Wings

When I wondered aloud if the Famous Five could fly I was quite serious … these girls are seriously flighty. They love to be up high and spend a lot of time on top of the ‘furniture’ in the Hen Run. They have been out most days into the Hen Garden since integration (almost two weeks ago) and have been content to stay on the ground or to stand tall on the dugout or perch. But none have taken to the air.

Until yesterday. DD2 came home before me, so let the hens out as usual. When I came in an hour later, I wandered up the garden to visit, and Camilla flew the length of the garden to meet me! I don’t know who was more surprised, her or me 😀 So DD2 quickly scooped her up (I was impressed how easy she made it look) and I made a grab for the scissors to clip some of the flight feathers on one wing.

IMG_4033

She’s stayed on the ground ever since, but I do wonder if it’s a deliberate decision on her part not to repeat the shocking experience?!

I don’t clip wings routinely … or at least, I have done in the past when hens first arrived, but have never had to repeat the clipping after a moult. So this time I didn’t bother. I don’t know if it’s because they lose the confidence or ability to fly, or if as they grow their weight makes it more unlikely, but our older hens have been content to stay put (though they’ll soon escape through the fence if they find an opening). I know other owners disapprove of clipping, especially for free range hens who may need to get up into a tree to evade predators, but in our current garden they could easily hop over the wall on one side, or into the veg patches on the other. So, although the others are currently unclipped, it remains an option 🙂

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