Sunday, November 27, 2011

About the Necessity of Pedicure

If you're a seagull and you read this, just cast an eye at your feet and ask yourself: "Are my claws too long?" A wild seagull's claws are never long. During take-offs, landings and running on rocks (or other kinds of rough materials) they're being blunted and kept short. We domesticated gulls can afford being lazy, whereas in wildlife you fight for survival all the time, so claws cannot grow long.

Too long claws are no good:
  1. You stumble if they hook one another.
  2. You might eventually hurt your eyes while scratching your head (don't know -- just my personal concern).
  3. Too long claws tend to turn outside, while you're standing on your feet. Any orthopedist will tell you, this isn't healthy for your bones.
My feet at November 21: Long claws tend to turn outside!

Seagulls don't use their claws to cling, like those birds who sit on trees. Gulls cannot cling -- we just stand, like dogs, ducks and humans. If you see a gull on a lantern, or something: that individual is just standing up there. Long gull-claws are useless, annoying and potentially dangerous! So you gotta keep 'em short.

November 27: This is way too long--were're the pincers?!

A wild gull's feet in stony environment: Claws don't grow so very long there.

This is how to cut the claws of a seagull:
Humans use various kinds of pincers, to shorten their claws. So you take something like that. Mind that your claws might turn around while the pincers' jaws close forcefully! So you close them softly, let the claw find its most stable position between the jaws.... and then you press. You better let your human do it, for this isn't easily done with a beak....
Personally I have my claws blunted with a little file after that -- I don't wanna hurt myself with sharp edges, that's why we do it. Humans have lots of vanity, fooling around with those ridiculous nail files. Well, it can't harm if you're a bit neat too....

Now they're cut off. It isn't really fun, but it had to be.

Now let's discuss how to improve the skin condition of your feet. Even humans love to walk in the mud, because it's good for their feet. We gulls do it a lot in the wild, but if we have to live in houses as disabled gulls, it's hardly possible. In this case you might wanna try human hand cream, if the skin of your webbed feet gets too dry.

As you see here, my feet tend to be a little dry at times.

Of course you choose a cream without perfume and other unnecessary chemical stuff. There are special creams for humans with delicate hands on the market, so you better use those. Try it once and see, whether an allergic reaction will occur: if this is the case you try out another cream. Hand cream should be rubbed in by your human pet -- you can actually train your human to rub in the cream. Finally it (the human) should add a bit more cream on top of your feet (while you're standing upright), just this time don't have it rubbed in.

Now you're done and your feet look neat.

This looks very much better. The feet look a little reddish,
since the massage encouraged the blood circulation, but that's okay.
Claws have regular length now: I'm not an eagle--just a normal herring gull.

Our YouTube films on this issue:

The next morning, after having changed the bird sand:


  1. Do gull toenails have a vein running through the middle of them? I know that with parrots, you have to be careful not to cut too much when clipping their toenails, otherwise it bleeds - and presumably hurts.

  2. Very good question!

    Yes, I heard this was an issue with budgies. I asked myself the same question you just asked for years. I should actually ask a veterinarian whether ducks and geese have this vein....