Wing clipping...yay or nay

arlyons65

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2016
10
5
34
I inherited some grown chickens a few years ago when we bought a house. Since then we moved and I am now getting baby chicks next week to start my own little backyard flock. I live in a small town inside the city limits. We can have chickens. When I let them out of the pen to free range the yard, I don’t want them to fly over our 6 foot fence and escape or get harmed by roaming dogs and birds of prey. Do any of you clip the wings and if so do you just do one side?
 

Mckennas poultry

Songster
Apr 24, 2018
417
541
146
How big is your yard ? Chickens don’t stray too far, they usually have their own boundary. What breed of chicken ? Only bantams can fly
 
Apr 16, 2018
283
947
207
Missouri
I never clipped wings on my hens because I though that some ability to fly so that they would have a better chance of being able to escape potential predators... I have recently moved to town though and my first urban flock is still in the brooder, so I may have to rethink that. I will just have to wait and see.
 

cppeace

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 8, 2014
1,295
1,962
261
Lebanon, Mo
type of chickens? Big chickens generally won't fly much once full grown. I had a couple get over a 5ft fence but they cheated flew about 4.5 and then used the fence to get over. That was when they were about half grown. Now I had to trim my ganders wings every year because he got over the fence several times.
 

Mckennas poultry

Songster
Apr 24, 2018
417
541
146
I never clipped wings on my hens because I though that some ability to fly so that they would have a better chance of being able to escape potential predators... I have recently moved to town though and my first urban flock is still in the brooder, so I may have to rethink that. I will just have to wait and see.
I agree, if you get chickens that can fly then let them fly. It helps them get away from predators.
 

Mckennas poultry

Songster
Apr 24, 2018
417
541
146
type of chickens? Big chickens generally won't fly much once full grown. I had a couple get over a 5ft fence but they cheated flew about 4.5 and then used the fence to get over. That was when they were about half grown. Now I had to trim my ganders wings every year because he got over the fence several times.
The problem with that is the odd one would forget how to get back in, there’s always one :lau
 

LaurEliz

Songster
Apr 8, 2018
191
462
152
Central Illinois
My Coop
My Coop
My chickens stay only in certain parts of my yard for the most part. I don't clip their wings because I let them free range and want to give them a better chance at getting away from predators. However, mine also do fly over one of the fences we let the dogs play inside, and we had a very close call with our dog at one point because of this.

Really, there are pros and cons to clipping and pros and cons not to clipping. I've never clipped wings before, just because, with free ranging, I believe being able to fly may be more advantageous than not.
 

RWise

Songster
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
1,270
998
216
Oakhurst Oklahoma
Only bantams can fly
Not true! I recently picked up some GEM's, when in the flock they started practicing flight. When they hit 25 feet up, ya near the tree tops, I said enuf is enuf and clipped a wing. I could see them in my mind flying away and not making it home!

An EE I was given, poor dear her wings were clipped to nubs (this also damages body feathers and even skin), she could jump 8 feet straight up, ya with those nubs! Once she molted I had no issues with her, and she looked so much better.

I only clip 1 wing, always the right wing, and only the light flight tips of those who go over the fences (cept for those GEMs, they did not go over the fence, but turned and went to the other side of the house/yard, still,,,). This throws them off balance, yet they can still use them to get away from bad things. I find this is only needed on young birds (not chicks maybe 4 months to molt), once they have molted and these feathers are replaced, it has not been needed again. Maybe they just need to know where their boundaries are.
Birds that continue bad behavior are re-homed to someone that completely confines them in a covered run.
 

Mckennas poultry

Songster
Apr 24, 2018
417
541
146
Not true! I recently picked up some GEM's, when in the flock they started practicing flight. When they hit 25 feet up, ya near the tree tops, I said enuf is enuf and clipped a wing. I could see them in my mind flying away and not making it home!

An EE I was given, poor dear her wings were clipped to nubs (this also damages body feathers and even skin), she could jump 8 feet straight up, ya with those nubs! Once she molted I had no issues with her, and she looked so much better.

I only clip 1 wing, always the right wing, and only the light flight tips of those who go over the fences (cept for those GEMs, they did not go over the fence, but turned and went to the other side of the house/yard, still,,,). This throws them off balance, yet they can still use them to get away from bad things. I find this is only needed on young birds (not chicks maybe 4 months to molt), once they have molted and these feathers are replaced, it has not been needed again. Maybe they just need to know where their boundaries are.
Birds that continue bad behavior are re-homed to someone that completely confines them in a covered run.[/QUOTE
I’ve only see young pullets fly of different breeds, when fully grown they all stopped
 
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