When to start wing clipping?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ursus, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. ursus

    ursus In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2008
    Seattle Wa.
    Hey all. I'm new to chicken raising here, and while I still have a few more weeks before my girls will be going outside, I can see that they're really interested in flying. They get down and spring up, flying across their indoor pen about 6 or 8 inches off the floor. I'm worried that they will start flying out of the pen, and I certainly don't want them flying away when they do start going outside.

    At what age do you all start wing clipping? I know I have to watch out for blood feathers when I do start, is it safe to do now, or is it best to wait until they have all their adult feathers?

    Thanks for your advice [​IMG]
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    How high is your fence? Clipping wings, even when done correctly (and only on one side to throw them off balance) doesn't always work. Young chickens especially are pretty good flyers - even heavy breeds - until they gain some weight.

    I ended up covering my run to make sure my chickens stayed in. It is a 4' chain link fenced off area of my backyard.
  3. ironjim

    ironjim Hatching

    Nov 18, 2007
    I've never clipped my girls wings, and they never fly out of the yard. although I do let a couple of my favorites out in the side yard w/ me,when they've had enough and want back w/ their sisters they will fly back in. Also I do have a run w/ a chainlink roof hooked to the coop. I eventually zip tied a tarp to that. it works great, keeping their outdoor run dry.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    As long as your chickens have been locked in the coop for a while you won't have much problem with them flying away and not coming back. They know where they eat and will not forget it.

    Chickens come home to roost is not just an old timer saying. It is true. If your run is not covered you will have the potential for predators to swoop down on the chickens. If you clip their wings they won't be able to get away as easily.

    I never clip flight wings for that reason.
  5. ursus

    ursus In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2008
    Seattle Wa.
    Thanks for the advice, perhaps it's better not to clip after all, like I said I am new to this and had just assumed that everyone clipped their chicken's wings.

    I have built a completely enclosed run for the coop they will eventually call home, so it sounds like they will be fine.
  6. seafood

    seafood Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    can anyone answer the original question? When should first wing clipping occur? When is it to early?
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    You can clip any time they get their primary feathers. They will replace their fist set with an adult set so any time they are beyond pin feather stage, you can snip them if you feel like it. I also do not clip wings as they need to be able to get away from things.

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