How early do you clip chick wings?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Peeplperson, May 3, 2009.

  1. Peeplperson

    Peeplperson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Napa
    18 day old chicks in the brooder can already fly. They usually only get 3-4" off the ground to do that 'touchdown!' chest bump, but today one got a good foot up and out the brooder opening while I was cleaning up. They're in a garage (thank goodness - I hate to think if they were in the house) and I caught her with some maneuvering and a window screen to help corner her.

    The others won't be far behind - and I'm thinking that they should all be clipped at the same time to keep the pecking order. Only 7 chicks, but that's a lot to chase around my garage:D

    Help from those in the know would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Chicken_Guru likes this.
  2. MomOf15

    MomOf15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Mercer Co. PA
    I'd like to give this a bump cuz I too am curious as to when to start clipping their wings. I read how, but it doesn't say when. Mine are a month old at this point and they have no problem getting oof the ground and out of the box. I'd like to give them some outdoor freedom, but not til their clipped. I have Cornish X, BR, BO, and RIR.
    Thanx~
     
  3. melodylee

    melodylee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Arkansas
    I googled it...and found an article and founf this line:
    "...to answer your question specifically, you can clip as soon as the birds have all their adult feathers and it becomes necessary." ETA:
    “Clipping the wings” is removing the tips of the flight feathers from one of the chicken’s wings. It can be done at any age that flight is a problem. It must be done annually, after each molt because the feathers will grow back. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your bird when it molts because sometimes clipped feathers do not drop as they should and may need a little assistance from you.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
    rubenwc1 likes this.
  4. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I personally wouldn't clip them at all - most chickens never fly very well at all (though some aren't terrible at it). I would just put a lid over your brooder until they're ready to go out to the coop. That's what most of us do. Mine are now 13 weeks old and still can't get more than a foot or two of air.

    If you do want to clip and if the rule is not until they get their adult feathers... well, they're first fully feathered at 8 weeks, but not adult feathered until something like 18 months, I believe.
     
  5. MomOf15

    MomOf15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Mercer Co. PA
    Great, thanx to both of you...maybe we'll just wait and see who is capable of what and if there's no need to clip then we won't. [​IMG]
     
  6. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    sounds like a good plan. There are a few breeds that become decent fliers and people clip to keep them from flying out of their yards, but other than that, it's generally not needed.

    Wire mesh or screen over the top of your brooder will stop them from getting out for now [​IMG]
     
  7. coopdujour

    coopdujour New Egg

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    May 25, 2009
    Walnut Creek, CA
    It was recommended to clip the wings once, after which they will never realize they can fly and not try. This seems to "fly" in the face of common sense, as my chickens do not appear to have long-term memory. Another recommendation came in for clipping only one side... this seems a little cruel.. give them 1/2 a taste of flying. However, it is not like there are flocks of chickens flying through our sky trying to get away from The Colonel.

    Thoughts?

    Plus.. I have a garden and understand they can pretty much lay waste to it. I assume some netting about 5-6 ft tall should do the trick?

    Steve

    http://lecoopdujour.blogspot.com/
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Hey Steve, welcome to BYC. I'll let others touch on your first question, but regarding you second question about a fence. Is the 5-6 foot fence around the garden or around the chicken coop? We've found that a fence around the coop just eggs them into wanting to jump/fly over and find greener grass on the other site. On the other hand we've also found that a small fence around the garden has kept them out, especially if they have plenty of food and other area to explore with bits of things to peck at and eat.

    Keeping them happy and healthy and wing clipped will help keep them from jumping the fence.
     
  9. jonesgirl

    jonesgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Nevada
    I have been reading a lot about clipping wings.. I need to do it as I am going out of town this weekend and my leghorns... only the stinkin leg horns want to fly the coop...

    I am so scared to cut the blood part though. Has anyone ever done this and if so doe pulling the feather completely out after you have made it bleed fix the problem, or do you still have to take a trip to the vet? THis is something I don't really want to do [​IMG]
     
  10. jonesgirl

    jonesgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Nevada
    ok being how NO ONE replied... I went and tired it... Pretty easy to cut the wing feathers... I didn't cut very far down because I was sacared to get blood.. so I hope it works.. I only did it on one side.

    Only did it on 3 hens though... I got sick of trying to catch them...

    And also realized my roosters are taking a hike... one of them jumped up and scratched my daughter in the face.. so hasta lavista (sp?).... lol
     
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