Clipping Chicken Wings

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how to clip chicken wings

So easy even Owen can do it!

Last week I shared that we’re one step closer to bona fide chicken paddocks at Arcadia Farms. Our paddocks are enclosed with four foot tall chain link fencing. Despite being a heavy breed (Isa Reds), our hens demonstrated several times that they had no qualms about flying up to and then out of our fences.

Bad news…

Our solution? We clipped their wings.

One wing per bird. That way, if a hen tries to fly, she’ll be off balance and eventually give up on the idea entirely. I love learning to live this agricultural, sustainable life I’m living, but let’s be real – I’m an HR professional, not a farm girl. What do I know about clipping chicken wings?

Thank God for YouTube.

Armed with a demonstration from the video below and a can-do attitude, I figured out how to clip chicken wings. Ryan held each bird for me since holding them steady and making a good cut (and being a nervous newbie!) seemed like a two-person show. Good news is, the process was super easy and equally effective. One hen got off the hook when I did the original clipping because she was laying an egg at the time. Sure enough, she flew out of the paddock every single day until I finally made the time to clip her wing as well.

I’m happy to announce that we’ve had no escapees since then. I also like to think that my farm-girl street cred has increased at least slightly.

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