Clipping a chicken’s wings

Photo: SMcGarnigle / Flickr

It’s known that chickens can’t fly quite as well as other birds, but they can get off the ground enough to hop over a fence and into your neighbor’s yard.

With the popularity of backyard chickens increasing, learning how to properly clip a chicken’s wings is becoming important. If you have backyard free range chickens, clipping their wings is something you should do. If you don’t, your chickens can escape into a neighbors yard, or get lost.

How to clip a chicken’s wings

Instructables user Noahw has an easy-to-follow guide on how to properly clip chicken wings. The guide has some great photos that give the reader a good sense of the process.

This is what Noahw suggests having on-hand:

  • A clean pair of sharp scissors
  • Towel
  • Pliers
  • Corn starch
  • Gauze or a rag

After catching the chicken, Noahw gives a few pointers on how to calm the chicken down:

“Pet it softly, make cooing noises, and, what seemed to work best – invert it. When the chicken is upside down, it goes into a trance and they become much more docile.”

After the chicken is calm, flip it upside down and choose the wing you want to clip. It’s only necessary to clip one wing. Clipping only one wing prevents the chicken from flying, but it also saves time and lessens the stress put on the chicken.

Related: Backyard poultry is a hatching trend

When you’re ready to cut, gently grab the chicken’s wing and find the primary flight feathers. The primary flight feathers are oftentimes longer than the other feathers and a different color.

After the feathers are exposed, you can begin the clipping!

For the entire guide, visit Instructables.

» Via: Instructables › Clipping Chicken Wings

About the Author

Will Flannigan is Farm and Dairy's online editor. He grew up in Salem, Ohio, and is new to the agricultural scene. Will enjoys hiking, community theater and learning new things. More Stories by Will Flannigan

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