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Clipping Wings
Sat 5-Feb-11
10:25 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  I have had about 5 hens who have been flying out of the paddock and causing havoc in the wee orchard and now my garden.  On Wednesday we clipped their wings and hoped that had cured it.  Unfortunately we missed one and it was  a pain.  This morning we had a second go and caught two to give away  to a friend who needed more hens  and clipped the wings of the one I had  missed. Great, I thought, no more ground being scraped up.

Aye, right as we say in Scotland.  I looked out of the window this afternoon and there were two hens scraping up the ground round the apple trees.  Oh their days are numbered I am afraid.  dalek

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sat 5-Feb-11
10:51 pm
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Terrier
York

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I've been out putting cloches over anything precious in the garden, but I've now run out. if you clip their wings, can they still jump? - ours have free reign outside the enclosed garden, but then fly up on to the fence, which is about 4ft - if I clipped their wings, could they still do that?

Sun 6-Feb-11
1:24 am
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3ravens
West Virginia

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We always just clipped one wing. Then when they try to fly they go in circles and spirals! big_laugh Fun to watch until they figure it out and stop trying to fly.

Sun 6-Feb-11
9:38 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave Yes, I only did clip one wing each.  It totally disorientates them - at least it is meant to. Two of mine disagree.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 6-Feb-11
9:58 am
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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Terrier said:

I've been out putting cloches over anything precious in the garden, but I've now run out. if you clip their wings, can they still jump? - ours have free reign outside the enclosed garden, but then fly up on to the fence, which is about 4ft - if I clipped their wings, could they still do that?


 

If they are anything like my two dear duckies, yes, they can still jump - and clamber - and have all day to find new ways of getting where they want to go! Good job they are pet egg laying slug recycling machines and I love them dearly.

I lost both girls and the drake one evening when it was time for shutting them in. I called, I searched, not a sound and they always answer me and come running to see me. I went looking in the nearby gardens, out on the road, my heart in my mouth and my stomach churning by this time. It was nearly dark now. Back into the garden again, thought I heard a murmur.... shone the torch around... there was the drake up on the raised bed, tucked into a dark corner (mine are 45cm high). No girlies though. Then I realised. Opened up the big cloche on the next bed and there they were. They'd got in, eaten all the veg then laid very, very quiet, knowing they were in BIG trouble!

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Sun 6-Feb-11
10:15 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  Thank goodness I have never had any problems with the ducks escaping.  They are very happy just pottering about their paddock.  They won't even go in at night although there are two houses for them to go in.  They are so funny to watch and I really love them.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 6-Feb-11
10:29 pm
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Terrier
York

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Lovely tale Ruth, I always worry if there's a missing one, but it's usually just lagging, or has got stuck the wrong side of the garden gate (funny how it can get in, but not out - probably cos it's too FULL).

I do love watching the chucks, they are all such characters, discussed the wing clipping lark with Mike and but he's worried that it's part of their escape mechanism for both foxes and Jess (our dog) when she's being annoying.

Sun 6-Feb-11
10:40 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  My dogs totally ignore the escapee hens now,  which surprises me as Ben has been known to disappear into the rhododendrons and come back with a pheasant for me. ( Sorry just wrote peasant instead of pheasant, better change it.  big_laugh  )

 The other day Ben was out with me when I went to feed the hens and ducks and one escapee was trying to get to me.  Ben just sat down and watched as the hen walked round him and came to the gate.  It was wonderful to watch.  He was very proud of himself.  I love this little hen and hope we can do something to negate the necessity of doing away with her, but already I am noticing there are no crocuses coming up round the fruit trees.  The earth has been scraped too much.  It looks awful too, so something has to be done. monster

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 6-Feb-11
11:52 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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danast said:

 .........       as Ben has been known to disappear into the rhododendrons and come back with a pheasant for me. ( Sorry just wrote peasant instead of pheasant, better change it.  big_laugh  )

 


 big_laugh   big_laugh   big_laugh 

gotta keep down the peasants ........  !!!!!!!!

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Just make your absence felt"
Mon 7-Feb-11
9:10 pm
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Terrier
York

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Yes at this time of year when the soil is so wet, the chickens do make a mess, but I wouldn't be without them - unless they start getting my vegetables.

Danute, Jessie doesn't actually attack the chickens, she just follows them round, she sees it as a bit of a game of chase...it's murder when you're trying to get them shut away, like on saturday when the hunt appeared.

Wed 26-Oct-11
12:55 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave I have revived this tread as I suspect a lot of new poultry keepers might be having trouble keeping their chickens under control & out of other peoples gardens......!!!!  aargh

I know that come this time of the year they get restless for fresh grass & other peoples windfall apples etc......Well mine do, at least. It started to be a problem last year so I decided to clip one wing of each bird. It is not an easy job for a solitary person to do but I managed it in the end. Mind you they obviously thought they were about to be killed & flapped & tried to peck me. The trick is once you have caught them is to hold their two ankles firmly in which ever hand you won't be using for the kitchen scissors (I recommend wearing leather gardening gloves as their talons can be very sharp)....then let them hang head down for a few seconds until the worst of the flapping is over, still holding their ankles firmly). I like to hold them in the air & cut the wing feathers....I find it faster & less stressful to the birds but this whole operation must be done very quickly or they will not be able to breathe. I have have to cut both lots of wings as my breed of birds (Dorkings) fly very well. 

This morning I started on this years clipping & I have done more than half of them. They make such a fuss & noise about it that it alerts the ones who still have to be done & they get too panicked & hard to catch. 

Here are some links that show you where to cut

 

http://www.omlet.co.uk/guide/guide.php?view=Chicke.....20clipping

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/Clipping-Chicken-W.....-feathers/

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/LC-wingclipping.html

 

As you can see different people do it in slightly slightly different ways. Also some chickens are tamer than others......mine are certainly not tame & they are very strong, especially the males.....!!!   devil

By the way you will have to do this every year after the new feathers grow (ie after the summer/ autumn moult)

Good luck, just remember to keep calm & act fast....don't you flap around like the birds will.    big_laugh   

wave

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 26-Oct-11
1:13 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Timely advice there Hattie, thank you.  I can imagine a lot of women flapping as much as the hens do!  big_laugh

I'll try that again!

Wed 26-Oct-11
3:45 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I have orpington chooks and Rouen ducks and they are all flightless. Chose them cos I didn't want to clip wings. They can jump well though!laugh

Trying to enjoy life as it is

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Wed 26-Oct-11
4:16 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave I have to stop them flying as otherwise they roost in my trees. My large cockerels are capable of of flying the length of my garden chasing my cat. They will fly up to a height of about 16ft, & will fly up onto my garage barn roof & thence into my neighbours' garden. So I have to clip or keep them in a roofed pen. I decided that free-ranging the garden with clipped wings was the best solution for my birds.  We all have to decide what is best for our particular circumstances (& for our neighbours' goodwill).  smile

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 26-Oct-11
4:38 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I am very fortunate that my neighbours are cows...the real sort that is lol. It is a bit risky when my chooks find a gap in the fence and go into the field as the cows are facinated by small things which makes the chooks panic.surprised With me trying to round them up and keep the cows away I think I could get money if someone videoed itbig_laugh

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