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We got what we thought were 3 baby Indian Runner ducks last spring only to discover that one of them is a crossbreed (Indian Runner/Muscovy). Unfortunately that means she can fly, making it impossible for us to let them run around the yard periodically as we had planned. We decided to take her to the vet and get a lesson in wing clipping so that we can do it at home and give her the freedom to hunt slugs with our other ducks.
The toughest part of clipping her wings was actually securely holding her and extending her wings at the same time. She is big and very strong. :) Here are the step by step photos I took, along with some instructions.
Note: Our vet is the person doing the wing clipping in the photos. We had him teach us, so that we could do it safely. Please seek the advice of your vet if you have any questions, to avoid injuring your duck.
Why do I think this is a cruel thing to do?
I don't know... it's not. It's for the safety of the duck
This is not a painful procedure for the duck. It feels a lot like clipping your fingernails. It is not permanent. In a number of months he will have new flight feathers. It allows the duck to run freely in a fenced yard and eat what he wants (yum, slugs) rather than being confined to a much smaller area, away from his buddies, the runner (flightless) ducks. It protects him from flying out of the yard and landing who knows where (the freeway). Seems to me to be the kind thing to do.