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Can chickens fly? It’s a common question I get when people learn that I raise chickens. If you’re raising chickens it’s important to understand the limits of a chicken’s wings.

Backyard chickens are descendants of jungle fowl. Which can still be found in various places such as, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand.

These jungle fowl naturally would roost in trees at night, which gave them safety from many of the predators.

Can Chickens Fly?

The simple answer is yes, but with a very limited flight.

Some chickens can fly up to 10 feet. However, each chicken breed has different capabilities.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds.*

The farthest flight recorded extended to 301.5 feet.*

Can Chickens Fly

Which Breeds Are More Likely to FLY?

Lighter breeds, like bantams, may get more air. Heavier chickens may just seem to hover right above the ground. As if using their wings to run really fast.

Medium-sized chickens such as Wyandottes and Orpingtons have a very limited “flight”. They may get a few feet off the ground for a short distance.

Silkies and Polish chickens don’t usually demonstrate any want to fly.

Some chickens will use the hover ability to, claw their way up and over a 6-foot fence! When I say some chickens I mean my chickens.

I have a few escape artists in the mix!

Should I Clip My Chicken’s Wings?

Clipping wings if totally up to the owner. If you have chickens that are constantly escaping their living quarters, it might be an easy way to stop this behavior.

However, there are some drawbacks to clipping both wings.

Being able to fly, can help chickens escape from some predators.

Some people who own chickens or ducks may just clip one wing. Which allows them to still be able to escape from predators.

Remember if you decide to clip your chicken’s wings, they will have to be clipped after every molt.

Other Options | Can Chickens Fly

Some people are opposed to clipping a chicken’s wings.

Another option is to add a roof or bird netting over the fenced area. This can keep them in, and help keep flying predators out too!


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