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Should I clip my chicken’s wings?

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Today I had a real scare when I lost my young silver campine for about 15 mins (she’s 26weeks). 

I found the other 4 in the garden together but she was nowhere to be seen. Normally I call them and they all come running for mealworm treats but she did not. Husband went running round to neighbours and then suddenly she just ‘appeared’.


I can’t be certain she wasn’t down the side of the house but my suspicion is she flew over the 6ft stone wall into the adjacent garden. Over the last few days I have seen her really exploring new parts of the garden and standing on top of the coup stretching her neck to look over garden walls- so should I clip her wings?

I feel a little like it is disabling them (3 are ex caged and don’t fly, but the 4th is a cream Legbar that has flown onto the conservatory roof)- but neighbours have hunting dogs so I wonder if really it’s a shame but necessity?

They free range almost all day and really hate being confined even to a large part of the garden so I wouldn’t want to build a covered run when they love their freedom so much.

Any thoughts?

thanks xx

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Campine's are a light and fairly flighty breed, especially pullets who aren't laying yet.

I don't clip any of my chickens wings anymore but sounds like it might be a good idea to do yours if she could end up in next doors garden with the hunting dogs.

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As someone who has had a stressful 'hunt the chicken' experience in the past then I absolutley would, given what you have told us about her character - she sounds very inquisitive and adventurous.

It's not cruel and doesn't hurt - she may flap and protest a bit because she's not used to it but just tell her it's for her own good, especially with those hunting dogs around!

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I have a silver campine and she doesn’t like it when they’re shut in either. When they’re out she gets absolutely everywhere and is an excellent flyer. My back garden is surrounded by fences / hedges that are over 6 feet tall and as yet she hasn’t attempted to clear those but I’m pretty sure she could. I generally have my girls confined to a section if the garden with Omlet chicken fence and she pops herself over that with no effort at all - in fact so do my Dutch bantams so I have 4 chickens inside the fence and 4 outside - because that seems so pointless I’ve given up on it for the time being and they’ve got the whole garden until I start planting flowers. 

I was going to clip their wings, but when a dog got in a couple of weeks ago, being able to fly away saved the 4 girls who did it so I’m not sure what to do now (I have put in a new chain link fence along the hedge where the dog got in so it shouldn’t happen again).

Sorry - that’s a bit of a waffle - in your case I’d clip her wing - they often seem to forget that they could ever fly after it’s been done once.

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Thank you very much for all your responses.  I think I will do it to her but will leave the cream legbar for now as she only flies when she is frightened by something (not to scale the garden walls) and as you have pointed out, it's a great advantage if a fox ever visits.

Do you know whether with their moult, if the silver campine will grow back her wing feathers I have cut or do the wing ones not renew?  If so, should I expect an annual moult such that with regrowth she will be able to fly again?

Thank you

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