Clipping wings

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SimpleSonflower, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. SimpleSonflower

    SimpleSonflower Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 10, 2011
    I have a big backyard but it is in town and I was wondering if anyone has had problems with their chickens flying over fences. I haven't clipped any of their wings yet but I've noticed they like to fly on top of their coop, etc. They are about four months old now. Any suggestions?
  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    Normally the heavier breeds can't jump that high. I'm assuming you have the standard 6ft fence. You should go around your fence line, and 6-10ft out, and make sure there is nothing that they could hop onto. If they can get on something high enough, they can easily get enough air to clear the fence.

    I have heavy breeds and they can jump vertically 4 ft off the ground.
  3. cindylo

    cindylo Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2011
    Idaho Falls, ID
    I don't like the thought of clipping wings, but one of my new pullets spent last night outdoors in the yard after getting out and flying up, up up into tall trees. She refused to come back into the run so far today. Hopefully she will roost in an easier to reach spot tonight and I'll catch her.
  4. SimpleSonflower

    SimpleSonflower Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 10, 2011
    Yes, my fence is actually eight feet high but I have some white leghorn hens that are pretty light. Thanks for the idea about looking at something they could jump/fly onto to get over the fence.
  5. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    We had a problem with flighty birds. As a general rule of thumb, for the safety of this flock, we clip one wing, only the flight feathers. If we were planning to show any of our birds, we would likely not do this. But, our flock are pets and egg-producers, and some will eventually be for the table. We don't want them getting over our fence and being at risk for predators, so when they get to be about 12 weeks, everybody gets a wing clipped. For the sake of uniformity, it's usually the right one.

    We have not lost a bird over the fence since we started this practice.
  6. OkieKristi

    OkieKristi Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2010
    N.E. Oklahoma
    I now clip all my chickens right wings. I started when I lost an EE pullet, who flew over our 6 ft fence and was killed by my dogs. I almost lost my Ameraucana roo last month the same way. Luckily I was outside and was able to get the dogs into the garage and then catch him (but not before he lost most of his tail feathers). He had been clipped about 6 mos before, but he had molted since, and I never got around to clipping his wing again. I really thought he was too big to make it over, but I was wrong. I am now going to make it a point to re-clip or at least check everyone once every six months.

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