Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chicken Flight Feather Clipping

Today I had enough of the chickens flying the fence URG.. so I decided to clip their flight feathers!

Its a simple process that does not harm the chicken at all.

First my daughter chased them down and brought them to me.
She wrapped each one in her favorite blanket and handed the bird to me like a gift.
Next I laid them on their side on my legs pulling one wing out slowly and carefully.
Once fully extended I clipped the 10 or so last feathers(the longest).
You only want to clip one side so it throws them off balance and they can't fly right.
After all the chickens were done my daughter herded them back to their area and shut the door.
The End!

The last 3 days since their clipping the haven't gotten out so now here's hoping this permanently fixes my escape bird problem as they love to devour my fruit and veggies!!!

Above: Flight Feathers before Clipping

Below: Flight Feathers after Clipping (even with smaller back feathers)


  1. Thanks for this tip. I just did this today with my one little gate hopper. I hope it keeps her inside the fence from now on. I was also told you're supposed to trim their beaks. Is that true?

  2. No.. no please don't. One of the best parts of home raising is that we can treat our chickens with love! The cutting of the beak prevents pecking and egg breaking but we don't really have to worry about that in decent conditions. As long as your chicken have at least 2 sq ft of coop space you should not have to worry about cutting the beaks.

  3. Phew. You put my mind at rest. The lady I bought my chickens from told me I should, but I've never had any problems with pecking, I was just worried it was something I was supposed to do for their good health. I'm glad to know that's not the case.