Some ducks will fly. That’s sometimes fine, but sometimes they will fly away, and you may never see them again. The solution? Clip their wings.

It’s also possible to pinion them (which involves actually cutting off the tip of the wing), but it’s  best done by a vet and can only be done to 1-5-day-olds. A safer, although less permanent option is clipping. It can be done in 10 seconds and does not cause any pain to the bird, but you do have to redo it after the annual molt.

Here is my video on how to clip a duck’s wings:

It’s sometimes easier with two people, depending on how squirmy your duck is. As you saw in the video, Whisper yanked free and tried to escape. Remember to be gentle!

Below is the diagram showing where to clip, as a still image. The red is either too far or not enough; the green is acceptable.

Wing Clipping Diagram
A diagram of clipping paths.

 

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