To clip or not to clip, that is the question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Adalida, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    I got my Muscovy hen Sylvie last February. She was young, but old enough to fly. The first day I let her free range with the others, she flew away in the evening. Fortunately I got her back without too much trouble, and clipped one wing the next day. Now she's molted and regrowing her feathers, and trying to fly again. I'm torn on whether or not to clip. The advantage of leaving her wing unclipped is that I feel like she'd have a much better chance if a predator goes after her. (I haven't had any losses from predators this year, but I know it's always a possibility.) But I don't want her to fly away! But maybe she wouldn't now that she knows this is her home. All my other ducks are non flying so she's the only one I have this dilemma with.

    What do you all do? Clip or not clip?

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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  2. PINOAK RIDGE

    PINOAK RIDGE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2016
    Tennessee
    Personally, I love to see ours fly around the house and to our pasture and ponds. We have lots of predators and even though we have secure perimeter fences, paddocks, aviaries and condos, there is always the chance that predators can manage to find a way in, if they are determined. I love it in the "off season" when we can allow the different color varieties to mingle. They look amazing out there dibbling and dabbling around, each color showing off it's friends colors.

    We've had ducks almost 30 years and can't say any have ever flown away from home. For a few weeks, we even had a few naughty neighbor kids chasing them with sticks, yet they still didn't fly away--just away from the kids to the other side of the house. There really isn't any reason for them to leave home, they have food 24 x7, fresh water at least daily and plenty of companionship. [​IMG]

    Whichever route you choose, to trim or not to trim, I am sure you will do what you feel is best for your duck, in your situation.

    Hope this helps. Good luck and enjoy your ducks.
     
  3. SmallFarmUSA

    SmallFarmUSA Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2016
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    I am always torn also, but everytime I choose not to clip, I end up regretting it for one reason or another. Just a couple weeks ago, my dog got overly excited, and accidently chased two of my white Calls into the neighbors field, where two hawks instantly swooped down on them. Thankfully, they both survived (although one I believe now has permanent brain damage),but this could have been completely avoided. The ducks don't mind not being able to fly, and to me, it's not worth the risk anymore. :/
    I've also heard of peoples pet ducks that fly off with wild ducks during migration season.
     
  4. CollegeGirl3

    CollegeGirl3 Just Hatched

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    May 30, 2016
    Hi! We've had ducks in our family for the last fifteen or so years and we've never clipped ours. We only ever had three fly away of the twenty+ we've had. But, a couple weeks ago, some big dogs got into our yard and went after our ducks. Being able to fly was probably the only thing that saved them. Also, considering she knows where home is, she's not likely to go far. She knows you give her food!! LoL But seriously, even the three that flew away came back pretty often to say "hi". If she's got food and "family", odds are pretty good that you can leave her wings unclipped and she'll stay put =)
     
  5. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    Just in case anyone later reads this thread, wondering whether to clip or not, I thought I'd update. I left Sylvie's wings unclipped. She seems delighted to be flying again! She doesn't fly a whole lot but she sure is pretty when she does. She seems to do it as a "nanner nanner" to the other ducks, which is pretty hilarious. She will fly back to the house at night, and stand there waiting for them as they waddle their fat little selves back home. They get all excited and yell their heads off and sometimes they'll all madly flap their wings too, which gets them nowhere. I'm glad I left her the ability to fly, she seems really happy to be able to do so.
     
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