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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by southtx, Sep 6, 2013.
Just finished trimming the wings of the guineas. Judy (my wife) and I did five in about 20 minutes. It was very easy because they are still caged and catching them is 99% of the work. I caught and held them and my wife extended one wing and trimmed the flight feathers using her best dressmaking scissors which are very sharp. Its easy to do and its obvious where you cut, but I think its best ad safest if two people do it. As you can see (photo above) their cage is a huge dog cage with a run built on, about 4 feet off the ground. I shut them in the dog cage, caught them one by one and put the clipped ones in the run. It was more traumatic for them to be apart from each other than to be clipped though of course they screamed blue murder when I caught them. I held them firmly by the body, and held tight, they immediately calmed down. They made no attempt to bite me and obviously felt no discomfort whatever while they were being clipped. Afterwards I opened the door to the dog cage having strung up a big bunch of millet. They soon forgot the ordeal. Thanks to everyone for your advice.
Way to go! That is awesome. I am working on confronting my fears.
Sounds like you did a good job! Nice work!
If you will wait till after dark and your hens go to roost it will be no trouble at all to catch or get your hands on your birds. Just move slowly, and put one hand under each birds' breast or keel bone, palm side up and the other hand on the hens' back palm side down and you can pick them up as easy as pie. Remember the less light you use and the less and commotion going on the easier it is for you and the easier it is on your birds. If they object to being picked up like this use my alternative method.
The alternative method is to gently put one hand on each wing and using no more force than necessary firmly pen both wings to the chickens body as you lift it from the roost, keeping your thumbs on the hens' back and controlling its drumsticks with the finger tips of both hands.
If you are right handed cradle the bird in the crook of your left arm with its head pointing towards your left side and with the chickens' left side resting on your forearm, and its back held firmly against you belly, then grip its feet (what some call its legs) in your left hand. With your right hand spread the right wing out and transfer your grip on the wing from your right hand to your left hand
yes you can do it it just may take a little practice. Use your right hand to operate the scissors while your left thumb and fore finger holds the wing spread out like a hand of playing cards. You can even use the left hand to insure that you don't nip the wing tip.
Do yourself a favor, if you have a bunch of birds to clip, get a GOOD pair of scissors like CaseXX scissors that have a serrated blade or edge and that both halves of the scissors comes apart without tools for easy and complete cleaning or sterilization. If you care for them these scissors will last for a 100 years or longer and they are also handy for butchering chickens, for dubbing hens and roosters or for performing autopsies or you can put them to a 101 uses in the kitchen.
Do remember that after the molt is over you will have to do it all over again.
Great advice, Thanks.
I'll remember for next time (after the moult!)
Is there a general age than one should clip a chickens wings? My chicks are one and two weeks old, so I know I have some time. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you all so much for the information about clipping wings. I tried but they were still getting out of the yard. Going to try to do this again. Also when I put my hens in their coop when I'm letting my baby chicks run around they are really mean to the little ones. Is this normal? Will they warm up to my new ones?
Oh be careful when trying mix chicks and hens. The hostility from the hens is normal. If they aren't too old they should warm up soon enough but be careful because IME little chicks get pecked severely on the head which obviously causes problems.
Are you sure clipped the feathers enough?
Thanks again. Yes I clipped them more and now they can just jump. But we noticed that they could get out of the fence by going under it. Smart little things. So we had to rig the fence at the bottom as well. And Yeah the hens were pecking at the chicks heads. I just figured I would keep them apart for now. lol Beside the babies are roosters so they will be able to hold their own soon enough.. I'm new to owning chickens. My hens are probably about 8 months now and the chicks are about a month. I do know I have to get smaller coops for the roosters right. I heard they get really mean and I have 3 kids, so I don't want them chasing my kids around.