Here in our little HOA neighborhood, we keep the wings on the ladies clipped. Although this doesn't prevent them for JUMPING, I mean seriously……MY chicken has legs like a kangaroo, it does keep them from FLYING over into the neighbors yards. We have short fences and I bet the neighbors appreciate not having chickens flying over randomly.
So my friend, who recently got six of her own ladies, asked if I could help her clip the wings of her chickens. Clipping chicken wings is definitely not something that is needed but can be a benefit depending on your situation. She lives on 5 acres and they are enclosed for the most part. However, the other day one was able to get up high enough on a tree to jump over the fencing. In her neck of the woods….. literally, they have a good amount of predators.
I was happy to help and took pictures along the way.
First things first…..catch your chicken. Hers are friendly so this wasn't a huge issue. :) Always a good thing. Clipping wings goes A LOT smoother if you have two sets of hands. One to hold the chicken and the other to do the actual clipping. I have not tried to do it by myself but oh how I could imagine!
The person who does the clipping can gently pull the wing out. The chicken will likely relax and help by stretching it out for ya.
Kitchen shears are great for this. It does not hurt the chickens at all! There should be no blood. If you see blood you have cut too far down on the chicken's wing. They may twitch slightly at the sound, but mine as well as these chickens were calm through the whole process.
Try to cut as close to the smaller feather as possible WITHOUT actually cutting them.
Save the feathers and put them in your compost!
You can choose to do just one wing or both. I have read that cutting just one makes it so they try to fly but are off balance. So they just stop trying. My chickens have both their wings clipped. We just cut one wing on each of our friend's chickens. It's really up to you.
And that's it!
A little less worry to your chicken keeping hobby. :)