Wing clipping

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicktastic, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Chicktastic

    Chicktastic In the Brooder

    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?
  2. Maidservant

    Maidservant Songster

    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
  3. CityClucks

    CityClucks 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.
  4. Chicktastic

    Chicktastic In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    Chapel Hill, NC
  5. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    I always leave the very first two feathers, then when they have the wings folded you cant tell. [​IMG]
  6. funkychickenowner

    funkychickenowner In the Brooder

    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!
  7. Chicktastic

    Chicktastic In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Mine do that too! They take one little bite. [​IMG]

    We also have deer problems here so we have to keep our garden fenced like ft knox!!!
  8. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    Quote:Well, they are thinking of someone besides just themselves!![​IMG]
  9. sianara

    sianara Songster

    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!
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana

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