Do you have a flying chook problem? Want to keep your precious chickens in your yard where they are safe? No worries, we’ve got you covered. There is a simple fix to keep your chook grounded.
Many chicken keepers clip their chicken’s wings to prevent them from searching for greener pastures. We’ve all had that one chook that just cannot stay put, flying around and squawking like a migrating goose.
It may seem a bit daunting when you clip your chicken’s wings for the first time, but it really doesn’t have to be that stressful. Here are a few terrific tips to ease your mind and build your confidence throughout the process.
Clipping your chicken’s wings will not cause any pain, so don’t worry about hurting your flock. It’s a little like clipping your nails. Let’s get to those tips to get you started.
Ask For Assistance
For the first time, you clip your chicken’s wings, ask for assistance. It is safer for your chicken and very helpful for you if someone else is in control of the bird and you just need to worry about the clipping. If the system works and you want to keep it, ask for assistance every time you clip your chicken’s wings.
Ask the person helping you to cover your chicken in a cloth to keep them calm, only allowing one wing free for clipping. This will restrict the chicken’s movement and make clipping a lot safer.
Know Which Feathers To Cut
Unsure which feathers to trim? Better find out before you start! If you look at your chook’s spread wing, you will notice 10 long feathers at the front of the wing. These feathers are known as the primary flight feathers and are the ones you will need to cut to prevent flight. Still unsure? The primary flight feathers are the longest feathers on the wing and usually have a different colour from the rest.
Trim Only One Wing
It is completely unnecessary to trim both wings and often more beneficial to you. Trimming only one wing will place your chicken at a disadvantage by making them unbalanced in flight. Clipping is, unfortunately, a temporary solution since they will grow back with the next moulting. During moulting, a chicken grows a whole new set of feathers. Don’t worry though, you will be a pro in no time and wouldn’t even blink when it comes to clipping wings.
Keep these tips in mind for your first clipping and any other clipping that comes after. Make sure you have a sharp pair of scissors and a towel handy before you start clipping! Once you identified the correct feathers to clip, cut each of them about 2 ½ cm below where the covert feathers (the shorter feathers at the base of the wing) end. Remember, if done correctly, clipping wings causes no pain!
From wing maintenance to pest control, we chicken keepers always try to do an excellent job when caring for our flocks. Make sure you have the knowledge you need to keep your flock happy, healthy and inside your backyard! Keep on reading for more information tips and tricks.