To clip or not to clip.....that is my question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DottieMarie, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    I will be allowing my chicks full use of their run in a couple of weeks. As of now, it is not covered and I know they can fly. So, do I clip their wings?
    Do most people clip?
    When do I clip?
    How do I clip?

    And while I'm asking questions;
    1) Can someone tell me what are saddle feathers and what about them tells the sex of a bird?

    2) Can I have all hens, will I be able to add a roo at a later date?

    Thanks for any input!
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We have: Silver Lakenvelder, Dominique, Gold Penciled Hamburg, Delaware, Jersey Black Giant, White Face Black Spanish, White Wyandotte, Columbian Wyandotte, Gold Laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Partridge Plymouth Rock, Golden Campine x Jersey Black Giant, Golden Campine x Partridge Plymouth Rock, and a Golden Campine roo. We used to have Silver Spangled Hamburg, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Americana/Auracana mix, Ancona and Buttercup.

    So we have a mix of different size standard breeds; never any bantams. But we've never clipped their wings. Our acreage is completely fenced, but the fence is only 6 feet tall. The birds have never tried to fly over it, and they have the run of the place from sunup to sundown.

    We also have 2 week old chicklettes: 2 Cuckoo Marans, 1 Frizzle Cochin, 1 Cochin and 1 Cuckoo Marans-Cochin mix; but they won't be out foraging for a while yet. [​IMG]

    If you are planning on adding a roo, better to do it sooner than later. Your hens might be happier without a roo and you only need him if you want fertile eggs for hatching.

    There are a couple of good pictures on the web or you might want to get yourself a good book on chickens.

    edited: if I could only spell.... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Quote:If they are standard breed most can't fly out as they are too heavy...I don't clip any of my birds wings some some do so maybe someone else can help with that question...I'm sure there are lots of breeds to fly out I just have no experience with clipping wings and some postings should come up for you..

    Saddle feathers are on roosters thats one way of telling a rooster from a hen or pullet they are feathers along there back side that hang down before his tail....look at pics of roosters to see the saddle feathers hanging...

    You can have all hens, you don't need a rooster for hens to lay eggs...for fertile eggs to incubate you will need the services of a rooster...
  4. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Thanks for the replies. For some reason I thought clipping the feathers was the norm, that most people did it. I don't really want to clip them but I also don't want them to fly out of the area.
    I think I'll wait it out to see if they try to fly out and then decide. Glad to hear that just becase they can fly doesn't mean they will.

    Thanks again!!
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    My heavy breeds can fly! But then, my run fence is only 4 ft. I clip. Matter of fact, just now finished clipping my escape, I hate that bird! Even all the other birds hate that bird...probably why she escapes alot! [​IMG]
  6. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Beekissed, if I end up needing to clip how do I learn how to do it?
  7. antlers

    antlers Songster

    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    Hold one wing out, use a sissors to cut the primary flight feathers on the outer most section of the 3 wing section and thats it. Only cut one side as it throws them off balance. You can clip them close to the wing but usually the outer 3-4 inches of an adult bird feather is all that is needed.
  8. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Thanks antlers, it sounds easy. Is there anything I need to be careful of doing or not doing?
  9. xanaxnation

    xanaxnation Songster

    Apr 8, 2008
    is it possible to cover the run as an alternative to clipping? not only will you not have to clip, but you wont have to worry about arial predators either, or cats climbing over the fence, etc. depending on the predators in your area, you might be able to use something as simple as weed fabric or some other lightweight mesh cloth type thing you can pick up at a hardware store. you could just pin it to the sides or staple it down or whatever. when the girls see the "lid" on the run, they probably wont test it more then once or twice.
  10. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008

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