The Joy of Raising Chickens
I love raising chickens. I love everything about it. From getting up very early in order to make a run to the post office to pick up my new order of day old babies, to taking care of them and watching them chase bugs. I even love the crazy roosters that cock-a-doodle-doo all day and night. I’ve always enjoyed allowing them to free roam all over the place…until this year.
This year, my sweet little chickens ended up being monsters. It seems that their favorite activity this year has been invading my garden and green house and destroying everything that they can get their beaks and feet on. We spent about three months just chasing them out every day… all day, until I just couldn’t stand it anymore. So, this year I broke down and decided to do something that I’ve never done before. I chose to clip their wings.
I have to admit that I was reluctant to do this at first. Not because I thought it would hurt them–it doesn’t. But because of the fact that I just loved it when they would follow us around the place. Silly, but that’s where I was. However, when it came down to having a chicken posse everywhere I go or saving my garden, there was really no choice.
It’s not a difficult task at all. Honestly the most difficult part is catching the little suckers once they realize that you’re after them. This is where I usually pull out my phone to video the hilarity while my husband gets the job of catching. (Fun for me)
Wings Clipped…Problem Solved
Our setup is a fairly efficient one. Our chickens have a chicken yard with a little doorway into the coop that we can close to lock them in. We figured that would be the best option for the little catch and release system we were about to start. We ran them into the coop and then began the process of catching and clipping. Well, he caught, while I laughed and then I clipped while he held. It’s a good system.
The actually clipping is not a big deal. You spread one wing wide and run a pair of scissors up the outside to clip off the flight feathers. Those are the big ones on the end. Once the clipping was done for each chicken, I just tossed them over the fence and watched.
I’m pretty sure they were a little confused at first, trying to fly and just flopping, but they eventually realized that it wasn’t happening anymore and they haven’t even made an attempt since then.
It’s actually much safer for them, as well, since we have farm dogs out here who take it very personally when a chicken escapes. I do believe that all my little clucking friends are just as happy now as they were before the wing clipping, so all is well on the farm.