can chickens jump 54 inch fence with clipped wings?


10 Years
Dec 26, 2009
Rock Hill SC
I have a dozen chickens that are scratching my yard to pieces so I'm building a 2000 square foot fence enclosure for them which is 54 inches tall, just a bit over 4 feet tall, what I would like to know is if I clip their wings will they be able to get over the fence and should I clip just one wing or both? What is your experience with wing clipping and how high they can get??


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
You clip one wing to make them uneven. Depends on the breed whether they will still fly over, but my guess would be yes.

I have a 6' fence and several LF breeds. The usually don't choose to go over the fence but they have no trouble doing it if they want. They don't really fly over, they flap furiously while they climb over. I don't clip wings.


9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
West Michigan
I clip both wings, and mine can't fly over a 3' fence, and they're a heavy production breed. Before wing clipping they were capable of flying up at least 5' onto the coop roof. I tried clipping just one wing and it didn't make any difference; they still flew up onto the coop, just a bit less efficiently. Their feathers on one side still had lift, enough to compensate for the clipped other side.
The thing about fence is the top; if it's thin wire it's really difficult for chickens to get a perch on it. Chain link and the top bar of chain link is really easy to grab onto and haul themselves up onto, clipped wings or not.
I have my 1/3 acre backyard surrounded with 2' green coated rabbit fencing. I've never had a chicken fly over it. I think it's because they really can't see it very well again the backdrop of grass and wooded area. Maybe this winter it will be more visible, but they tend to find places to squeeze under or between the house and fence rather than fly over it.

I go into their coop after dark, pick up a snoozing bird, hold it close and extend a wing, then trim an inch off all the long feathers on both wings. It only takes seconds per chicken and doing it after they've gone to roost eliminates chasing frantic chooks all over the yard, sliding in poop, potential for injuring a chicken, etc.

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