Pruning (plumage)

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Trim a wing of a domestic chicken
Moluccan Cockatoo with clipped wings

Stub called trimming the wing feathers of birds to take them the ability to fly or lower them. Wing trimming is an established practice in domesticated , pet or zoo birds. It is intended to prevent escape and the risk of injury from flying in a confined space or to promote taming . Since there are no nerve endings in the feathers , this procedure does not cause any physical pain when used properly.

Neck should not be confused with irreversible interventions, such as B. the surgical removal or laser destruction of the follicles (growth zones of the feathers on the bone).


Usually the same number of flight feathers are cut on both wings. With chickens and ducks, pruning on one side is usually sufficient, as these birds are naturally bad fliers. To minimize the risk of falling, it is best to trim only a few feathers. If the flight ability is still too great, further feathers can be cut.

In order to permanently limit the ability to fly, the procedure must be repeated after each moult . It should be noted that the feathers to be cut are fully grown and no longer supplied with blood, otherwise the bird could die.


Some animal rights organizations criticize the pruning as cruelty to animals, as it hinders the natural way of life and leads to stress in the animals due to the annual repetition.


Another reversible method is the application of wing clips .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ PETA Germany eV: Tolerated cruelty to animals: Zoos make birds unable to fly. Retrieved October 17, 2019 .