Clipping Wings

| 3/11/2019 12:02:00 PM

farm signWhoever said chickens can't fly didn't know chickens! True, they cannot lift off and soar through the sky like other birds, but they can fly short distances – over fences, into trees, into the garden. And the only way to stop them is to clip their wings.

Every flock has a few renegades, and mine is no exception. I have a small mixed flock of nine hens and a rooster. All have names and distinct personalities. And all are a joy to have around, even the rebels. Albert, as most of you know, is my Marans Rooster. He's short, stout, and one of the best roosters I've ever owned. He loves his girls and sees to it that they are well fed and protected.


My two oldest girls are Chicken and Buffy. Chicken was one of a set of 4-H chicks and belonged to my granddaughter Kaydence. They let them free range, and all fell prey to hawks and coyotes except for Chicken. She was a real pet and followed Kaydence everywhere, which is what saved her life. For a while, she remained at their house nesting in the barn and spending time with the dogs. Then one day she wandered down to my house and got a look at my rooster, and it was love at first sight. She flew over the fence and has been here ever since.


Buffy is also a survivor. A few years back I got eight Buff Orpington chicks to raise up for layers. When they were old enough, I moved them into the chicken tractor and put them down near the end of the yard. Enter the 'weasels of the wild wood.' I didn't even know we had weasels until my chicks started disappearing through a hole dug under the side of the tractor. Beau managed to kill one, but by that time the chicks were all gone. Then, two days later, I looked out the window and saw a young Buff Orpington wandering about near the now empty tractor. She was easy to catch, and I discovered all of the feathers were gone around her neck, which was raw, but not badly damaged. I brought her inside, nursed her back to health, and named her Buffy.

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