To clip or not to clip?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wyan5, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. wyan5

    wyan5 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2013
    My chickens have been getting very adventurous lately. They roam my chain-linked fence backyard all day. The fence is normal fence height (around 4 ft I'm guessing). They were fine until the rooster starting flying up on top of my back patio wall which is slightly taller than the chain-linked fence. Today one hen flew on top of the fence and walked along it! Is it time to clip their wings?
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I, personally, would not clip wings since they need them in order to escape from predators.
    You can always discourage them from going over the fence by shooing them off the fence and bribing them with treats.
    To a chicken the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence; but if you have all the goodies on your side, then that grass on the other side will not seem so appealing.
    Also, if you have bantams or teenagers, they will tend to fly more than, say, a typical adult large fowl bird.
  3. wyan5

    wyan5 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2013
    Ok thanks! Yes, 2 of them are young (less than a year). They are the ones that started it. They do it more if I limit how much feed I'm giving them. Should I give them as much food as they want? They're eating me out of house and home!
  4. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I leave food available 24/7 (I have feeders everywhere).
    Chickens will eat a lot more during the winter (they need more energy AND there are way fewer bugs available).
    I even give them some scratch during the winter to help them put on some weight.
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Hmm.. i can see your issue. Mine are kept in a covered run so it's a non issue BUT they have flown near the top(this is a dog run so quite a big of height)

    I also keep feed/water with my birds 24/7, but mine love to flutter/fly about the run... good exercise but they cannot get out. Are they in this area unwatched?
  6. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I have all cold hearty, heavy breed chickens. My first year, my White Plymouth Rock would sometimes come running to greet me when I came up to check on the flock. They had a 6' high fence that she'd fly to the top of. She hasn't done that for a long time. However, I do have two younger Easter Eggers, one of which I sometimes found outside of the run. My youngest hens are Freedom Rangers and they are too heavy to get more than a few inches off the ground at a full run into a headwind [​IMG] althought they do look funny trying.

    Perhaps in a few months your chickens will outgrow their desire/ability to hop the fence. I imagine that even if your rooster is capable of flying to the top of the fence, he will stay in the yard if his hens are there too. In the meanwhile, you might try stringing something shiny that flutters in the wind along the part of the fence they try to jump. I know this can be effective in keeping birds out of your garden. Maybe it will help keep them in too.
  7. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    I free range my birds, and even so, keep food and water available 24/7 and like someone else, feed "chicken candy", scratch, in the winter. I don't cliip wings, just in case they would ever need to fly but most of them don't. Roo Man Choo flies to the top of the fence but the girls don't join him, he sings his rooster song and they keep on eating. I really don't like the idea of clipping a non-house birds wings, just like I don't like debeaking.
  8. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Yes, they are "unwatched" as far as there is no human sitting out there watching them.
    I do have livestock guardian dogs in the pastures surrounding them now, so they are protected by default.
    Chickens generally do not stray too far from their coop anyway.
    I have 15 acres here and the farthest I've ever seen any of my chickens go is maybe 200 feet in either direction.
    I also have some trees around (and a pole barn) where they can hide from flying predators.
    Whenever there are flying predators overhead, the dogs, guineas, and roosters all sound the alarm and everyone runs for shelter.
  9. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    My hens discovered the neighbor's apple tree had dropped apples earlier this fall. Now, I find the flock over there all the time trying to find those tasty treats!

    So I've got an old pie-pan that I fill with black-oil sunflower seeds and leave in the area I WANT the chickens to go into (under a bunch of bushes on MY side of the fence). I bring the empty pie pan and the bucket of BOSS to the fence, open the gate and start slowing dripping seeds towards where I want them to be. They follow me like the pied piper! I fill the pie pan and put it down right in front of me and am swarmed by the girls trying to get the treats. They'll generally stay around that area - as I also sprinkle seeds where I want them to be. They're clearning a spot for a new garden bed for me!

    As for the flying on the fence, my younger ones do that too. They seem to 'forget' to enjoy it after about 14 month old or so. Although one keeps figuring out how to jump on top of the coop and peck at the side of the barn? Go figure, they're unique!
  10. CluckAcres

    CluckAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2012
    Silver Lake, Indiana
    I free range also and dont cut wings. I had a incident yesterday where a dog wondered into our yard and went after the chickens and turkeys. The chickens made the call and took of for the coop but my hen turkey wasnt so lucky the dog grabed her tail feathers but she was able to break free and get high in the tree. Thank god the birds wings were not cut.

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