Clipping wings is only done to deter flight; it keeps the chickens safe because if they fly out of their fence, Puppers and DG will kill them.
Clipping wings is an easy but time consuming task when you have as many chickens as we currently have. It doesn’t hurt the chickens at all if done correctly.
Hold the chicken so its other wing is tight against your body. This makes the bird feel safe so it won’t flip around or kick.
Spread the wing out so the feathers are spread.
Ted keeps his fingers well past the actual wing (body) so he never makes a mistake and hurts one of our birds.
Clip the feathers back a few inches. Don’t go up too far, or the bird will be injured. You should only see the white shafts on the feathers. If you draw blood or see pink, you went too far.
Here you can see one clipped side and one unclipped side (under Ted’s hand).
This disrupts the flight so the chicken can’t get very high in the air.
Remember, this is just to keep the birds safe. Once we extend the height of their fence from 4′ high to 6′ high, then we won’t have to do it again. Six feet seems to be the magical number that deters our hens from flying over the fence! Until then, we will clip wings once a month to keep them all safe.