Step By Step Instructions In Wing Feather Trimming
1. Chicken wing feather trimming is a very precise science. Know your expletives and how to use them.
2. Collect your tools: one set of clippers, one bag of treats, small folding stool, Band-Aids, and a cell phone pre-programmed with 911 and Dial-A-Prayer
3. Make your way to the run and try to act nonchalant. You will be swarmed by chooks wanting food.
4. Sit on the stool (the one you brought, not the chicken poop) and entice the birds to come closer.
5. Get a chicken on your lap. Use the treats as a bribe.
6. Pet the chicken to relax her. Gently stretch out the wing on which you will clip the feathers.
7. Look at the long flight primaries on the wing, near the tip. The first dozen primaries are the ones that need to be clipped.
8. Gently bring the clippers to the edge of one primary, about an inch away from the flesh of the wing. Those feathers are tough so you have to really clip hard.
9. Retrieve the clippers that have been flung across the chicken run by the spastic chicken who DOES NOT LIKE to have her wing messed with. Refer to the expletives from Step 1.
10. Retrieve the chicken who is now on the other side of the fence. Wipe the poop off your shirt. Refer again to the expletives from Step 1.
11. Attempt to shoo all the chickens into the coop. If necessary, quote from "Chicken Run" about how noooo chicken escapes from your farm.
12. Watch helplessly as the chickens stream from the run into the coop, and out again through the door. Now the chickens are all out and you're the only one in the run, and the latch has closed on the coop door from the outside. You just haaad to have the predator-proof latching system, didn't you? Yes! Try to ignore the fact they're all watching you through the fence acting innocent. The Step 1 expletives will come in handy here. You may also call for help on your cell phone. The fire department will arrive in about half an hour and use the Jaws Of Life to free you from your poultry enclosure.
13. Get out of the run, collect the chickens from your tomato patch, the neighbor's yard, and the local pub. Pause for a refreshing drink at the pub to fortify you for the task ahead. Tell your story to your friends but omit the bit about getting locked in your own chicken enclosure. It's making the rounds already anyway, but you'd prefer to have other people think it happened to someone else.
14. Once at home, pick up a chicken, sit on the folding stool, and pin her gently between your knees, petting her to relax her and stretching her wing out again. Clip firmly through the primaries about an inch from the fleshy part of the wing.
15. Apply pressure to the cut you just made in the ball of your finger whilst trying to clip the last primary. This would be a good time to use the Band-Aid. Refer also to the expletives from Step 1.
16. Watch the offended chicken blend back into your flock so that you no longer know exactly who's been wing-clipped and who hasn't.
17. Repeat for the entire flock.
18. Repeat again in a couple months when the feathers grow out.