How high can they fly??


8 Years
Dec 30, 2011
Lawrence, KS
My Coop
My Coop
... with their wings clipped, how high can a chicken jump/try to fly?

I am in the process of converting a greenhouse into a coop (don't have chickens yet) and want to use the entire 6x8 floor for the birdies and put in shelves in the upper half (about 3 1/2 - 4 feet high) to keep plants that I'm hardening off. Is that too short? Will the chicks be able to hop up on the shelves and destroy the plants? I haven't been able to find this answer yet.

I'm still gathering all information I can about chickens, the proper coop, etc before we get some in the spring - so i'm prepared!
Thanks in advance for answering my silly question.
My little ones can really fly! Depends on the breed I think, but I have some that can. I never clip their wings. Don't see the point in it, and it sounds super painful to me:(
Silkies never seem to get too far off the ground, but I have one that roosts on a bar about 6 feet off the ground. If they are in the small coop, all of them are perfectly happy to roost about 18" off the floor. The "house" is only about 3.5 feet tall total, and they don't mind - as long as they are off the floor

Good luck!
Depends on the breed. Lighter weight breeds will probably be able to get up on the shelves even with clipped wings especially if they see something that might be edible like green plants. The heavier breeds like wyondottes, BR, RRI, BO etc. probably won't be able to but I wouldn't rule it out either.
Also keep in mind that chickens can "think" so if not able to get up on the shelves from the floor you will have items in the coop such as nest boxes, roosts etc. that can act like a step to help them get up on the shelves.
Honestly if you want a green house and chickens I would probably go with two seperate houses and spare yourself the frustration of coming into the coop one day and finding all your plants on the floor and destroyed. Chickens love nothing more than nice fresh dirt to scratch in and flip about with their beaks.
That definitaly depends on the breed. A bantam can fly higher then a large fowl breed. And as far as I know, silkies can't even fly. What breed(s) are you planning on getting?

I am happy to hear that you are getting prepared for your new chicks before they arrive. That is definitaly the way to do it.
When your chicks do arrive, be sure to take lots of pictures. They grow super fast, trust me!
Even my biggest lumbering BCM can get 5' off the ground. The RIR and cuckoo Marans do about that but with less struggle. My cubalayas can fly anywhere they want including 15' + up in a plum tree.
Hi from Ga. We let our birds out in shifts they very seldom fly over the fences. When they do we have to go let them back in. They can fly out but can't figure how to get back in.
I haven't clipped wings because I'm too chicken (ha), but my Leghorn roo can easily fly six foot off the ground to get to the top of their run. He is very light, though. My bigger hens have never tried it.
I'm guessing that any plants you are trying to harden off will be viewed as a tempting treat to the birds. Mine aren't clipped but they have no problem jumping up over 4 feet. You would need those plants well over 6 feet to be safe or find some way to deny access.
A greenhouse, if in a sunny location (for the plants), may be too hot in summer or too cold in winter for chickens (depending on where you live). If you are in a temperate zone, I don't see why you can't do both if you provide roosts for the chickens up high and screen off an area for the plants. Then both fauna and flora will be happy. Chickens can fly quite high and although clipping wings is painless (feathers have no feeling) I don't see the point in clipping. They may need to fly from a predator sometime and need the extra height. And clipping must be done after each molt anyway. I think you may have a good idea so go for it and make it work!

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