To clip or not to clip....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by WagarFamilyFarm, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. WagarFamilyFarm

    WagarFamilyFarm In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Nashville, IN

    How many of you clip and at what age do you start? Do you clip both sides, one side all wing feathers or just the primary?

    We're free ranging our birds inside a 1700 sqft electric fence and don't want them to attempt to fly over it.


  2. chiknwhisperer

    chiknwhisperer Songster

    May 9, 2008
    Lowell, IN
    I was thinking about clipping as well and will be very interedted in any information anyone posts up here. My roo loves to be out of his run but I'm afraid he will fly out of the yard.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I do not clip. Chickens left to free range need to be a ble to fly to get away from predators. Unless you can be around to watch them all the time they are out you really shouldn't clip them.

    If you do clip, only do one side and make sure it is the flight feathers and not too short. You want them to be off kilter so they can't catch wind to lift off.
  4. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    What kind do you have and how much do they fly now?
  5. chiknwhisperer

    chiknwhisperer Songster

    May 9, 2008
    Lowell, IN
    I have a ten week old ameracuana rooster and two 7 week old black minorcas. The minorcas really can fly. My roo hasn't tried to get to high just yet. I on;y let him out when I am right there by him. When I go in the house he goes back into the run.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I clip one side and primaries only. I clip as soon as they show a tendency to fly over the fence around my yard! My free rangers don't have to worry about any predators except my goofy cat....he makes a few half-hearted attempts until he ticks off the rooster. Love to watch Sue chase the cat! [​IMG]
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    What Prissy said.

    I clip because:

    A. Mine don't "free-range," ie, roam all over the place.
    B. Mine are yarded and should stay in their yard for their own good.

    I clip them as soon as they go out the Big Coop and they stay that way as long as they remain.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2008
  8. priszilla

    priszilla Songster

    Jan 12, 2008
    easley sc
    I might need to clip my female turkey-- I had to get her out a tree last night- she was so cute though!!! and I could reach her. BUt I may clip a little off both sides so she can still fly- but not so well
  9. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    I do not clip, rarely because like MissPrissy I want them to be able to get away from skunks, raccoons, fisher cats. . . . at least to have a fighting chance.

    I remember that you have strong feelings about free ranging, Elderoo. My chickens are well cared for and spend a fair amount of time in a large fenced backyard. Its not exactly free, as in ranging a mile off, but it works for us. Though all of my girls can fly well, to the tops of trees, coop rafters eight feet up, etc., they all come happily down for food.

    Several flew over the fence as babies, were terrified at not being able to come back in, and never did it again. The fences are only six fet and they could easily fly over, but don't. I dont keep roosters however, but only "borrow" them, as I live in town, with fairly close neighbors.

    I like to see them fly - its beautiful, except for the fat barred rocks who just look ridiculous- and they love to fly so I just dont mess with it, I guess.
  10. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    For those of us with urban flocks and close neighbors, it could mean the difference between a chicken that stays in my yard and a chicken that accidently flies into the yard of a next door neighbor (both of whom have dogs).

    When clipping wings, only clip one side. This puts them off balance. Also, only clip a few feathers and be careful about blood vessels.

    I used to have parakeets & cockatiels, so have clipped many wings in the past!

    single-feather method -
    multiple feathers method -

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008

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