Chickens Flying the Coop

March 29, 2013

Our chickens have a coop and a nice big “chicken pasture”.  We also let them out in the late afternoon for a few hours. But they like to wander rather far, so we don’t let them out all day long.  We used to but feral cats and hawks got a few. 

We had netting over the chicken coop and run, to keep them from flying out.  But this winter the snow took the netting down.  For a while they didn’t seem to notice their new access to freedom.  But eventially, they started flying the coop. 

Yesterday I decided to try clipping their wings.  I spent a few minutes watching how to Youtube videos and it looked easy enough, so I grabbed some sissors and gave it a try. 

Turns out, it is as easy as it looks.  Wait for them to return to the coop and hunker down for the night and pluck one bird up.  Tuck her between my arm and my body, using that arm’s hand to spread the wing.  Use my other hand to cut off the ends of her flight feathers.  Done.  Cutting the end of their flight feathers is like cutting hair or nails.  No pain, no fuss. 

I think I got all but one bird.  She saw me and flew the coop.  She is the one chicken that managed to find her way out even when we had the netting up.  I never figured out where she was getting out, but everytime I put her back in, I would find her out the next day. 

*These are not the best photos.  It was sort of hard to take them while holding a chicken. 

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uncut wing

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Cut wing

photo-136

a different chicken, wing cut.

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her wing from underneath

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