Minimizing trauma of wing clipping

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Patoot, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    I want to clip the girls' wings before they realize they probably could go over the fence (only in some spots). They are just coming around to me as I've only had them a couple weeks and they were 3.5 mos old when I got them. They don't like me to go to them, but they are okay coming up close to me.

    I was thinking of cornering one and throwing a towel on her to scoop her up and then clip, but I don't know how to get around traumatizing them. I know you can pull them off the roost, but I still don't think that would work as they still seem very aware of me there when they have gone to bed.

    Any ideas?

    Also, should I clip one so they go lop-sided, or both to really limit the height? They are RIR and most of the fence is 6ft or higher, but some is lower. They have shown no interest in escaping, but I want to help ensure they don't go visiting other yards.


  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    What trauma?

    I take them off the roost one at a time, tuck the head under the wing I'm not clipping, gently pull the wing out and clip the flight feathers. When I'm finished I put the bird back on the roost and move onto the next. They cluck/fuss a bit when you take them off the roost and put them back on but nothing major. If yours are really aware of you when you go in at night you're probably using too bright of a light. I use a headlamp on low and try to not to get the light in their faces.

    I'd do one side for now, most (though not all) of the time that works fine.
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Go well after dark with all the lights off. Grab her by the feet an turn her upside down. She will hang upside down with her wings out. Some flap a minute but then settle down. Cut only one wing. You can also use a flashlight in there eyes to kill any night vision they may have.
  4. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Once they are on their roost it shouldnt be too traumatizing to gently lift them off, spread a wing and clip. If you have a helper it will go that much faster. Also only talk in whispers if you have to talk and use a hands free light. Terri O
  5. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Okay. Done. That was easy!

    It was the first time I touched them. I am so attached already. Doh!

    I'm worried they are too skinny. [​IMG] I am going to put out an additional bowl of food in the run in case they aren't going back into the coop (50ft away tops). They have been very active and seem happy, but now I'm worried they are too thin. Any particular treats I can give them to fatten them up? I can feel their breastbone way too much.


  6. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    think of stuff that makes us gain weight [​IMG]
    just make sure they have plenty of fresh feed and water available. Careful with treats because you want them to eat their regular feed. Otherwise : yogurt, egg, whole milk, fruits, veggies, meat, pasta - the possibilities are endless [​IMG]
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    If you need a visual, there is a video on YouTube on wing clipping that is pretty good.
  8. CorporateGranola

    CorporateGranola Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    South GA Swamp
  9. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    They probably weigh what they should. The first time people pick up a farm chicken they are shocked at how bony they are especially when they are younger. There use to the feel of the birds in the freezer section or Foodlion. Even in the big farm breeds most dont feel that way till there close to a year old an some two years old.
  10. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    Wow I must be a mean mama...I didn't even go after dark, hahaha.

    I've been handling my girls everyday for 9 weeks, and finally decided to clip them once to keep them from flying out of their intermediate/temporary run. I just picked them up and cradled them in one arm, spread out the wing and held it with the same hand and one quick snip took care of the flight feathers. A couple flapped a bit when I picked them up, but that made it easier because they left their wing outstretched so I just clipped once they settled down. Very fast, very easy, and not traumatic at all! It literally took maybe 45 seconds per chick and they were all running to me afterward, haha!

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