How to Clip Chickens Wings Properly, 5 Tips! [Updated 2020]

Since we started this page we have received a lot of e-mails concerning the subject of how to clip chickens wings.

Should you do it? Totally up to you.

If your chickens can jump through your fence it is better that you do it for the obvious reasons.

If your chickens jump over your fence they can get lost or run into some predator.  If it is completely necessary for you to clip the wings of your chickens, this is how you should do it.

1. Catch The Chicken First!

how to clip chickens wings
via Flickr

According to many chicken keepers, the hardest part in the process of clipping the wings of your chickens will be to catch the chicken.

Cornering the chicken in a small place seems to work.

If you are regularly giving some attention to your chickens catching them should not be a big problem.
This is very hard to do for those who have unfriendly chickens.

If you want your chickens to be friendly check out one of our previous articles about how to raise friendly chickens. Once you catch and give the chicken a few moments to calm you need to know:

2. Which are the wing feathers you need to cut?

The longest feathers that your chicken have are the wing feathers, they are called primaries or flight feathers.

The coverts are shorter feathers than the primaries, but they overlap the primaries so they need to be cut also.

After one or two successful tries you will be able to recognize these without any trouble.
Primaries are not only the longest wings your chicken has but in most cases they are a different color than the other wings.

3. Once you distinct the primaries

how to clip chicken wings
via Flickr

You will need clean scissors to cut about 2/3 of the 10 or so primaries.

While doing this you need to be very careful not to cut too much of the feathers, because the feathers of a chicken have blood veins at their beginnings.

If you feel that you need to cut the coverts also – distinct the coverts and cut them in the same way that you will cut the primaries.
Our advice is that you use some of your friends or family for a partner in this procedure. If you have someone to hold the chicken while you are doing this you will have a much easier time. Also, the chances that you miss the cut are smaller.

4. Do you clip both wings on a chicken?

how to clip chicken wings
via Flickr

There are many arguments on this subject, some say that you should cut only one wing because it is safer for your chickens – others say that you should cut both of them because it throws the chickens off balance.

We at the typesofchicken.com team agree with the latter. Cut both of the wings if your chickens have a larger run with toys and if you enjoy giving them activities.

5. After you are finished

With cutting the wings of your chicken make sure that you give the chicken about 30 minutes alone before releasing her into the flock because the chicken will be a bit disoriented.

This is not necessary with those chickens that are going through this process for the second or third time.

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4 thoughts on “How to Clip Chickens Wings Properly, 5 Tips! [Updated 2020]”

  1. The best way to catch the chickensIis let themgo to bed! Once they are on roost they are much less likely to run away flapping 🙂

  2. Why do people want to clip chickens wings? This seems so cruel, dont like it for domestic birds defintly dont like the idea for chickens, how can they get away from predators? Leave creatures the way God intended them to be. Yes i do have chickens 24 right now getting 25 more in a few months, never clip never have a problem, its cruel.

    • Cruel? It’s feathers, that isn’t any different than you getting a hair cut. The reason is some people protect their chickens by keeping them in a fenced in area and if they can fly over the fence predators can get at them. Leaving them run free is actually the cruel thing to do. I have seen first can the cruelty of nature, raccoons tearing out the. Breasts of still live chickens or coyotes sound a dine and dash of a chicken that had got out of a fenced in area ( mine) clipping the wings is taking care of them


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