How to Stop Your Chickens Flying Away
There are humane ways to stop your chickens from flying and therefore potentially fleeing the coop – clipping their wings is one of them; although it doesn’t initially sound like the nicest practice, there are humane methods of carrying this out on poultry. It is only necessary to clip one wing which makes the birds off-balance when they try to fly. However you must consider that preventing a chicken from flying, although often necessary, can make them much more vulnerable to predators. Make sure they are kept consistently safe from these.
To begin, place an old towel over the chicken. Pick it up by holding both hands around its wings to keep them from flapping. Calm it down by talking to it and stroking its feathers.
Hold the chicken in your lap and extend a wing so that you can see the flight feathers. The flight feathers are the first 10 to 12 feathers next to the chicken's body. Obviously these feathers are the ones that need clipping. Shorten the flight feathers by about a half of their length using either sharp scissors with a rounded tip or sharp wire cutters depending upon the quill size. Cut only quills that are white. Quills that appear very dark contain blood; this means that these feathers are still growing and cutting them will be very painful and dangerous for your chicken.
Now, lastly, smooth the wing back against the chicken's body to see if it is trimmed in an even line. If the chicken is not bleeding, release her. If it is bleeding, and heavily, call the vet as soon as possible.