The definitive wing clipping thread

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by waynem1983, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. waynem1983

    waynem1983 Chirping

    May 30, 2014
    Gloucestershire, England
    So I have just had a discussion on another thread on a different forum with regards to wing clipping and I need expert answers on a few things.

    My bluebell was up in a tree the first night I got her, so I clipped one wing, first 10 primary feathers, as low as I could get without going too low. Let her go, straight back up in the tree. So I got her down, clipped the other one, voilĂ , grounded.

    Now there seems to be alot of controversy with regards to wing clipping. So a few questions.

    1. Why only clip one? Is it to prevent any flight (not as far as my experience goes) or to let them retain some form of mild flight to escape predators?

    2. People say clipping both gives balance back to the bird, defeating the purpose of clipping. Again not in my experience. Others say it grounds them, which is true for me.

    looking online, I get arguments for both, including on this site. Is there a definitive answer to this?
  2. hxgumdrop

    hxgumdrop Chirping

    Jul 29, 2013
    Bristol, England
    My girls were escaping to next door until I clipped one wing then they stayed in my garden no problem it is strange this didnt work for you!
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am of the camp that clipping two is more effective in stopping wing assisted access to high places. My birds when clipped on one wing can not fly well but they still retain much of their ability to clamber (run up a surface and use wing(s) to provide additional thrust. Some of that thrust helps the feet maintain better purchase as climbing rapids up a surface as well as provides balance. A single wing may not be good for flight but still provides more thrust than two clipped wings.

    I relate this based on experimentation with virtually an entire hen-house full of gamehens that fly better then virtually any other domestic chicken breed.

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