How to Clip Chicken Wings

by Daisy

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My chicks….well, my chicks ESCAPE. I know this because my neighbors have come to me from time to time and said, “Hey, Ivory, there’s a chicken in my yard and I think it might be yours.”

So, here you go…

1. This is a wing:

2. This is a wing that was already clipped, but as chickens are living creatures and all that…they grow back. See those first two?

Mmm-hmm. Rudeness. That’s what it is. I’m trying to protect them from the dogs and bad guys and whatnot, but do they listen? No, they just keep growin’ them flight feathers and just HAVE to see what’s on the other side of the fence.

Anyway, enough about my domestic problems. Here’s the deal. The first ten feathers are flight feathers. You cut them back with sharp scissors. Doesn’t hurt the bird anymore than cutting bangs hurts your head. They do jump when you do it, though, cause feathers are a little stiffer than bangs and the vibration scares them, but there’s no pain. Tell them nice things and give them something yummy. All better.

Oh, and for a clearer picture and explanation, click here. Holding a phone and a chicken and a camera at the same time is not easy. Trust me.

And clipping chicken wings seems like a really big deal, but I’m here to tell you, cutting your bangs is a bigger deal. I did mine today. It didn’t go well.


Tags: wing clipping,

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

ga.farmwoman October 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm

I think you did just fine on both.
I am impressed with your wing clipping though. Good job!
Have a good weekend.

Karen Creel October 19, 2008 at 11:34 pm

I was browsing the blog catalogs and came across your site. What Luck! I am going to get a “few” chickens next week, and knew I would need to clip their wings. What a great tutorial!
Aren’t chickens great. I have had them before, but my last lab was a chicken killer and we could not break her. Sadly, she had to be euthanized a month ago, so good news for a friends hens, they will have a good safe home.

Lisa October 26, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Well, you can just tell people that you wanted to emulate Mamie Eisenhower with the haircut! BTDT!

Michael Brinson March 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to make this tutorial available. We wouldn’t have had the confidence to clip our chicken’s wings without it. Would have been worried that we were hurting them.

Thanks again!

Onna Bender May 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Found your blog through a clip chicken wings search. Great stuff! I now have the confidence to trim my gals to keep them safe from the neighbor dogs!

Al February 8, 2012 at 12:46 am

okay, a neighbor is moving and heard about my yearning to own chickens. So she gave me one… Um… I wasnt quite ready yet. So now I have a chicken. Now what? After clipping the wings, how high can they still jump? I dont want to have it get out of the yard and lost before we can even name it. And do the nesting boxes need to be off the ground? or can I just throw some straw in a milk crate until I can get hubby to build something more suitable… Dream come true, a little sooner than expected. lol.

Sheila May 24, 2012 at 6:57 am

What about chick wings? There in a paper towel box until they get old enough to go outside. I come out this morning and there standing on the top of the box and one is on the utilitie room floor. They get on top of the water bottle and then jump or fly to the top of the box. They are ecape artist and its becoming a concern of where to put them and keep them safe. Thanks guys for any suggestions.

Daisy May 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

Sheila–I’m afraid you’re just going to have to get a bigger box, or one with a top. We use dog crates. Modify the lower part of the wire kind if you have to with chicken wire if they’re small enough to get through the crate wires.

Sheila May 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Thanks Daisy. I kind of thought they maybe too young. I do have a dog cage with a plastic bottom so I guess they just have to go in there a while.

Daisy May 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Sheila–That works great for us. You can even wrap cardboard or something around the lower part temporarily until they are too big to go through the spaces.

Sheila May 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Funny you say that Daisy because I brought them out of the untilitie room this morning and shortly after that the slid through the bars. There lil stinkers that’s for sure. Guess we’ll will be cuting the card board tonight. During the day I put them in the duck pen outside during the day.
Thanks again for the help!

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