Can Chickens Fly? Find The Complete Answer Here

This is a common question in newbie backyard farmers, “can chicken fly?”. Also, they think that what happens if my chickens fly far over the fences?

It is natural to think because if chickens fly to unknown places, predators may kill and eat them. In this guide, we will explain to you all about chickens flying with various facts and information.

My Experience About Chickens Flying

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Mainly I raise Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn, Aseel, and a few Sex-linked chickens. As I am a chicken lover, I am raising multiple varieties of chicken breeds.

I have a 6 feet height chicken wire fencing around my barn. My chickens jump over the hardware fence most of the time and start grazing on my neighbor’s farm.

I was always worried about the naughtiness of my flocks. My roosters do this rule-breaking job more compared to hens. 

They do this for fighting with my neighbor’s roosters and to make some friendships with other hens. Keeping a proper proportion between hens and roosters is most important.

When the dogs of my neighbor bark at my chickens or run towards them, they again come back flying above the poultry fencing.

Read our guide on How many hens per rooster?

Can Chickens Fly?

Yes, chickens can fly. They do not fly like other birds, but they are god-gifted with a good flying ability to save their lives from predators.

Chicken can fly up to 10-15 feet and 30-50 feet. This calculation may vary from breed to breed, so don’t get confused.

The sex of the chicken, breed, weight, temperament, and other factors affect their flying. For example, bantam chickens of all chicken breeds can more easily fly if compare with a standard size.

What Breed of Chicken Can Fly?

Most chicken breeds can fly. Few chicken breeds are hard to fly due to their physical characteristics and body structures.

Large chicken breeds like Orpington and Jersey Giant can’t fly high because of their weight, but you may see some small jumps and short flights.

However, few popular chicken breeds can fly-

I have a few Hybrid, Aseel, and Turken chickens on my backyard farm. Most of my bantam Turkens and Hybrid chicks love to fly on branches of mango trees.

So, I mean to say bantam or smaller size chicken breeds can easily fly.

Why Do Chickens Fly?

There are so many reasons behind chicken flights. Yes, we now know that chickens love to fly, but some wonderful causes make them fly long.

Every day morning, when I open the coop door, most of my chickens run, and a few of them fly and jump on tree branches. Like humans, chickens also love to start their day more enthusiastically.

My chickens know that I will give them treats, so they run toward me. It’s the chicken flight for happiness, and they also want some stress-free time.

Another common reason is few roosters have a very highly active temperament. Chicken breeds like Aseel, Ancona, Modern Game, Shamo, Yokohama, Russian Orloff, and Minorca are very aggressive.

I have a few Aseel, and they are very aggressive. They can’t fly high, but fly above my 6 feet height fence and fight with my neighbor’s chickens.

Rhode Island Red chickens are mostly docile, but in my case, they are aggressive. My Rhode Island Red rooster fights with roosters in my locality and sometimes flies above the fence.

My injured rhode island red chicken
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My RIR chicken is bleeding after fighting with a neighbor’s rooster

Sometimes he crosses our poultry netting and goes about 300-500 meters away from the barn, he was highly injured by another rooster and came with a bleeding comb.

Another common reason behind chicken flights is their safety. If any predator attacks chickens, they use their flying capability to survive.

If they want to get back inside the crossed fencing, they fly above them and return to the safety zone. So, most of the time, chickens fly to save their lives.

Can Chicken Fly Over Fences?

Yes, chickens can easily fly over fences. My backyard boys and girls easily fly and jump over my 6.5 feet height fence. But they can easily fly above the 8 feet fence if they want to.

So, it is very hard to make a chicken-proof fence. These electric chicken fences also cannot stop your chickens inside the area if they want to go outside. 

How High Can Chickens Fly?

My chickens love grazing far away from their coop, so most of the time, they fly over the 6.5 feet height fence around my barn. 

But when it comes to their highest-flying ability, my standard-size Naked Neck chickens sometimes easily fly over the boundary wall of 8 feet height.

So, we can say a bantam chicken can easily fly 10-13 feet in height with minimal effort. 

