Questions about wing clipping.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by aychbe, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. aychbe

    aychbe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    I have a black swedish drake who is managing to get over my 3.5' high fence. I have not seen him do this but my neighbor across the street said he ran down the hill, jumped and glided over the fence on 2 occasions. There is a busy road that he's luckily been able to cross without incident but I lost a khaki campbell hen last fall in a similar incident when she was hit by a car.

    My 2 questions are will clipping the primary flight feathers be enough to prevent him from gliding down the hill over the fence and would it be better to clip 1 or both wings?
     
  2. fourkidsandduck

    fourkidsandduck Out Of The Brooder

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    Clipping the flight feathers will keep him from flying, I clip them both to be safe. They can still jump and flap but it will be limited to maybe 3-4 feet. I have been told you can clip just one, I do two because I want to be sure, not to mention it kinda looks funky with only one done.

    Time for a higher fence or find out why he is trying to get out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  3. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Clipping one wing actually grounds them more than clipping both wings because it puts them off balance.
     
  4. aychbe

    aychbe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    @fourkidsandduck Thanks! I'm not sure what's gotten into him as of late. He's around 2 years old and I suspect that this is mostly hormonal as he charges a lot and he went from having 2 hens during last mating season to only 1 at the moment. There is nothing outside the fence besides speeding cars so I doubt that he sees something tempting. The only time I see him fly is when he's spooked. I have security cameras so maybe I can see what happened today if he flew from that section of the yard.
     
  5. aychbe

    aychbe Out Of The Brooder

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    @Duck Drover I had read about clipping only 1. I wasn't sure of its effectiveness but I'll give it a try tomorrow.
     
  6. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I say clip just 1. Not really necessary IMO to clip both. Even so though, I'd make the fence higher.
     
  7. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually clip both wings so they can have a little lift when they flap their wings. Clipping one wing will not give them the same lift because the force is uneven and the duck will tip somewhat sideways in a circle rather than lifting straight up. You can always clip the second wing later if you prefer to keep them uniform looking over the backside as the long flight feathers will show folded over the hind end when they are unclipped.
     
  8. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We were having an issue with one of our girls who was getting out every day to build a nest. After raising the fence (which didn't help!) I clipped the feathers on one side. Worked like a charm (I left the two terminal feathers and clipped the next ten I used kitchen shears. She hasn't gotten out in 5 days!!

    I read that leaving one side unclipped lets them escape from predators easier.
     
  9. aychbe

    aychbe Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to clip 1 wing. The predators I have to concern myself with are hawks and potentially eagles. I have deterrent tape up and that has kept them away for the past 3 years but if one were to strike, flying isn't going to help my drake escape.

    I'm not going to bother raising the fence because, honestly, the expense outweighs the potential benefit. He'said my 3rd Swede and the other 2 never did this. I have some yard work to do over the next couple days and I plan on inspecting the fence for a spot where he could have potentially slipped under it and wandered across the street. My security cams did not record the moment of escape and it's possible it was from an area not coveted by cameras but it is also possible that my neighbors didn't see him fly over the fence... I am in an urban area and not everyone around here is trustworthy hence the security cams...hahaha
     
  10. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had someone tell me that a pair of ducks they got from me flew over their 10 foot high fence with clipped wings. I have not seen mine get more than 4 feet off the ground so I think it is more likely they either climbed the fence or found a way to get under it.

    Ducks often use a "take off" maneuver to get lift so eliminating their "runway" can also help ground them. Putting some type of obstruction in their path can help foil their escape attempts.
     

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