The chickens were my idea. The chickens were my mother's day gift. The chickens then are my responsibility. I should probably spend more time with them, but I figure that the chickens have to fit our lifestyle or we can't keep them. I don't check on them in the early morning hours. I check on them when I darn well please every day.
Yesterday I was busy cooking and cleaning for the party (which btw was TONS easier since I am back into regular cleaning maintenance again). I didn't check the chickens. Ry ended up going into the garage for something during the party and came to get me. He said, you should probably go check on the chickens. Ummmm, ok. I walked in there and Maude was out on the garage floor. Myrtle was perched on the top of the chicken wire with a "we're busted" look. (well, what I projected was a "we're busted" look since Chickens don't really have expressions) I have been putting off clipping their wings for a while now since they are still babies for goodness sakes. But... when they can fly out of a 3' fence, its time.
My dad had told me to clip one wing... because its funny. Our friends who have done chickens in the past on a small scale said to clip both wings because it makes sense. My new brother-in-law's mother who raises chickens on a large scale said to clip one wing because its practical. I go with practical. She said that if you clip one, then even as the one side is growing back out the chicken will always be off balance when it tries to fly. That makes your wing clipping effective for a lot longer.
Emboldened by this information... I had my friend Josh, who has been around chickens at his parents at least, hold the chicken while I carefully snipped off their wing feathers with my sharp sewing shears. He offered to do it for me, but I have come to the conclusion that if I can't take care of all facets of chicken raising, then I shouldn't own chickens. I was so scared that I'd accidentally cut into their fleshy parts that I only snipped off an inch. He just looked at me and said, "you could probably cut off a little more otherwise I'm not sure how well it'll work." Ugh. Fine. So I hacked deeper into Maude & Myrtle's beautiful wing feathers, leaving a pile on the garage floor. Don't worry, I made sure to offer an endless stream of apologies to the little ladies as I was ransacking their plumage. I think it made it easier for them.
Josh offered this piece of advice: don't hold the chickens over your feet while you cut their feathers. You just might scare the poop out of them.
ohhh the wisdom of those more experienced.