Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Clipping the Wings

When we first brought our chickens home, we watched anxiously as they acclimated to their new surroundings.  When the sun started to set and it started to get dark, the chickens started to put themselves in the coop to roost for the night.  All of the chickens did this, except Soupy, our black Australorp.  She kept looking up at the garden gate, then back at the coop door and then back at the gate.  Before we knew it, with one big flap of her wings, she flew up and on the garden gate.  We watched in horror, as she flew across the garden, approximately fifteen feet, and roosted on the garden wall.  This was not exactly how I had envisioned our first night, climbing up a ladder to retrieve a frightened chicken.  Luckily, all I had to do was give her a little push with a hoe on the backside, and she flew back down into her yard and walked into the coop.  The next morning, first thing, Taylor and I watched a video on YouTube on how to clip the wings properly, walked down to the chickens, and grounded them.  Clipping the wings doesn't hurt them, it just keeps them off balance, as you just cut one side.  Luckily, the wings that had to be cut are a second layer that hide underneath the top layer, so we didn't have to stare at our butchery once we did it.  The chickens were not happy, to say the least, and they spent the rest of the day inside of their coop, wondering what had just happened.  Needless to say, I felt a little bad for traumatizing them, but relieved that I wouldn't have to watch my chickens fly into one of the many oak trees on our or our neighbors property.  Jasper watched the whole time, engrossed and fascinated.  Luckily, he does not see them as food, just interesting creatures to watch.

Yep, chickens can fly alright.

Notice Jasper's eyes, glowing as the flash reflected off of his eyes, which couldn't believe what they were seeing.

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