Wing clipping


In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
Chapel Hill, NC
Does anyone wing clip their chickens? I have a few hens who have decided to fly out of our coop. We are trying to decided on clipping wings or covering with netting.

If you clip how often do you need to do it? Is it good at stoopping them from flying? Can they still get up to their roost?


11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
Norwich, Norfolk, UK
I only clip one wing on those that decide to fly out to put them off balance. Out of the four who have clipped wings, two can just hop over the fence, so it doesn't stop them. Everyone can get up to the roosts fine.

Just be sure to only clip the first 4-5 feathers up to the second layer of feathers. Most chickens have 3 layers of feathers, and their actual wing starts about 1/2 way up the middle layer. That's why you don't want to go past the outer layer, you'll clip the tips of the actual meat if you're not careful. If you've never clipped wings before, get someone to show you how if possible. It isn't hard, its just hard to explain.

I check wings once per month. I typically end up clipping about every 4-5 months.

Hope this helps,
Emily in NC


The Center of a 50 Mile Radius
Jan 31, 2009
Tulsa, OK
Clipping one wing works fine for my hens who like to jump up and over, so it may work for you. Covering your coop with netting will have the added benefit of helping keep out some predators. If you decide to clip, here's a handy image.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 30, 2008
Sussex County NJ
I've clipped mine and they still get over the fence the light ones anyway and fence is 5' so i gave up sometimes they fly over but at nite they fly back into the pen to get into the coop. The first few times they got locked out I had to catch them and return to coop but now they have learned ho to let themselves back in. So I dont even bother clipping anymore. The way I figure it if they get out that is there bonus and get to free range. However I may have to do something when the maters' start growing cause chickens will take one bite out of each fruit and leave the rest ot the mater' for us!


13 Years
Apr 27, 2007
Central MA
Oops, I didn't notice this thread when I posted mine (above). I'm very frustrated. I've clipped one wing (like the picture shows) and then two wings but the still get over a 7' fence. I'm almost ready to give up but I don't want to tick the neighbor off when they start mosying over and scratching up her garden!

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