The nails of a bird grow continuously, as they do with other animals. Overgrown nails can make perching difficult, as well as painful to owners who handle their birds frequently. A Quaker’s normally high level of proper length: however, if nails do require intermittent trimming, special tools are needed to trim them properly. To check for overgrown nails, place the bird’s feet on a flat surface.
The toes should not be elevated off the surface. A normal claw will curve down and form a right angle to the end of the toe. The Quick is the living portion of the nail containing the blood and nerve supply. It extends approximately two thirds of the way down the length of the nail. If the nails need to be shortened, be prepared for possible bleeding by keeping a first aid kit handy.
The kit should include styptic powder which is useful for stopping bleeding. If styptic powder is not available, you may use flour, although it is not considered as effective. Small human nails clippers are excellent for trimming Quakers nails, as is a small hand held electric grinder with attachments. Again, a procedure such as this should include two people–one for trimming and one for restraint. Begin by cutting or grinding off only a tiny amount at a time. Continue to trim off tiny amounts until the desired length is achieved. If bleeding occurs you should of course, discontinue the trimming and use the styptic powder or flour. After trimming all the nails, the bird may hold one if its feet off the perch because the toes are sore. This will last only a few days.