Grooming includes elective procedures to help our birds "stay" with us (wing clipping) and assist their natural grooming ritual (nail trims) to avoid getting caught on cage bars, clothing, carpeting or various toys. BOTH wings, not just one, should be trimmed at the same time and follow anatomic guidelines (Click here for handout)
The nature of even a very professional grooming procedure (i.e. the bird must be restrained) induces stress and a change in the bird's physiological state. There are many subclinical conditions such as heart disease, low blood calcium, obesity, etc. that may cause serious complications during this otherwise short procedure. When a bird has had a new bird exam and its yearly check up to minimize these risks, routine grooming (3-4 months) can be a safe and simple procedure.
Feathers that grow abnormally, nails that get caught and injured, beaks that are fractured, injured, or grow faster than normal or malocclude are ALL MEDICAL PROBLEMS and should be addressed by a qualified avian veterinarian and not your local petstore. Beyond the fact these can be serious life threatening conditions, they may be breaking the law. State laws vary, but in California the diagnosing of a medical situation in an animal and performing a treatment based on that diagnosis by a non-licensed professional (other than its owner) is practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Any person performing such acts can be held civilly liable by the owner for damages caused by that diagnosis and treatment.
Beware of unproven grooming advice from any unqualified person. "Beak grooming" will not be discussed in this section, because it is the belief of The BIRD Clinic and most avian veterinarians that abnormal beak growth is NOT a normal physiological condition, but a manifestation of a pathological condition within the bird and routine "grooming" WILL NOT correct the problem, but in fact encourages the progression of the pathologic state even to the point of death.
PLEASE DO NOT HAVE YOUR BIRD'S BEAK GROOMED !!!!!!!!