Posted by: juliegirl | April 25, 2010

time for a trim

It’s time to finally win the battle over free-flying chickens. Time to clip their wings…literally.

When just a few wing feathers are clipped, chickens don’t have the power to fly high enough. I thought putting the fence up would keep them corralled, but almost every other day I open the back door to a chicken greeting me from the herb bed…pecking and scratching out my cilantro. (They really love that cilantro.) I  have three flyers now–Calcasieu, Lafourche, and Evangeline. (Ascension and Assumption are both big birds–not sure if they could achieve lift off even with their feathers intact.) All three are getting a haircut–TODAY!

First, you turn the chicken upside down. Surprise–this is not completely traumatic. They don’t really mind, and if you cover them with a towel they mind even less. Here’s Evangeline, upside down and ready to go.

You clip the outer 5 wings in half, basically. Some folks say you should clip one wing and not the other so they are off balance. Dr. Pence says clip ’em both, so that’s the deal.

Close up of Evangeline’s feathers

In the picture below, you can see several sets of feathers. The outer feathers (to the left) have a short set and a long set. (On Lafourche you can see the shadow under the short feathers.) You basically cut the first five long feathers (counting from the outside left) down to match the short set of feathers.

Here’s Lafourche’s gorgeous wing. What a beauty!

Lafourche, ready to get clipped.

Clipping the outside feathers.

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