Wing Clipping

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lovemy3hens, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Lovemy3hens

    Lovemy3hens Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 13, 2010
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Since I'm new to keeping chickens I've just discovered that some people actually cut their birds wings. I've heard of doing this for parrots and other smaller birds but not chickens. I keep doves and have their wings clipped to keep from flying. But what purpose does it serve to chickens? Do you clip your chickens wings?
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:It's the same as for other birds--to limit their ability to fly. Often it's to keep them in a fenced backyard and out of the neighbors landscaping (or dogs mouth) during freeranging time. A lot of people don't have covered runs too and some chickens, particularly younger ones, can fly quite well and will escape their run if the wings aren't clipped. I don't usually clip my birds wings since they freerange and I think they have a better chance getting away from the occasional predator if they can get up into the trees.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    I never clip wings as I free range my birds.

    I keep mainly Brahmas who are so heavy that they tend to run (and that very infrequently) if they are wanting to get away. My biggest boy, Whitey is, I believe, far too heavy to fly.

    If you are considering clipping wings think carefully as clipping can lead to bleeding from the feather base if not done carefully, and you will stop your birds from escaping predators by flying into trees.

    If you are going to do it, one side only to destabilise flight and have cornflour ready to stem bleeding and pliers to remove any feather base which is bleeding.
  4. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I know they WHY of it, but not the HOW. I have never clipped feathers & wouldn't know which ones to clip. Is there an easy way of explaining it so someone like me could understand?
    (I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader...) Are there pictures that could help?
  5. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    While my chickens can't fly out of their run, my yard has only a 3 foot fence and they could easily fly over that when I free range them in the yard. So I picked up the two largest chickens that were the most adventurous and clipped their wings.
    It also had the side effect of keeping them from chasing one smaller chicken that they liked to pick on. The little one has her flight feathers, and can get away from the two that don't.

    And the link kittymomma posted is a great one. Pull a chicken's wing out from it's body and it looks *just* like the drawing. Very easy to do, even for a beginner like me!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  6. Happycowdog

    Happycowdog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2010
    Tipp City, Ohio
    Glad for this topic because my EE Roo flies up and jumps the fence along with my Wyandottes. They go in the neighbors yard and he doesn't like it very much. Mine free range too, but if I'm not watching, they tend to wander over there and ignore our two acre back yard with woods! I guess it's more exiting getting chased back by an old man! I am going to clip their wings so at least they won't wander if I'm not home.
  7. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    yesterday i had a scary experience! i went to lock up the girls for the night and only 2 girls (outta 4) had gone to bed in the coop!!! [​IMG] we have a 6ft privacy fence....and i have NEVER had a problem with them flying over. but i think i know how they did it.....we have a 4ft fence going around the garden and it butts up against the 6ft fence. i think they got up on the 4ft fence and then got up on the 6ft fence. SO....luckily the neighbors weren't home and their dogs weren't out!!! i marched over there and opened the neighbors gate (felt kinda funny doing that) and the girls came right out to me, i didn't even have to go in their yard. i had a talk with the girls and put them to bed! bad girls! Santa was watching them! No mealworms in their stocking!! SO....i clipped everyone's wings! funny thing is, it was my Marans and my BO that flew out! and they're kinda hefty girls! anyway, i'm wondering if wing clipping will have solved it? can a chicken still get up on a 4ft fence with clipped wings?
  8. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    I have a small fence around the perimeter of my yard and clipping has cured almost all adventuring. At one point we had daily jaunts to the neighbors yard, our front lawn, and even one hen NESTING in our front flowerbed. Clipping has ended all of that. I think they could still get over if they really tried but they don't feel safe doing so.
  9. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    well that is awesome to know! thank you!!! i haven't had a problem since clipping either! of course i only had one incident....but lets just KEEP it that way!! i love my girls too much to have them mauled by a terrier! silly girls! don't they know that mother knows best????!!!

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