If we go through the records, the longest flight of a chicken recorded is about 92 meters, completed in 13 seconds. This shows chickens can fly very efficiently.

What to Do When Chicken Takes Flight?

Here are some basic tips to follow when chicken takes flight-

1. Nothing

If your chickens take flight, do nothing until it makes any issues. Flying is a natural characteristic in chickens, so it is a good thing.

Good flying chickens can go for stress-free grazing and come back rapidly if they see any predator running towards them.

During the day, my birds love to fly on the branches of mango trees in my barn. They feel safe on height, so they roost most of the time on tree branches.

2. Give Them Treats 

If you are fed up with your chickens flying, try to make them friendly with you so that they will graze near your house and backyard. 

To make a friendly relationship, give occasional chicken treats to them. Your flocks will wait for you most of the daytime and do not fly and go the distance.

Read our guide here – can we keep chickens as a pet?

3. Raise Them Inside Close Sheds

It is one of the best methods by which you can stop your chickens from flying far. Raising free-range chickens inside a chicken coop is not recommended, but if you don’t have another option, do that.

If you live in an urban area where releasing chickens from coops is illegal and not allowed, you have to raise your flocks inside coops. This will also stop them from flying.

4. Provide Higher Perches

Chickens love to roost on high perches and tree branches. For roosting, they try to search places for their roosting, mostly on higher branches of trees.

If they do not find those types of higher perches in your place, they will fly above fences and find their roosting places in your neighbor’s backyard.

So, if you provide them a few higher perches for roosting, they will not fly to any other place. Like humans and other animals, chickens also need a comfortable place for living.

5. Clipped Wings

Clipping wings is the last and most effective way to stop your chickens from flying. It becomes most important when your chickens fly over fences and go to restricted areas.

Your chicken cannot fly with clipped wings. Some people also say that clipping chicken wings are cruel, but in my perspective, if you are doing it for their safety and survival, it’s a good thing.

How to Cut Chicken Wings so They Can’t Fly?

Cutting chicken feathers to stop them from playing is called clipping chicken wings. 

Don’t worry; It is not a permanent thing you have to do after several months again because when new feathers come, they fly again.

Clipping chicken wings will stop them from flying. They only try to flap their wings but cannot fly.

Video for Understanding Clipping Chicken Wings

Many people ask, “How To Stop Your Chickens from Flying?” Follow these steps to (clip) cut chicken wings, so they can’t fly-

  • First, hold the chicken using one of your hands so that one side of the wing is pressed on your chest side.
  • Make sure your chicken is comfortable so that you do not face any issues during clipping wings. 
  • It is a very simple procedure.
  • Now spread out the wing from the other hand.
  • You will see a group of feathers on the corner of the wing. You have to cut the tips of those primary flight feathers. 
  • This is a painless process, so it will not harm your chickens.

Can A Chicken Still Fly With Clipped Wings?

Yes, chickens can still fly with clipped wings. Clipping is done only to stop them from playing very high.

This procedure is completely safe and does not permanently impair their flying ability. So, after clipping feathers, chickens can flap their wings and try to fly, but they fly to a very little height.

When after several months, their new wings come, they will again start flying.

Brailing Chicken Wings

Video for Brailing Chicken Wings

It is an alternative to clipping chicken wings. If you want to take your chicken to an exhibition, you should not clip your chicken wings.

Trimmed wings birds are not allowed in exhibitions. So, if you want to control your chickens’ flight, then brailing is a good alternative.

In this process, a brail or tape is attached to prevent chickens from flying. Here a thin leather tape is wrapped on the forearm of the chicken with feathers on the wings.

Summary

So, now we can say chickens can fly. The flying ability also differs between breeds and the size of the chicken. 

Flying capability is god-gifted in chickens to stay safe and enjoy roosting wherever they want. So, it’s natural for them to jump and fly over fences and make some mischief in the backyard.

But if your chickens fly to wrong and restricted places, you can clip their wings and follow the brailing process to stop their flying.

Hope this informative article on the chicken flight helped you to get your answer to the question ‘Can chicken fly?’.

Share your experience in the comment section. 

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

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