To clip or not to clip

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by smkchick, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. smkchick

    smkchick Songster

    Sep 3, 2011
    I posted a question about my Black Star 12 week old pullet flying up into a tree to roost at night. I'm also worried about her flying over the fence into my (hostile) neighbor's yard.

    A couple of people suggested I consider clipping her wings to keep her grounded. I thought I'd ask for some opinions. Whaddya all think?


    Gladys, the Flying Hen


  2. zippitydooda

    zippitydooda Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    Ottawa, Ohio
    I don't clip. I just made sure their run was covered and they go in at dusk by themselves. I've never had one try to get into a tree because they like the roost in the coop.

    What is your set up like? How many birds do you have?
  3. Animalian

    Animalian Songster

    Jun 18, 2011
    I clip them when they are young (6weeks - 1yr) to stop them developing the habit of roosting in trees. Plus most birds develop a heavier 'hen' (rather than pullet) body by the end of that time and can't get much lift anymore anyway!

    Smaller, light bantams I would still clip though, I learned that the hard way with my D'uccle, she escaped the run a few days ago and flew over our 6ft boundary fence. The dog's next door got her...
  4. flocksalot

    flocksalot Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    We have a Silver Spangled Hamburg that took to perching in the trees at night. We couldn't find her anywhere. I even put a bright blue apron on her just to help locate her in the green. Didn't help. Every night we were playing where's Waldo (we finally named her Waldo). She spent three nights outside. Once I found what tree she was in I just started shaking it and telling her to go home. It soon got to the point that all I had to do was say "GO HOME WALDO" and off she went. Now that she has started laying we no longer have this problem. Course I have some younger Hamburgs that have tried to take up roosting in Waldo's tree. There's a whole lotta shakin going on.

    I did trim Waldo's wing, but then she was unable to get up to the perch at night. If that's what you do make sure she has other options for getting to a perch.
  5. lollimama

    lollimama In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    Naughty Gladys! I have a naughty little pullet as well. I posted a question about this the other day and the advice was to clip her wings which I think we'll probably do in the next couple of weeks. She's stuck in her small little open air brooder/coop with her naughty sisters right now. They're all stinkers but this one in particular was flying up to the top of the fence when I tried to give her a little free range time - argh!!!! She's still small too - like 8 weeks old. None of my others seem remotely interested in flying but it's the three EE's that are into it. They're also crazy skiddish so catching them is a bugger. Anyway, I'll be curious to see if you actually do the deed and clip her wings! Good luck:)

  6. Lee

    Lee Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Marion County, IN
    Do not clip wingS. Just one wing does the trick. [​IMG]
  7. smkchick

    smkchick Songster

    Sep 3, 2011
    I read that only one wing needs to be clipped.

    I think the roosting in a tree comes from her having been a "stray" for so long. I guess trees were a safe zone...

    I have smallish coop, but right now she's the only one in it. Since I rescued her, I made the chicken commitment and got 3 chicks who are still brooder-bound. The coop is designed for 5 hens, although the 4 will be tight enough when it gets to that.

    If I do clip a wing, the perch in her coop is low enough for her to climb up on. I moved it down because she wouldn't fly up to it. Go figure!

    I'm going to wait for her to finish moulting before I clip (if I do at all). In the meantime, I have to stay ahead of her schedule. She heads to her tree around 3:30-4:00 in the afternoon. I've been luring her into the coop with Happy Hen Treats (her favorite) so it's not a trauma to go to the coop. She's got food and water and a Pecker Wrecker ([​IMG]) in there. Maybe I should put in a flatscreen tv...

    I'm hoping the whole issue goes away when she's got company in the coop and is older/heavier. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the words of wisdom!
  8. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    Personally, I don't clip em since that is the chickens best defense against predators, and should it get out flying into a tree may save its life -(or even just across the field)
    lock it in the coop for several days to re home its homing instincts, trees aren't safe against owls - "it just puts them in convienent biting range"
  9. MontanaMomma

    MontanaMomma Songster

    Oct 7, 2008
    I've always clipped and never looked back. We are in town and I don't want to risk my neighbors freaking out over chickens on the loose or my hens getting out and chomped by the neighbor dogs. With my Leghorns it was a necessity-they were hopping the fence and getting on the neighbor's house, garage, in the trees etc. I clipped one wing and they still got over the fence, so for them I clip both. For the heavier ladies I clip one. If I had problems with wild predators I would have to operate differently all around!

  10. smkchick

    smkchick Songster

    Sep 3, 2011
    Quote:I'm also in a somewhat urban environment, so my biggest threat is the neighbors. No wolves, foxes, etc. I coop her at night (98% of the time). I keep hoping she'll become accustomed to her coop, but she never goes in it unless lured there with treats (or during the day for a quick snack or drink). It's a shame, too, because it's a lovely little house!

    I continue to hope she'll lose interest in flying once she gets heavier and starts laying...[​IMG]

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