Help, my chicken keeps flying away!
Note: from 14/12/2020 all chickens in the UK should be kept indoors to prevent the spread of avian flu. For more information, please see this article: https://blog.omlet.co.uk/2020/11/26/
Help, my chicken keeps flying away!
It’s nice to have chickens in your garden but they need to stay there! Seeing them fly away and attempting to catch them again is not necessarily the easiest of tasks. It’s stressful for everyone and sometimes even dangerous for your chickens! So what is the solution? Cut off their wings? Obviously not, but here are a number of flap busting techniques that may help to keep your feathery friends on the ground.
Why does my chicken want to fly away?
If you are dealing with a runaway chicken it could be for several reasons. Each chicken’s character is different from one bird to another. While some like to lounge under a tree or in their chicken run, others prefer to frolic in search of freedom. This traveling and sometimes adventurous spirit can be associated with certain breeds of chickens. So, it’s not uncommon to find breeds such as the Leghorn or the Gauloise, for example, perched on a branch to rest. This is mainly due to their lighter weight in comparison to other breeds. Evolved with a fairly developed herd instinct, it only takes one chicken to take flight for the rest to follow suit.
However, sometimes your chickens may fly away, or even jump, not to rest but to escape a situation. A sudden or unusual situation can induce panic. A visit from a dog, the presence of a wild predator such as a fox, or the triggering of an unexpected high pitched noise can stress your hens and cause them to flee. They then have two options: run or try to fly. Under stress, fear and panic they can easily surprise you and fly higher than you think. They may even injure themselves in a panic to get away. So how do you avoid this kind of situation?
How can I prevent my chicken from flying away?
There are three main precautions that can be taken when you have a flight-happy chicken:
Choose a quiet but well placed area in your garden to set up your chicken coop. If you have space, keep the chicken coop away from potential dangers: roads, parking areas, children’s toys. Here, your chickens should feel safe. Their chicken coop is their home, they need to be able to eat, peck and sleep in peace.
Invest in a fairly large enclosure. Having a high enough fence can deter them from trying to fly and protect them from potential animal attacks and external dangers.
An enclosed space, like the Walk in Chicken Run, is ideal for giving chickens a safe area to exercise and stretch their wings, without escape.
The third precaution is often known to chicken owners, but it is not often applied. However, this is an elementary precaution when bringing a bird into a chicken coop. It regards cutting the feathers of a single wing in order to unbalance your chicken and stop them from being able to take flight
. But how to do it? Take a pair of clippers and cut the flight feathers, that is, the larger feathers. You can also cut the primary and secondary flight feathers. The feathers must be cut halfway for it to be effective. Rest assured, we only cut Keratin (what our hair and nails are made of). It’s like going to the hairdressers!
Find the tutorial video “How to Clip your Chickens Wings (Safe and painless) (Easy to do)” by here.
Providing a comfortable living space, and large, safe enclosure will keep your hens happy and healthy in their home. And if necessary, wing clipping can be an effective solution for particularly determined escapees.
This entry was posted in Chickens