Clipping Your Flocks Wings


I am a big advocate of clipping wings.  My chickens are part of the family and I would hate for one to take flight over the fence and into trouble...  Clipping wings isn't a difficult task.  There is a lot of discussion on whether to clip one or both wings.  I clip both, they won't be able to fly and they will still feel balanced.  It is, however, a personal choice.

To clip the wing, you will want to shorten the first 10 primary feathers.  You will want to have a sharp pair of scissors and shorten these feathers by 50%. If the bird is still able to fly you may need to also do the secondary feathers in the same way.  I try not to do the secondary feathers unless absolutely necessary.  Keeping the secondary feathers long help the birds stay cooler and it also looks better.

Clipping only lasts for about a year or until new feathers grow during the next molt.  New feathers should not be clipped until they have fully formed and have hardened.  To check development, fully spread the wing and inspect the underside for soft pinkish, immature shafts.  Cutting these shafts will cause bleeding.  You need to wait until the shaft has hardened and becomes hollow.