared quite excited that she could suddenly fly!' said Dr Apuli

'She flew very well after a few attempts and appeared quite excited that she could suddenly fly!' said Dr Apuli

‘She flew very well after a few attempts and appeared quite excited that she could suddenly fly!’ said Dr Apuli

'Now that Wei Wei has leant how to fly, she can safely land and manoeuvre herself through the air. She no longer falls to the ground and so does not hurt herself,' said Dr Apuli

'Now that Wei Wei has leant how to fly, she can safely land and manoeuvre herself through the air. She no longer falls to the ground and so does not hurt herself,' said Dr Apuli

‘Now that Wei Wei has leant how to fly, she can safely land and manoeuvre herself through the air. She no longer falls to the ground and so does not hurt herself,’ said Dr Apuli

Link hienalouca.com

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