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minimum clipping needed to prevent full flight??

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi, I got about 35 birds. About 15 of them are capable of full flight. We have 7ft high deer fencing surrounding and that height is no problem for most of the birds. We have about 10 chickens that cant fly -- I know which. We now have them in a shortened run that's fully canopied off. We want to give them the full longer run, since, as I've been told "every jailbird deserves a prison yard". I heard one side is best, and of course, easiest. But I don't know how much of their flight wing tips to clip? Obviously the time to do this is at night, but I've also learned that throwing a dark towel over their head immediately calms down their generally frenetic state. We want to plant our garden without chickens flying in and eating all our tender starts. I just want the effort it takes to clip to be effective without overkill so I dont have to do it twice. Busy enough as it is, thanks,  Nick

post #2 of 4

I've heard that just one side will do it. Just be sure not to clip a feather shaft that's dark (has blood in it). 

 

My Australorps flew like crazy when they were adolescents, but not so much now. Although they still routinely fly over my five foot fence. I got a rooster. He seems to keep the girls closer to home. 


Edited by beccaWA - 5/6/16 at 1:59am
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi, Much thanks for the tip re the spine colour of their feathers, cuz that tells me how far I can go without drawing blood, making it seem no worse than a haircut. 

 

We got several roosters. The latter acquired group we got fly off here and there too. We have bird houses atop high fence posts so could raise the fence to like 15ft. I did this only on the garden side thinking if they flew over they'd choose the lower non-garden side of the fence. They still made their way around into the garden area.

 

I hope we get the time one evening soon so our flock can range freer without threatening our gardening efforts in this still early delicate stage of spring.

 

Happy Spring,  Nick

post #4 of 4

There's several YouTube videos on how to clip their flight feathers. The blood feathers only come into play after a molt when the feathers are growing out, or on younger chickens with feathers that are still growing. Good to check, though, otherwise it's a mess. 

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