clipping wings



My flock of hens is six months old and recently they began flying over their fence to explore the other side.  To their delight, there were plenty of enticing places to scratch with their little claw feet.  “Clip the Hen’s Wings” was put on my to-do list.

We don’t let them free range because it isn’t safe for them.  (dog)

On Friday afternoon half the flock was scratching around in the neighbor’s grassy lawn.  After Caleb chased them home, I announced that we would be clipping wings the next morning.  He cheered and said he wanted to help. 

Early Saturday morning found us, with coats thrown over our pj’s, in the coop with a pair of scissors.

We shut them on one side.  Grace threw the rooster out the open window on “our side” and she and Caleb started chicken wrangling.  There was such quickness of feet, flurry of wings, and tremendous squawking, it was impossible not to get caught up in the excitement.

No more freedom for you, or you, or any of you.

We have twenty hens.  None of them lay yet.

Only one wing needs to be clipped per hen.  It makes them unbalanced, poor dears.

Only the feathers are cut, and it doesn’t hurt them a bit.

The most amusing part for me is when a squawking hen stops her noise to watch her feathers fall to the floor.

Once it was clipped, she was thrown out the window into the chicken pen, to recover from the trauma.  Eventually, we were down to the last three, the smartest? or dumbest?

They are such soft little birds.  Not quite full grown.

I paid my helpers generously, in chicken feathers.  “Take as many as you want.” 

Caleb remarked,

“I’m going to pin them all

Upon my wall.”

But they ended up as a centerpiece, in a wicker basket on the table. 


Everytime I see it, I admire the feathers and feel thankful, for my fun children, and a job well done.


0 thoughts on “clipping wings

  1. I always wondered about when they clipped their wings, if it was really their WING or the feathers. lol. I never took the time to google it, because it would always be a strange, untethered fleeting thought when I’d pass by chickens in the country. 🙂 Now, I know!I’m on a list with the “duck lady” to get my kiddos a big fat white duck. 🙂 I REALLY cant wait!

  2. when i saw your title i thought it was going to be a post about letting go as a mom. don’t know why that’s what came to mind. haha!! but no.. it REALLY is about clipping wings. 😉 and as always – your posts are so fun and just encourage me to want to be with my kids more and make the mundane special! happy monday dear friend.

  3. caleb is really starting to shoot up there too! i noticed how long his legs are getting. when i first started reading your blog he was just a little guy. {sniff} 🙂

  4. Fun, fun! The feathers are so pretty and look nice in a basket on the table. You have such cute helpers too. 🙂 Grace’s hair is so long. I saw pictures of someone’s wedding…they took feathers (lots and lots of feathers) and strung them above the dance floor.It looked really neat….here is the link. You just have to scroll way down to see the feathers..I LOVE her dress. Happy Monday to you!

  5. It has been awhile since I have peaked into your blog. The children sure have grown.  You have beautiful hens. I hope they start giving eggs soon.   I like the feather centerpiece. It wouldn’t stay that like that in my house though. I am sure I woudl eventually have hats with feathers stuck in them…. among other places.  Now on to a few of your other post! – Carmen

  6. I have seen chicken feathers but never horse feathers…So how soon will you need to clip the feathers again? A month or in Six months?I suppose the chickens will soon learn how to avoid being caught the more often you catch them.

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