Can i have a vet trim wings so they can't fly???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by potterchic, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. potterchic

    potterchic New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2010
    My daughter and I have three chickens and one of them is a New Hamp Red - and can she fly. We have a 6' fence but when the other birds in our neighborhood come and sit on the fence she will fly up to chase them off. Last sunday she almost went over and I was concerned - if she does that on our west fence there is 3 dogs and it will not be a pretty sight. I have heard you can have caged birds wings clipped can you do that to chickens? One neighbor said yes but they will bleed - is that true:/

    Oh and we got our very first egg from her this morning - my little girl cryed she was sooooo happy she is 9 and said I did a good job raising them didn't I mom. love childern and chickens
     
  2. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
  3. Sphinx

    Sphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't bothered clipping my chickens' wings, but I've clipped our parakeets and cockatiels' wings.

    If you are careful not to cut too much off, you can do it yourself. If they bleed when you cut the wings, you cut way, way, way too much off.
     
  4. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can clip wing feathers yourself very easily to make it more difficult for your birds to clear your fences. I have no bleeding when I follow this: secure your bird "football" fashion under your arm snugly but not tight enough to injure (or have a helper do the holding for you). Select one wing only to clip. Your goal is to make her flight unstable, off balance, to discourage flight. Fan the selected wing out from her body with one hand, and with the other and scissors, begin clipping her flight feathers from the edge nearest her body forward. You will sight a line to follow as you clip feathers, slightly forward, away from the "meaty" or thick part of the wing. Test one or two feathers to be sure you are not in the "blood zone." Once you are sure, snip away toward the outside of the wing, following your line with a slight curve. You may find some of the larger feathers are tough to clip, but work slowly and quietly and they'll give way. Your bird may object during this, but it will not hurt her. Work calmly and talk softly to her as you clip. This should cause her to be unbalanced in flight and discourage her tendency to wing up to high places and beyond. At first I felt badly doing this to our beautiful hens, but now I see that it keeps them safely in their chicken yard except for those free range times I choose to let them out and supervise them. Best wishes:) ~G
     
  5. potterchic

    potterchic New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2010
    thank you both so much for the reply - I was not sure problem is she is a big chicken and I am not sure I can hold her and clip the wings.
     
  6. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've done our Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps, both large breeds. If you snug them to your body in the football carry and maybe tuck their heads gently under your arm, they'll probably be very quiet for you. Soothing talk and calm movement from you makes a big difference in their acceptance. Perhaps you can find a chicken-friendly friend to hold while you snip. ~G
     
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can, but it would be much cheaper and less stressful to your birds to do it yourself at home. Clipping wings is very easy, the hardest part is finding a second person to hold the bird while you clip the wings (it is generally a two person job, especially when you are not experienced at it). Most people use a pair of sharp shears and cut the feathers straight across where the secondary feathers meet the primary feathers.

    You can cause bleeding if you accidentally clip a "blood feather." Blood feathers are new feathers growing in where the blood supply is still present and hasn't receded below the quill. These feathers will have a shaft that is dark (not clear) and the keratin sheath will not have receded all the way yet. If you do accidentally clip a blood feather, it is not a huge deal, you just need to pluck the feather out. Yes, it is painful for the bird and yes, they will bleed (just like if you cut the quick on a nail when trimming nails). But it is not life-threatening. I have worked for an avian vet for 7 years now and not once have I ever seen a bird bleed to death from a blood feather and the vet I work for hasn't seen it in his 20 years of practicing avian medicine.

    Because of the risk of cutting a blood feather, I personally prefer to cut each feather individually at the base of the shaft. That way I can look and see if the feather I am cutting is a blood feather or not before I snip. It also looks nicer because you don't have a flat cut, the other feathers cover the cut shafts completely. When I trimmed my birds' wings last weekend I cut 6 feathers. I also prefer to trim both wings, whereas most people only trim one wing, because then they are not off balance so they have a little more control when they do try to fly so they don't crash but not enough flight feathers to get enough lift to actually fly.
     
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  8. potterchic

    potterchic New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Thank you all very much you have been a great help. I will do it this weekend and let you all know how it went.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you can cut feathers while sitting, just plop the chicken facing you in your lap, and let it's body fall between your legs so it's "arms" are stretched over your thighs if that makes any sense. Both wings should be able to be fanned out that way, the body would be restrained, and you can see where to just snip off the feathers with both hands free. Cut below the secondary feathers and as long as the shaft is hard, white, and grown out you won't hit a pin feather.
     
  10. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you wait until your chickens have gone to roost after dark, they'll be calmer and much easier to handle. You can pick each sleepy bird up, extend the wing and trim 2" from each of the primary flight feathers using sharp scissors. There'll be 10-12 long feathers. Do both wings.
    You will need to redo wing clipping after a moult when the flight feathers regrow.

    Also, if you put something really narrow and shaky on the top of your fence it'll be harder to perch on and potentially land on to fly over. I extended the top of my 5' chain link fence by six inches with a stick on each end and strung a wire between the sticks. The next time a chicken tried to perch on the nice top rail of the chain link she bumped into the wire and couldn't perch. Worked great and doesn't look bad.
     

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