How High Can Chickens Fly With Clipped Wings?

Some chicken owners express concern about their birds escaping from their premises. That’s why they opt to clip their chickens’ wings to prevent their birds from flying away. Before you cut off your birds’ wings, it helps to know how high your chickens can fly if you clip their wings. Your chicken will be able to fly between two and three feet or higher if you clip its wings.

Can Chickens Still Fly After Clipping Its Wings?

Yes, chickens can still fly even after you clip their wings. Clipping your birds’ wings doesn’t mean they will be unable to fly.

They can still fly a couple of meters high even after clipping their wings. Your chickens will be able to fly between two and three feet high after clipping their two wings.

How High Should a Fence be for Chickens?

Chicken owners need to erect a high enough fence to deter their chickens from going outside their premises. Poultry owners also must ensure that the wall they install in their compound prevents predators from getting into their chicken coop.

Poultry experts suggest that the average height for any chicken fence should have a minimum height of between 6 feet and 1.8 meters high. Such a fence is enough to deter your birds from flying out of your yard and preventing predators from accessing your yard.

Is it Cruel to Clip Chicken Wings?

Wing-clipping is a common practice among chicken owners. Chicken owners, however, wonder if clipping their birds’ wings is a cruel practice. Clipping your chickens’ wings isn’t cruel, especially if your chickens are flying to areas they shouldn’t be flying.

Some chicken breeds such as Bantams fly exceptionally well. It would help if you had to clip your Bantams’ wings since these chickens will fly away from your yard once they get a chance.

Clipping your chickens’ wings doesn’t imply you are cruel to these birds. Clipping their wings means you are stopping your birds from flying away from your yard. Your birds will always remain on your premises after clipping their wings.

How to Clip Your Chicken’s Wings?

Chickens aren’t able to fly well like other bird species. Nonetheless, these birds can fly high enough over the fences and away from their coops. You need to clip the wings of your chickens, particularly if you have free-range chickens in your backyard, to prevent them from flying away from the backyard.  Here is how to clip your chickens’ wings.

– Get the appropriate materials

Get a pair of clean, sharp scissors. You also require a pair of pliers, although it is optional depending on the number of chickens you are clipping their wings and the safety measures.

– Catch a chicken at a time

The most challenging part of clipping your chickens’ wings is catching every individual chicken in the flock.  While some of your chickens can be docile, some of them will flee away if you attempt to catch them. Some, particularly roosters can be aggressive.

The most straightforward way to catch your chickens in readiness for clipping their wings is by cornering them into a tiny space.  Try getting a towel, and then throw the towel over your chicken. Be gentle after grabbing the chicken, especially when you hold it by the wings.

Calm your chicken

Calm down your chicken after catching it from other birds in the flock. You can calm down the chicken by petting it softly, particularly if it’s making loud noises. Put the chicken upside down to make it comfortable. The chicken will become more docile if you keep it in a comfortable position.

– Expose the wings

Decide on the wings to clip after putting the chicken upside down.  Locate the primary feathers of the chicken by pulling the chicken’s wings away from its body.  The primary feathers are longer, and they have a different color from other feathers of the chicken.

– Clip the primary feathers

Using a clean pair of scissors, cut off the flight feathers of your chicken.  Cut off a substantial amount of primary feathers while avoiding cutting the feathers at places where they are blood veins. Cut the primary feathers below the blood veins to avert the chances of your chicken bleeding.

Release the chicken

Release the chicken after successfully trimming its feathers. Move on to the next chicken and clip its wings from following this procedure. The chicken might appear disoriented after clipping its wings since it didn’t expect you to clip its wings. Nonetheless, the bird will be safe after the clipping process as long as you didn’t harm it during the clipping process.

Do You Clip Both or Only One Wing?

Lots of chicken owners think of clipping one wing of the chickens to avoid harming their birds. Consider clipping both wings of all the birds in the flock.

Clipping one wing of the chicken doesn’t deter it from flying around. Your chicken will fly around if you don’t clip both wings.  Clipping one wing makes the chicken fly around your yard in circles.

Flying chickens can still fly away from your yard if you don’t clip their two wings. It helps to establish a clipping order that allows you to cut the two wings of each chicken in your flock. Moreover, it helps to discuss with a veterinarian how to safely clip the two wings of each bird in the flock.

Will Wing Feathers Grow Back?

Chicken owners wonder whether the wing feathers of their chickens will grow back after clipping. The wing feathers might grow back, although they will take many months or even a year to grow back.

The wing feathers will only grow back once the plumage is intact again. Each chicken in your flock will undergo the molting process to grow its wing feathers after clipping.


Every chicken owner, especially those keeping flying chickens, should consider clipping their chickens’ wings at some point. Chickens can fly over your home’s fence no matter its height.

Consider clipping your chickens to avoid an instance where your birds will fly away from your yard.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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