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How to Clip Your Chickens Wings?

20th December 2023

The clipping of chicken's primary (flight) wing feathers is common practice among poultry keepers to prevent them from flying too high or escaping from their enclosures. The procedure is relatively simple, but is essential to do correctly. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clip your chicken's wing.

How to clip a chickens wing

Materials Needed

  • A pair of sharp, sturdy scissors (or poultry shears)
  • A towel, or someone to help you hold the chicken
  • Styptic powder or cornstarch (only required in case of bleeding)


  • Always approach the task with patience and gentleness to minimize stress for the chicken.
  • Catch the chicken and gently restrain it. You can do this by wrapping the chicken in a towel to help keep it calm and still. Alternatively, you can have someone hold the chicken while you perform the wing clipping.
  • Spread one of the chicken's wings and examine the primary feathers, also known as the flight feathers. These are the long feathers at the end of the wing. The primary feathers are usually the first ten feathers on the wing. You will be trimming the long, outermost feathers.
  • Use the scissors or poultry shears to trim the primary feathers. Trim each feather, cutting just above the level where the shorter feathers start. Be careful not to cut into the blood feathers, as this could cause bleeding.
  • It is optional (but not neccessary) to repeat the process on the other wing.
  • After trimming, check for any signs of bleeding. If you accidentally cut a blood feather and there is bleeding, apply styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
  • Release the chicken back into its enclosure or run and allow it some time to recover and get used to the new balance.
  • Regularly check and re-trim wings as needed, as feathers will grow back over time (every year at moulting time!).


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