Ask Phill 17 - How to Clip the Flight Feathers of a Chicken

Ask Phill 17 - How to Clip the Flight Feathers of a Chicken

In this video Phill shows how to safely clip the lead flight feathers of your chickens to prevent them from flying out of their Pen.

How do you Clip a Chicken's Wing to Stop them Flying?

The term ‘clipping a chicken's wing’ involves trimming the feathers of the bird's wings to prevent it from flying. This is usually only done to one wing so when they try to fly it makes them feel unbalanced.

It is often necessary with some ‘flighty’ breeds to keep them contained within an area, such as an open Pen, or secure fenced area, to protect them from predators. We must stress, only do this if or when necessary.

Clipping the feathers of one flight wing will probably be enough to keep your chickens from flying out of the paddock, but we know that the very thought of it is distressing to some chicken keepers.

To clip a chicken's wing, you should hold the bird securely and cut a portion of the primary (leading) feathers on the top of the wing, leaving the secondary feathers intact. This can be done with a pair of sharp scissors and a steady hand, but it's important to be cautious and avoid cutting the bird or causing unnecessary pain or injury.

In our AskPhill 17 Video, Phill gives a live demonstration, with the help of Paula the Pekin, on how to safely clip the wings, or one wing, of a chicken without stressing the bird - or the handler!

However, you should note that clipping a chicken's wing is not a permanent solution. The feathers will grow back the following season and will need to be trimmed again.

It is also important to consider the welfare of the bird when deciding if you should clip its wings as it can affect its balance and mobility.