Wing clipping

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by khrisilu, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. khrisilu

    khrisilu In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have 2 little Welsummer hens that are 23 weeks old and have had a grand time in my back yard until yesterday when Sadie decided the front yard seemed like fun as well. Penny tried to follow but got stuck in the wood pen, thankfully! My neighbor, bless her heart, saw Sadie and called me before the silly chicken could get into the street. I got Wellies thinking they wouldn't be interested in wandering as we have neighbors on 3 sides and one neighbor with a nasty big dog. Now that they know they can get out I am wondering if I should clip their wings. Has anyone ever done that and does it work well? I did move their coop further away from the fence since I believe that's how they got out (onto the top of the coop, then over the gate to the woodpile, chicken walk the wood to the next gate and voila! you're in the front yard)

    It was very comical watching our little antics, especially since Sadie kept going under a tree and all the people who were driving by could see was 3 ppl standing hunched over in the front yard around a tree with our arms outstretched. Probably looked like some kind of weird Druid ceremony. Some random kid came by on his bike and asked if we were trying to catch a chicken, lol!! Apparently he has chickens so has seen this dance before. :)

  2. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    If you're going to clip their wings, wait until it's dark-ish and they're in the coop. Lift each bird up and extend a wing, then trim an inch or so off the big primary flight feathers with scissors. There's about 10 of them on each wing. Do both wings. Some people advocate clipping only one wing but I've seen my chickens fly to the top of their coop with just one wing clipped and they're big ISA Brown production hens. Smaller birds lift easier so it's good to trim both sides.

    You may also want to nail a 2' high piece of chicken fencing on the top of the coop so they can't get up over it. I used 2' high green wire rabbit fencing all around my 1/3 acre backyard and it's stopped the chickens from getting out into my front yard. They can't see it from a distance to get a running start because it blends into the background of my yard, and once they're up close, they can't fly over it because their wings are clipped. Maybe I'm just lucky. But at least my girls aren't scrounging near the busy road anymore.
  3. khrisilu

    khrisilu In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    Thanks so much! My son offered to help me so I think I'll get it done and not have to worry so much.
  4. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    I agree with Ohhhdear.

    It has worked well for me. I have a RIR/Orp cross who loved to fly the coop. But I clipped one of her wings and now she cant clear the fence. I clip more than an inch off. I cut off half the length of the flight feathers (the first 10 feathers stating at the tip if the wing toward the body. They look different from the ones toward the base of the wing). That way you know you wont cut the bird. Once you've done it once you'll be a pro [​IMG]
  5. khrisilu

    khrisilu In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    I love this site! You guys are awesome. Thanx again!!

    Now if they would just start laying... "sigh"
  6. khrisilu

    khrisilu In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    Ok, so it took me too long to get Sadie's wings clipped and she flew the coop again today. Went visiting the neighbors and was a couple yards away spotted standing in the middle of the road. A sweet neighbor girl chased her out of the road and happened across me as I was wandering the streets calling, "chook, chook, chook" to no avail. I caught her easily enuf, tucked her under my arm and scolded her all the way home, all the while listening to her try to explain by saying, "buuuut, buuuuut. " So she went into timeout in her pen, not allowed out for the rest of the evening and she got both wings clipped. I'm thinking she's not real impressed, but hey, she's a chicken and dumber than a rock anyway. :) I really love my sweet girls and would have been terribly sad if she had been hurt or killed due to my negligence. Sure hope the clipping works!

    They are 24 weeks old now and still not laying. We have bright red wattles and combs and Penny is squatting very well! Still haven't seen either of them in the nesting box.
  7. Samilitant

    Samilitant In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I've had to clip the wings twice so far on my 6-month olds, and they're probably due for another round. I seem to remember clipping off the whole feather though...I'll have to double check to be sure. I was very surprised at how fast they grew back though.

  8. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Songster

    Sep 17, 2010
    Olin, North Carolina
    I clipped all the wings on my chickens last week. I only had one hen that could still fly up and out of the daylot so I clipped hers a bit shorter to fix the problem. Now they are staying put!
    Bunny [​IMG]
  9. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    Carmichael, CA
    type "chicken wing clipping" into youtube, there are some fantastic 2 minute clips that show you exactly what to do. I have just done one wing, my birds found that they couldnt balance while flying on one wing, so quit trying!

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