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Should I clip their wings?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by komobu, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. komobu

    komobu New Egg

    Jul 10, 2016
    I live in a single family ranch style home on a 1/3 acre lot. We live in the city in the middle of the block so I have neighbors behind me and on each side of me. We have 4 chickens that are just over a year old. They have no problem clearing the fences. Some time I find them 3 or 4 houses down, or even crossing the street in front of our house. Once last year, 3 of the four didnt come home that night. My wife was worried sick. 2 came back late the next day and the third one came back 2 days later. I think some kids may have got them because when they came back, they were fine. As a result of this, my wife keeps them in the coup but lets them out about an hour and a half before sunset. This way they dont leave our yard. By the time they get through checking out our yard, it is getting dark and they go back in the coup by themselves.

    I am thinking about clipping their wings so they cant clear our fence. If I did this, they would be able to spend a lot more time outside of their coup, but I have some questions. If I clipped their flight feathers, would they grow back? If they did grow back, how long before they could fly again...a month, a year, 2 years?

    Does clipping their flight feathers limit their ability or speed to move? Twice we have seen falcons. It amazes me how quick they respond, and I have no idea how they know the falcons are in the area. They just react! They immediately run under our shed which is 12 inches off the ground, or hide under our deck. They will not come out for at least 20 minutes after the falcon is gone. Once last year my wife noticed all four make a mad dash under the shed. She was wondering why they all did it so quickly. About 5 minutes later a falcon came soaring through our back yard about 10 feet off the ground,

    If they were in the back yard and a falcon came in the area, would their clipped wings prevent how quick they could take cover?

    Would they still be able to get up to their perches? (They are in a step fashion about 15 inches between rungs.)

    How long before their feathers would grow back?

    Anything else I should know or consider before I make the decision to clip them or not?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Clipping is an easy, painless way of adding another layer to the security of keeping your birds where you want them. Clip the flight feathers of just one wing (not both) and, yes, they will grow back at the next molt. The wings being used as balance for mad dashes will not be impacted by the clipping and, yes, they should be very capable of reaching a roost at that height with their wings clipped.

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