Wing and Beak clipping?? Do I need to do this ?? First time Chicken Mommy!!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Country Grits, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Country Grits

    Country Grits New Egg

    Mar 19, 2012
    Not sure if I need to ... or how to ...clip wings and Beaks --- My flock is all together right and they get along fairly well-- 15 Pullets, and 11 Cockrals-- they are going on 5 weeks-- they are going to be a free range flock-- roosters will be seprated off to a different coop than to a deep freeze, but my girls will be in and out--- What is the best route as far as Wings and Beaks go??
    Thanks for the help!!
    Country Grits..
    Whitesboro, Texas
  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    Most backyard farms do not clip beaks. Those are normally done for large scale operation, and done when they are 1-2 days old. The only reason you would need to clip wings is if you are trying to keep them in an area surrounded by a low fence. Allowing them to "fly" while free ranging is good because they can potentially escape a hawk or something if they react fast enough.

    Just wanted to ad you should consider keeping 1 or 2 roosters, they will watch out for the hens, and hurry them to safety if need be. They say 1 rooster to 10 hens, but you could get away with 2 roosters and 15 hens, especially if they have enough room.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  3. Country Grits

    Country Grits New Egg

    Mar 19, 2012
    Thank you MUCH!!! We have talked about keeping a few of the Roo's, but it is just choosing who gets to stay... Thanks again!!
    Country Grits
  4. ForgottenGlen

    ForgottenGlen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2011
    Raeford, NC
    Clipping beaks is usually because of high population conditions like hen houses. This keeps the hens from pecking at each other causing harm and death. I've never clipped a beak, nor do I ever intend to. I don't believe free range chickens will have any problems with cramped conditions or food finding.

    I'm not 100% on clipping wings. I think it is usually with birds that can fly better than chickens, keeps them from flying off. I don't clip wings either, and my girls free range in the afternoons.

    Hope this helps!
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    I very much agree. There are sometimes good reasons for some of these practices, such as someone wanting to correct a problem in a cross-beaked pet, but what you are talking about is a practice that allows commercial operations to keep them in smaller spaces. If you are raising them commercially, every penny counts and space is expensive. One problem with overcrowding chickens is that they can become cannibalistic and this can prevent that. I'm glad the vast majority of us on this forum treat out chickens better and don't overcrowd them.

    Wing clipping is a little different. It really does not hurt the chicken and the feathers do grow back during the molt. This is something we are more likely to do to enable chicknes to free range in a back yard without going over a fence. Many of us don't clip wings and don't have any problems with chickens going over fences. But it is something good to know if you have a chicken that doesn't want to stay home, or maybe wants to get in your fenced-in garden. My suggestion is to not worry about it unless you see a problem. Then it might be something good to know.

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