Tradeoff in clipping wings?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TimM, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a question with no right or wrong answer, but I would value the opinions of experienced keepers here. I just built a 4' by 8' coop in which I plan to keep eight Hubbard Golden Comets (two weeks old in a brooding pen right now). The pen will open onto several hundred square feet of forage area, surrounded by a 4-foot fence.

    The purpose of the fence is not so much to keep the chickens in as to keep my 80-pound aggressive dog out. She would surely kill them quickly.

    My dilemma is whether to clip their wings. That would make it more difficult for them to escape, but then they would be helpless if they did get out and the dog attacked. If I leave them alone, they will doubtless get out occasionally (I understand they are excellent flyers), but then they would stand a good chance of escape if the dog charged them.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

    Tim
     
  2. aayto1

    aayto1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Just clip one wing that way if they do get out they will have some flight and chance of getting away but clipping one side makes it so they can't fly high.
     
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  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Unless dog is totally incompetent, the chickens getting out will not have enough time to learn where safe locations are to fly to. Clip to keep them in pen. Also get to work on breaking dogs interest in harming birds. Takes time but you have much of the ideal resources already in place; pen and dog in close proximity.
     
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  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Isn't your dog just going to jump over that fence? It's only 4 foot high, and if the dog wants chicken for dinner, that's not near high enough imo. Granted, my dogs are much larger, but they can jump 4 foot without even really thinking about it.
     
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  5. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why not put a top on the fence? Just curious :)
     
  6. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. It sounds like clipping is the answer, though I hate to do it.
    I'm not sure what 'put a top on the fence' means. The fence encloses a plot the size of a city lot. Am I missing something?
    I know this dog can't jump 4 feet because she is old and arthritic, but she loves hunting anything that moves.

    Anyhow, thanks for the thoughts! I guess I'll have to learn how to clip wings. I know there is a lot of information available.

    Tim
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    In you setting the dog may prove to be a powerful asset if you can swing her around to chicken friendly. Virtually all dogs I had killed a chicken or two, at least before broke of habit, and a good portion were hunting dogs yet breaking them of going after chickens was doable and worth effort. The dog will still retain killing capacity it just won't be directed towards chickens.
     
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  8. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I hijack and ask the question for the OP? *How* does one break the dog of it, without losing too many birds. We only have 13... and I like them all, and hate to use them for training the dog :)
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Look for threads describing how to train / teach dogs with respect to chickens. Use terms "dog" and "teach" or "train".


    It takes time where you and birds must also learn. Be careful with logic to risk no birds for training, since risking none can result in loosing all, repeatedly. If all works out well the dogs can help prevent issues where many or all are lost to something else.
     
  10. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I def. agree with this logic! Fortunately the dog in question does circle the chicken yard, and we have another yet as well (he has been with the hens when free ranges, with no issues), along with 2 horses... they all seem to do a bang up job deterring large predators (said with a very large knock on wood!)
     

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