Frequency of clipping wings?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LEOW2012, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. LEOW2012

    LEOW2012 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm having to clip my birds wings once a month or else they decide to hop over my fence. Is that normal? Am I doing something wrong when I clip them? I've been alternating wings each month should I be sticking with just one wing?

    Any advise would be helpful. I have 13 RIR hens that are a problem. My 2 BO roosters stay put. Thanks!

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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are they? Juvenile chickens molt twice before they reach adult size, they outgrow their wings and need to replace them. You have to clip after each molt.

    Another thing, clipping a wing doesn’t totally stop them from being able to jump, flap, and get over fences. How high are your fences?

    Sometimes a pullet or hen will go vertical to get away from an amorous cockerel or rooster. You’d be amazed at how well they can walk up a fence with their claws and their wings flapping. They are not flying, they walk up a fence. Is that why it’s only you females getting out?
     
  3. LEOW2012

    LEOW2012 Out Of The Brooder

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    They are about 6 months old. My fences are 5 ft chain link. Once I clip their wings they stay grounded for almost exactly 30 days. Then I catch one or two in my front yard so we clip again and they stay grounded again. I haven't actually witnessed anyone escaping so it's certainly conceivable they are climbing out. We're trying to avoid having to take away their free ranging privileges.

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  4. LEOW2012

    LEOW2012 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm wondering if maybe I'm not clipping them back far enough? Is that a thing?

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  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    At 6 months they are still experiencing some juvenile molts, they are getting close to being done though so eventually your clipping should take.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Which wing do you clip, the left wing or the right wing? Chickens are great climbers and are quite capable of skinning up near buy leaning limbs and branches then hopping onto a fence, especially a chain link fence with a wide pipe or perch running along the top of the wire. Then it is only a simple matter for a hen to hop down on the other side and be on her way.
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Juveniles go through several molts. Their last one is usually right before they start laying. After that, they won't molt again until they are about 12 to 18 months old.
     
  9. LEOW2012

    LEOW2012 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so I'll just stay the course hoping it's due to them molting frequently. I alternate wings each month... left, right, left. Is that the right thing to do or should I still with the same wing each time?

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  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I don't see any reason why it would matter which wing was clipped.
     

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