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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Fluffychickens6, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Fluffychickens6

    Fluffychickens6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry guys ^_^;; Im new to raising chickens (I just got them in august) They're now around 8 or 9 weeks old, they just moved into their chicken coop yesterday! They're doing great, but they wont go up their ramp, I've only seen Mocha (my rhode island red... I only have two chickens hehe :3 and another one named Omelet, who is a buff orpington i believe) fly up there, but she tends to start slipping and flys off. I was thinking of putting some rubber shelf liners up there.... but if there are better suggestions please tell me!

    Another question... (hehe sorry Dx) I was thinking of clipping their wings since I live in the city and our neighborhood has a bunch of dogs and I really wanted to let them walk around the yard, but they can already fly higher than our fence. So I was thinking of clipping their wings, but I'm afraid I would do something wrong and my friend said a vet could do it.... but chickens aren't common where I live so.... how should I do this? Also... are they old enough for this??? they're pullets about now and Mocha is very fiddley and doesnt like getting held too much.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    How steep is your ramp? Does it have cleats on it to keep their feet from slipping? You will probably have to teach them how to use the ramp... Try enticing them onto the ramp with treats. Or take the most easily handled one, and put her at the top of the ramp with a bowl of treats. The others should come up the ramp to join her. When you let them out, do they come down the ramp? You may need to give them ramp lessons: set a bird on the ramp, and guide her up the ramp a few times. I would not put shelf liner on the ramp... they might think it's a treat! Don't put anything in their space that you don't want them to eat.

    Save your money. Can you clip your own fingernails? If the answer is yes, then you can clip a bird's wings. There are a bunch of wonderful explanations about how to do it, and even some videos showing it being done. Basically, I grab a bird, and sit down with her between my knees. I then restrain her, and spread her right wing with my left hand. I use the scissors in my right hand, and clip the ends off of the primary feathers. I think there are at least 9 of them. (check the tutorials). You might want to keep an anticoagulant powder handy. (some folks even use flour) Just in case you cut a blood feather. But, if you're careful, and err on the side of caution, you should be just fine.
     
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine couldn't work it out for a while either. I actually just put a block under to make the slope less and that solved the problem. I removed the block when they were a bit older.
     
  4. Fluffychickens6

    Fluffychickens6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok! Thank you so much!

    The ramp does have cleets, but seems to be a little bit steep. I've tried putting treats on the ramp, but they just eat the pieces that they can reach from the side. I've also tried to put them inside the actual coop part, but they just start to go down and basically slide down and once they encounter the first cleat part, they just fly off.

    For clipping their wings, do I clip off the WHOLE flight feather or just trim off about half or a quarter or a third...? I've seen some videos and read a few articles and I think I might as well clip the wings just to be safe! [​IMG]

    Thank you guys for all the help![​IMG]
     
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Wracking the brain as it's been years since doing a chicken.

    There are sort of two lengths of feathers, all you are doing is trimming the longer flight ones to a similar length to the rest, not cutting them right off.
    [​IMG]

    If in doubt cut less off, you can always trim more if they are still escaping but it takes a long time for them to grow back if you go too far.

    Edited to add maybe I misunderstood that, did you mean all of the feathers or the whole feather? If you meant all of the feathers you can, but sometimes just the last 3 or 4 is enough to stop them escaping. It's not a bad idea to leave them with some if you can to help them in escaping should there be danger.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  6. Fluffychickens6

    Fluffychickens6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aaahhh I see thank you ^_^
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    How high is your pop door from the ground? You might want to raise the ramp up on a cinder block so it won't be as steep. Or you could take the ramp out and give them a series of different lengths of fire wood hooked together like steps (an other poster did this with great results.) Or even make them a set of steps.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That is the BEST wing clipping illustration!!

    A pic of your ramp would help.....it's probably either too steep or the cleats are too far apart...or both.
    Cleats work best about 4" apart, angle of about 30 degrees from horizontal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  9. Scott16475

    Scott16475 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I received my first chickens this past spring and everything I read said on average, chicks will figure out the ramp and put themselves to bed around 2 weeks after moving them to the coop. Well, it was one day shy of three weeks before mine figured it out. For those two weeks and 6 days, I was out there trying to catch each one and manually placing them into the coop at night. I was a kid at Christmas when they (FINALLY!) did it on their own.

    I'm still waiting for my girls to lay their first egg but I'm going to tell you the same thing people on here have been telling me (about eggs)...be patient and they will eventually figure out the ramp and put themselves to bed.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Fluffychickens6

    Fluffychickens6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2014
    aahhh thx guys :)
    Here's a pic of my ramp, i've put their at the top of the ramp, but they wouldn't go up and I didn't want them to get hungry so I put it back down and put some other food up there.

    [​IMG]
     

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