Flying hens - or not

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by utahchickenfarmer, May 25, 2010.

  1. utahchickenfarmer

    utahchickenfarmer Hatching

    May 11, 2010
    I am a new reader and am curious about clippin wings. If I let my hens free range in the back yard, is there a chance they will fly off? This may sound basic, but I have no idea. In the chickens 101 section there is a discussion about clipping wings. Do I need ot do that before they are allowed to free range? If so, how often do they need to be clipped?

  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I don't clip my hens' wings, and they've never flown over my 4 ft. field fence. At least one of them (my EE) certainly CAN, as I've seen her fly onto a 6ft. object, and she has no problems making it up to my shoulder when I'm standing there. But they seem pretty happy where they are. So no, I wouldn't automatically clip their wings. I'd wait and see how they do first, JMO.
  3. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Some chickens are more prone to wandering than others. I never had a chicken try to explore beyond the yard (1/2 acre) until I caged them in a big, long run (12' by 50'). Then it was on like donkey kong.

    Every 20 minutes I was resucing some silly bird from the neighbor's "vegatarian" cat. So, I put some bird netting over the run. Not predator proof, but it sure does discourage fence-hopping.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Personally, I believe free ranging chickens should NOT have their wings clipped, so they can get away more easily if a predator goes after them.

    Many breeds of chicken hardly fly at all. The heavier breeds are far less likely to fly further than a good, big, hop-flappy 10 feet from one spot to another, but not UP ten feet in the air. Or even 5 feet high!

    If it were me (and this is what I do), I don't plan on clipping any wings unless my chickens free ranging in my back yard, manage to make it over the fence into the neighbor's yard. When that happens, that chicken will get a wing clipped.

    Then I'll have to do it again after the next year's molt of flight feathers.

    Hope this helps! And [​IMG]

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