Yes, chickens can fly, only if by flying you mean flapping their wings and flying next to the neighbor’s yard. Then, yes, they do fly.
It is unbelievable but true that the record flying height of a chicken is set at 301 feet approx in 2014. It must have been a flight. But no, not every chicken can soar like an eagle, nor can it compete with a small baby sparrow.
Why Are Chickens Bad At Flying?
Chickens are not bad at flying. In the wild, you can see the chickens perching on high trees. But you know the human race.
In history, as humans learned about the eggs and the fact that they liked the chicken on their plate, they started breeding it.
Catching this fast and quick bird was too much of an exercise, and eventually, it gave birth to the coops in which you still keep your chickens.
With time, as the bird started to live with humans, they learned to live in the coop and stop flying away.
Another reason is selective breeding. The proportion of wings and body mass is the reason how most birds fly.
Humans wanted heavy flight muscles and smaller, lighter wings and bred the chickens that way. So chickens are not naturally bad fliers.
It is the result of centuries’ evolution that you can see today.
Are Chickens Flightless Birds?
No, chickens are not flightless birds. They can fly. They can very well climb on a high perch in one swift motion of their wings. With their heavy muscles, it is hard for them to fly like a regular bird.
So, they can only fly a short distance. But they are not flightless at all.
At What Age Chickens Can Fly? Can baby chickens fly?
For a chicken breeder, chickens aged between 2-3 weeks are hard to keep in their home. If you keep them in a 2-feet box, the moment you turn your back, they will fly out.
Yes, a baby chicken starts jumping at the age of 1 week. With their lightweight and curious mind, baby chickens aged up to 2-3 weeks can fly a bit.
Difference In-Flight Between Roosters, Hens, and Chickens
About the flight of these birds, roosters are heavy. Yes, they are heavier than hens, sturdy, and have more muscles than wings to carry their weight. They use their wings to walk faster and perch high.
Even though they can cross a fence, they are not as swift or agile as a hen or a chicken. Hens can also fly a little, but they are better than roosters.
As for the chicks, it’s better that you keep an eye on them and don’t let them fly even if they are good at it. They are the favorite among predators.
How High Can Chickens Fly?
If you are wondering, “can they fly over a 6-foot fence?”, then yes, they can, but It depends on the breed of your chicken.
Most chickens find it quite easy and amusing to wander around, peek in your neighbor’s yard or roam on the road. In fact, some chickens fly over a 10 feet fence if motivated. But it depends mainly on where you live.
If you keep your flock in your fenced backyard in a city, there is only a slight possibility that they will try to cross the fence.
Chickens are very alert birds who jump at every sound so, if they hear something they don’t like, they would rather roost on their perch than roam around.
You need to consider the height of your fence, especially to discourage predators. If your neighbor has a dog or cat who is curious about your flock and wants to “play” with them, a 10 feet fence would be better.
How Far and Fast Can Chickens Fly?
The speed and distance depend on whether the chicken is intimidated, felt threatened, or chased by a predator. A chicken can attain a height of 10 feet and, when irked, can run up to 50 feet.
Will Free Range Chickens Fly Away?
Yes, they can cross the fence, sometimes due to predators or sometimes out of curiosity, especially new birds who are still adjusting to your backyard might try, but they won’t be able to fly away.
It is important that you take precautions and timely measures to keep them in the yard because if they escape and run away to the next street, they will find it hard to get back home, and the end will not be a pleasant one.
Related Read: Birds Flying | 17 Interesting things to know
How Do You Stop Chickens Flying?
In the following ways, you can stop your chickens from crossing your fence and flying away.
A Bale Of Hay:
Put a bale of hay in the backyard and watch the fun. Just after the day of hatching, your chickens will attack the bale, and there will be scattered hay in their run in a matter of minutes.
They love it, tear it, twist it, roll in it, and play in it a lot. It can keep them busy and happy, and a happy chicken won’t try to fly away. Don’t forget to give them tasty treats.
Clip The Wings:
When there will not be enough wings, they won’t be able to fly. Clipping the feathers takes away whatever little capacity of flying they have. The bad flier will not be able to cross the fence, and you can stop worrying.
Add A Roof:
Adding a roof to the run is a permanent solution. Cover the run with a net cover and let your chicken run around. It gives them enough freedom and relieves them from worrying about the chicken playing with the neighbor’s dog.
Is It Cruel To Clip Chicken’s Wings?
Clipping chicken wings is a method to nullify the probability of a chicken flying away from its owner’s backyard.
First of all, clipping doesn’t hurt your chicken, and you can do it at your home. Clipping is not cruel at all.
If you don’t clip your chicken’s wings and do not take any other measure to keep them safe, you will regret it when you will find that your chicken has taken a flight. They can get into trouble, and you may not reach them in time to save them.
How Do I Clip My Chicken’s Wings?
You can follow the steps and clip your chicken’s wings easily.
- Take a scissor and get ready.
- Hold your chicken tightly. If it slips, the scissor might hurt it.
- Find the primary feathers and secondary feathers. Primary feathers are long feathers that form the tip. The secondary feathers are the next line that covers the primary feathers halfway.
- Cut the primary feathers in line with secondary feathers.
- These are just wings; they don’t have bones, or muscles, or anything else. They are just like your hair.
- Finish the feathers and sit back. They are perfectly clipped, and you won’t be able to tell the difference that a few feathers have been cut.
Can Chickens Fly With Clipped Wings?
If they can cross a fence of 6 feet with unclipped wings, they can only jump 2-3 feet with clipped wings or a maximum of 4.5 feet.
Can Wild Chickens Fly?
Yes, they can fly much better than backyard chickens. For them, it’s a matter of survival.
They have wings, and there are predators out there. They can fly and roost high in trees. It is natural to them, or they will soon find themselves in an animal’s stomach.
What Breeds Of Chickens Can Fly?
There are various breeds out there
Can bantam chickens fly
Bantams are the best among the lots, and almost all bantams can fly better than other breeds.
Can frizzle chickens fly
Frizzle chickens also find it hard to perch on a high fence, and you need to set up a lower perch.
Can rhode island red chickens fly
Rhode Island Red is a bigger one in size and finds it hard to compete with Bantams or frizzles.
Can polish chickens fly
Polish chickens have tufts on their head and thus find it hard to see things well; thus, they better love it at home.
Can buff orpington chickens fly
A Buff Orpington is also not a very good flier, and a 6 feet fence works for them.