How to Clip Pigeons’ Wings: A Complete Guide

Are you wondering how to clip pigeons’ wings? Well, I’m here to share with you what I’ve seen and learned about how to cut pigeons’ wings to keep them healthy as well as to keep them as pets. 

Some of you might be new to all this pigeon stuff, and you might wonder, why would someone cut off pigeons’ wings? Does clipping a pigeon’s wings hurt? Isn’t it cruel to clip pigeon’s wings? 

Well, you cut off your nails every week or so, does it hurt? 

Does it seem like a bad thing if you get a hair cut in the summer?

Does it hurt when you or your father or husband or boyfriend shave the beard off?

Of course, all these things could wrong if you don’t know how to do it. Don’t you get a cut sometimes while shaving? Similarly, if a person doesn’t know how to do pigeons’ wings clipping, they could end up hurting the pigeons. Therefore, it’s necessary to learn the thing before trying it.

Please be advised that I’m not a pigeon expert here. Therefore, I asked my Uncle, who happens to be a pigeon breeder, to come over and show me how to clip pigeons’ wings. Feel free to consult your pigeon expert or guide; you don’t need to follow the methods I share with you. 

Don’t miss out on the video of clipping pigeons’ wings to better understand the methods I’m about to share with you in the article. 

Before I dig deeper into sharing the methods of clipping pigeons’ wings, you must know two essential points of clipping pigeons’ wings. 

How to clip pigeons' wings

2 Key Elements of Clipping Pigeons’ Wings

Don’t try to clip pigeons’ wings if you’re new to pigeons. Instead, ask your pigeon breeder or expert to do so. You may not even need this unless the breeder recommends that. Anyway, take care of a couple of things while clipping pigeons’ wings:

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1. Don’t pluck new feathers

A lot of pigeon breeders and experts pluck old feathers in the pigeons’ wings. There could be multiple reasons for doing so. The breeders may want to give pigeons a fresh look. So it becomes a part of the makeover. Once they pluck the old feathers, the new ones come out in a few days.

However, don’t ever pluck the new feathers; they might be small and sensitive. So if you pluck those feathers, not only would you hurt the pigeon, but you may also end up bleeding the pigeon a little bit. So please be careful about this. Let the pigeon expert or breeder do this for you. 

2. Don’t cut off wings too much

I’ve heard stories of young kids who wanted to clip their pigeons or parrots’ wings so that they don’t fly away. They end up cutting too much of their wings, and that caused pain to the birds. I want you to be very careful about this thing. Watch the video embedded in this blog post on how to go about clipping your pigeons’ wings. 

2 Ways of Clipping Pigeons’ Wings

There are two approaches to go about clipping pigeons’ wings that are common among the pigeon breeders and experts worldwide. You’ll be surprised to them out:

1. Trimming the fewer feathers

One way of clipping the pigeons’ wings is to leave the first couple of feathers from the outer side as they are and cut off the next three or four feathers halfway through. The length, however, matters a lot. You might not want to hurt your pigeons, so be very careful with those feathers’ length. Watch the video embedded in this blog post to determine what precisely the ideal size of those four to five feathers should be. 

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Similarly, the number of feathers you trim is significant. Don’t cut off more than four or five feathers on the wings. The number of feathers you cut off could be between three or five, which depends on the breed, age, and growth of the pigeon. 

Don’t forget that you would have to trim feathers on either side. Otherwise, the pigeon grooming would appear a little off.   

2. Trimming the tail feathers along with wing feathers

The second method of clipping the pigeons’ wings is to trim the tail feathers and the first four or five feathers. In this method, you don’t leave the first two feathers behind, but instead, you cut off the first two and the next two right after them. 

Look at the angle of cutting the feathers, especially in the second method. I added a video guide in this blog post because you could see how exactly it’s done. Once you go through the text content, you may have some ambiguity in mind, especially if you’re keeping pigeons for the first time. But when you watch the process in the video, you could replicate the process. Of course, it also requires some due diligence on whether or not you’re ready for this. If you have been a little bit experienced in taking care of pigeons, then it won’t be a problem for you. The first-timers, however, might get sweaty while doing so. 

That’s why I made a video about clipping pigeon’s wings so that you could watch the process and learn how to do it.

What surprised me the most about method #2 is that it immensely improves a pigeon’s health when you trim the tail feathers along with the wing feathers. The reason my Uncle shared with me was that when a pigeon doesn’t have enough wings and feathers, the body develops, and the pigeon’s growth gets better. 

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FAQs about Clipping Pigeons’ Wings

How do you cut pigeon feathers?

There are two ways to do so. You can either trim the three or four feathers after the first two on either side or trim to the fourth or fifth feather, but remember the length and how much should you cut off the matter. Please check out the video embedded in this blog post to better understand how to cut pigeon feathers. 

How do you clip a bird’s wings at home?

There are two simple ways to clip pigeons’ wings that were discussed above in the blog post. I’m not entirely sure how it goes for other birds. 

Do you clip both wings on a budgie?

Some bird owners like to trim a couple of feathers in the wings in the budgie. However, they mostly remain in the cage, so you don’t need to clip their wings. 

Does it hurt a bird to clip its wings?

If you do it right, then it doesn’t hurt. Look at the methods discussed in the blog post or watch the video embedded in this blog post to clip the pigeon’s wings. 

Do pigeon feathers grow back? 

Yes, they grow back. In fact, pigeons lose feathers in the summer, and the fresh ones grow back in a few weeks. 

How long does it take for a pigeon’s tail feathers to grow back?

It may take 5 to 7 weeks for pigeons to grow tail feathers back. However, it also depends on the size and breed of the pigeons. Plus, health and food also play a vital role in pigeon’s feather growth.

Kathy Gonzales

I'm an author of I have kept pigeons as pets for over 20 years and have written several articles. Here in this blog, I cover topics such as how to care for pigeons, what to feed them, and how to keep them healthy.