Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wing Clipping Day!

Finding a chicken in on my fence and another on the roof of the shed was enough to get me looking for the scissors.

On every small homestead there are things you learn about after you get your animals. My first set of chickens got their wings clipped too early when they were really young. This left them with flight feathers that were still long enough to jump around 30 wks and they nearly escaped from my yard (which could have been bad since all three yards around us had dogs). With this set of chickens, I waited a bit too long, but after some 'flying' away from the kids who were sent to bring them to me, the job was done, and they were happy to sit on my lap for a while (and Cyan's) and be petted.

With chickens, you only cut on set of flight feathers or one wing. It is to throw them off balance and make it so they can not jump as far. If you cut both, they can get used to the lack of flight feathers and still jump farther than you would want them to. Here is a good guide for chicken wing clipping.

Of course, with any major feather adjustment comes the need for a dust bath in the sun. :)

Happy chickens!

In other chicken news, we should have eggs soon! They are now on layer feed (25wks) and should be laying any day. And the coop is almost finished. Sides and nesting boxes go up soon!

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2 comments:

Simple Mama said...

Thank you for posting this. Our 3 girls are jumping around like crazy and I've been too nervous to attempt clipping their feathers. We're still waiting on our eggs as well.

Amber (Woodmouse) said...

So fascinating, Val! I had no idea you only clip one side!