Clip wings...?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lcody121, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. lcody121

    lcody121 New Egg

    Jan 3, 2012
    I have a coop and fully enclosed run for my chickens, but plan on letting them free range in my yard when I'm at home. My yard is fenced with a 4' high fence. Do I need to be concerned about my chickens flying out of the fence? Do people clip their chicken's wings...?? I don't want to clip their wings, as I want them to have the safety of being about to fly, but I also don't want to have worry about trying to talk them into flying back into the fence in the evenings...?


  2. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They will certainly be able to fly over 4ft. I have a 6ft chain link fence and my chickens can not fly over it. If they were to fly over your fence-- are there dogs on the other side? I would worry about their safety if flying over meant they were endangered. Personally, I would not clip wings since I would want my birds to be able to fly in case of emergency. I have a friend that has a 4ft fence around her back yard and her birds rarely-- if ever-- jump over it. But her yard is big enough and interesting enough that they are content to stay in. You may find that to be true in your case. I suppose if you have a problem, you could reevaluate and clip wings at that point. If your birds are in the enclosed run most of the day and then let out when you are home-- I'd say it's less likely they will want to go over the fence. [​IMG]
  3. lcody121

    lcody121 New Egg

    Jan 3, 2012
    Cool...that's kind of what I was thinking, but wanted to make sure I was on the right track;) I'll just see how it goes and adjust what I do (or not) according to what the chickens do;) Hopefully they'll just stay put inside the fence:)

    Thank you so much for your advise and input:):) I appreciate both your help and time:)

  4. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    No problem! I'm guessing most people would have similar experiences as mine. [​IMG] Chickens are pretty content when there is enough space and good foraging or treats. That would be another thing-- when you let them out, be sure to give them treats (black oil sunflower seeds aka BOSS) away from the fence to discourage them from checking it out and keeping them interested in your own yard.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012

    [email protected] New Egg

    Dec 26, 2011
    I am facing that dilemna as well. My chickens are free range from sun up to sun down. My yard is large, lots of foilage, treats, etc. My husband built an extension to our 4' fence so that it is now almost 6' and they are STILL flying over it. They are all (4) sweet chicks but...what to do?
  6. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Central Michigan
    Keep them in their coop for 5-7 days when first placing them outside so they learn that it's home. Then, let them outside the first time about two hours before dusk. They won't get far in that amount of time and will naturally return to the coop when it gets dark. Increase the amount of time they are outside each day for several days until you are sure they know where home is.

    Chickens naturally return to the coop on their own when it gets dark--you don't need to talk anyone back over a fence! A tip: always feed treats inside the coop and have a special "treat call" you use to entice them inside. This way you can get the flock back inside the coop before dark if you need to for some reason--I've been grateful many times that someone gave me this advice.

    I think it's hard to predict which birds will fly so don't clip wings unless you really, really have to. I've seen one of my little bantam birds fly a distance of 30 feet and land 20 feet up in a tree when frightened, yet she won't hop over my 4 ft fence so I have to open the gate for her to walk outside in order to free range. It's ridiculous to open a gate for a bird that can fly but she just won't do it unless she's frightened. On the other hand, my great, big, Light Brahma beast of an overweight hen easily hops over that same 4 ft fence on a daily basis--never needing to use the open gate.
  7. HomestedHomeboy

    HomestedHomeboy Out Of The Brooder

    What if you were to tie fishing line just above the fence? Then, the hens would run into it when they try to jump over it and plop right back in your yard. I've been meaning to do this at my house, but it really doesn't matter if my birds hop the fence every once in a while.

    Neil Wigley
  8. heybarb

    heybarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina

    Thank you for this advice. A similar plan was formulating in my mind (as a new chicken owner) but I'm glad to have an experienced person confirm it. We are hoping to move our chicks outside in a few weeks - around mid-April.

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