Clipping feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KidsandGuineas, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. KidsandGuineas

    KidsandGuineas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So i was watching videos on YouTube and saw two different ways of doing it one person clipped all the flight feathers and the other clipped half of them, which way is right? Also if I free-range them should i not clip the wings?
     
  2. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I clip the flight feathers on just one wing.
     
  3. BabyandCotton

    BabyandCotton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -Liv
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I would not clip the feathers of free-range birds as sometimes a little flying ability can increase odds a bird will survive an attack. Flying ability also helps with accessing more practical roosts and elevated nest boxes.

    When I comes to actual clipping of wing feathers I have first hand experience and did it with one and two wings. First, you must clip the wings close enough which is very frequently where people go wrong. Too much feather remains allowing for some thrust production hence flight ability. Do not cut close enough to damage tissue. Secondly, chickens can clamber up things by climbing and running at same time up a vertical or nearly surface. Birds with one wing intact are more capable of than when both wings clipped. When I had birds that could not be contained by clipping one wing, they could contained following clipping of the second wing.
     
  5. KidsandGuineas

    KidsandGuineas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    how old do my chickens need to be before i clip them? also, does does the clipping method for chickens apply to turkeys?
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    First opportunity occurs when chicks are 3-4 weeks old. Must be repeated in another molt because those clipped feathers will be replaced with the juvenile feather set that will be largely in place about 2 months post hatch. Those will be replaced by late juvenile set when birds about 4 months old which will be replaced with the first adult set around 6 months. I did not get a real handle on how many feather sets they went through until doing some wing clipping experiments.

    I do not know pattern with turkeys based on actual experience following replacement although based on carcasses they go through at least three sets before reaching maturity.


    Clipping wings of young birds is a pain in the butt and in my management system a cause for increased losses.
     
  7. KidsandGuineas

    KidsandGuineas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    why does it increase losses? how young is young?
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Those wings are important getting to cover when attacked by raptors. Wings also important for getting up onto elevated roosts. Predators need not be competent to capture immature chickens that are flightless. Wings also helpful again hard and cold rain events.

    Young means 4 months or less.
     
  9. KidsandGuineas

    KidsandGuineas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2016
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    i decided not to free-range and I have the coop door open at all times when they are in the run so they would be able to find cover against rain or raptors. would that make it safe to clip now?(i worry that they will fly out of the run!)
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If coop covered from raptor entrance then all will be good.
     

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