Ameraucanas with wings clipped still flying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rosalind, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007

    Okay, I followed the instructions on how to clip wings to the letter: outer flight feathers, one wing only. Clip, clip, flapping chickens bonking into the fence, hooray! None of my Buttercups or Cochins are now able to fly very well. I decided to clip them because the Cochin roos were flying over the 5' fence of their pen and nesting in the neighbor's trees, and the neighbors didn't appreciate it much.

    First couple of times I put them in their pen with wings clipped, all went as planned. There aren't any perches or sticks in their pen that they could use as stairs, just soft weeds that they eat and trample.

    Third time, I walked out to check on them...And my biggest Ameraucana was perching on the top post of the fence. [​IMG] She hasn't molted and completely re-grown her flight feathers in the space of one week, I am sure I would have noticed, and anyway I checked. Wing still clipped. She just flaps extra-hard with the other one and wiggles her tail and somehow regains her balance.

    Okay, my neighbors are already very understanding about five roos. I can appreciate that they don't want chickens free-ranging in their personal yards, so if my monster chickens are to be let out at all, they need to stay in their pen. Any ideas? Help!
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    You could drape some bird netting over the run. My run is very large and top is open so I ran a thin wire from one side to the other at two foot intervals and criss-crossed it with other wire. Then just laid the bird netting on top of wire.

    I only did it in the areas where mine were using the baby pens, shade shelters, or chairs as leverage to clear the 6' fence.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    you have to make sure to cut enough...but could you have cut not enough?

    The reason for clipping only one that it's supposed to make it hard to fly when the amount of power they get from each wing is so different. If you clip both equaly, they can often learn to fly anyway.

    Good luck
  4. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    my EE can fly like the wind!! but of course she is too heavy to go in the neighbors trees - she already tried on ours [​IMG] my bantam cochin used to roost in one of our trees and got to heavy. i usually free range them but when i leave i lock them up in their pen - but they fly over it. i dont mind that much though - as we only have a couple cats as predators and my EE does quite well with cats [​IMG]
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    How old is she? When they are young they can move high up! Once they start laying though the tend to stick more to the ground... or maybe mine are just lazy..
  6. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    They are 19 1/2 weeks old (and still not laying...c'mon, girls...) and as near as I can tell I did clip enough. Will try again tomorrow when I can get DH to hold them better. Clipped only one wing per chicken.

    The bird netting is a good idea, except how do I make it removable? My chickens are dumb as rocks and would stay out all night in a thunderstorm if I let them. The one rooster who was good at putting the ladies back in the barn turned out to be a bit overbearing for the young girls, I had to put him in chicken jail. So now it falls upon me to put everyone in the barn every evening. The top of the fence is a lot shorter than I am, so netting needs to be removable. We've got plenty of predators, everything up to and including coyotes, so they do absolutely need to be put in.

    When they nest in the neighbors' trees, they are only hopping around and perching in relatively low-branching trees. They're not on top of a 100-year-old oak or anything. Still, it's the principle of the thing, they ought to be in my yard.

    I wish I had good-quality standard cochins and Araucanas to breed. I really want a soft, fluffy, blue/green-egg-laying chicken that is too fat to fly with a clipped wing.
  7. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    [​IMG] Well, now I am down to 14 chickens. The less-aggressive roo that was supposed to be in charge of the girls while the other boys were in Chicken Jail managed to find the one piece of wire fencing that hadn't been securely stapled to the post, pulled it out, and was leading the whole flock directly across the busy street when I went to put them in at sunset. I chased all but two (the roo and one female Buttercup) back into the barn and shut the door, but now those two are roaming the backyard, which is not fenced all the way around. The backyard is half woodlot and weeds, half grass, and they are both well off into the woodlot part. There are plenty of stray dogs and coyotes around, so I don't doubt they will be eaten by tomorrow morning.

    So much for the roo guarding his girls and putting them into the coop at night. This one was...I can't even begin to describe how stupid...I started to round up the girls into the barn, and he turned tail and ran away from all of them. When I went to chase after the pullet, he ran all the way to the other side of the house. Jerk.

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