Questions about clipping wings...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lbiermann, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. lbiermann

    lbiermann New Egg

    Feb 22, 2009
    Hello all, I am brand new to the BYC forum and I am excited to have found you on the web! I do have a question for anyone willing to help:
    We have had our little "flock" of three chickens almost a year. Everything has been fine until about a month ago. We live in a rural area where almost all the neighbors have animals (dogs, horses, goats, llamas, etc.). Our closest neighbor doesn't have any animals. Our chickens are allowed to roam during the day and they love it. Keep in mind that we live in a free range state and livestock (chickens included) are allowed to roam free according to the state statute. At first they stayed on our property. Then they got adventurous and started going onto our neighbors property. We talked to our neighbors about this development and they said they were fine with it, in fact they said the chickens were good for their yard. A couple of weeks ago the neighbors started complaining out of the blue, no warning. They were leaving threatening phone calls, etc. We were shocked since the last time they said anything about it they were happy to have them. Clearly the chickens have outstayed their welcome! However, we didn't have a setup to keep them contained. We have been rushing to build an enclosure that can keep them on our property. They got out a few times resulting in more threatening phone calls from the neighbors. After a few alterations we have managed to keep them in for a few days straight. However, they are not happy chickens! They are complaining and wanting out, and I feel bad to have to keep them in.
    So, my question is: If I clip their wings, how high will they generally be able to fly still? Our entire property is fenced with mesh wire and we are hoping that if we clip their wings that might keep them on our property. Also, does anyone have any tricks up their sleeves to keep the chickens on the property?
    Thank you for any advice anyone has for us!
  2. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Man...BUMMER! Wonder how that bee got under their bonnet?! I've never had to deal with that but I can tell you that, if/when you clip their wings, you should only clip ONE on each bird. That keeps them off balance. I clipped my oegb roo's wing and he could still go over the fence so then I clipped it shorter and that seemed to work. How high is your mesh fence and what breed are your chickens?

    Oh, and I forgot to add...WELCOME TO BYC! [​IMG] You'll love it here! Everybody's soo nice and helpful.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  3. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] You're gonna love it here! But beware: it's addicting! [​IMG] [​IMG] LOL
    Anyway, sorry I can't help you. But I'm bumping this up for you so hopefully someone else can help you. [​IMG]
    Good luck and again, WELCOME TO BYC!!! [​IMG]
  4. Comet Mum

    Comet Mum Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 29, 2008
    Oxford, NC
    [​IMG] Here is a link to the learning center that discusses wing clipping. I have 4 foot fences that my girls are not able to fly over when I clip their wings. You should also check out the chicken coop pages . There are LOTS and lots of ideas on those pages that may give you ideas and help make your chickens happier.

    Good luck with your girls and your neighbors and Welcome!
  5. lbiermann

    lbiermann New Egg

    Feb 22, 2009
    Well, we don't know what happened with our neighbors either! Wish we knew so we could fix it!
    Our fence is ~4ft. high or so. Not terribly high, just high enough to keep in the horses and the dogs. Do you think it's too low to keep a chicken with a clipped wing in?
  6. lbiermann

    lbiermann New Egg

    Feb 22, 2009
    Oops, didn't see your response before I posted Comet Mum! Sorry. That is really helpful to know that a 4ft fence keeps your girls in, that gives me hope!! Thank you for the link, and for the welcome [​IMG]
  7. fasbendera

    fasbendera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2009
    We took in a mixture on 10 birds two years ago and they had been in an enclosed pen (net on top). We have a fenced enclosure and no top and let them free range when we are home. I clipped them to make sure they didn't get out until they were accostomed to their new home and stayed around. I grew up on a hobby farm and we clipped the wings of the exotic pheasants we raised so I know it works. Clip one side only. They cannont get lift if one side has the feathers clipped. I clip so I can see the underside of the wing and get the flight feathers. You can always take off more you can't put it back on (Good rule of thumb for plants and pets, I own a greenhouse).[​IMG]
  8. skyedobb

    skyedobb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    Quad Cities, IA
    Hello! I'm also new to BYC and loving the site! I just got my first 3 birds tonight - not quite ready, but they were free so I didn't complain about the timeline! More coming this weekend. I was done enough with the coop that they should be comfortable there until I get the outside done. Speaking of, I have an area fenced off in my yard for my girls. I have 3 dogs, 2 of which I don't trust with the birds until we're able to do some training. My fenced area is about 4' tall and rather than putting netting on top, I'd like to clip their wings. However - will they have any problem getting up to roost? How high can they fly with their feathers clipped? I made a roosting rack about 5' tall at it's tallest - looks like a wide ladder leaned up against one side inside my coop. I just wouldn't want to limit them from getting on a roost.


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