Is 5 1/2 weeks too early to clip chick wings?

Celeeste

Chirping
May 16, 2020
65
46
71
They appear mostly fully feathered besides a few down feathers pointing out around the neck. They're starting to fly quite high and I was wondering if we could clip their feathers this early without issue.
 

NatJ

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Mar 20, 2017
12,064
27,766
916
USA
Yes, you can clip their feathers, but there are two things to be aware of:

1) do not clip feathers that are still growing (you don't want them bleeding, and it might hurt them.) You can look at each individual feather, and trim just the ones that are done growing--there are usually only a few growing at any given time.

2) they are likely to molt again before they finish growing up. At that point they will lose the clipped feathers and grow new ones--so you'll need to clip the new ones after they finish growing in.

They will probably fly less in a few months, as they get heavier, but that doesn't help keep them in now :)
 

NatJ

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Mar 20, 2017
12,064
27,766
916
USA
I didn’t know that you have to clip chickens wing feathers! I know you do it with parrots and birds like that, but I never thought about chickens.

You don't always have to--it depends on how high your fences are, what kinds of chickens you have, and whether your chicken pen has a roof. Some small and light breeds can fly across the lawn or up to the top of a fence or a tree branch, but they don't just fly around in the air like many kinds of birds do.
 

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