How to Clip Flight Feathers
Coop at Night and Clip Flight Feathers to Prevent Tree Roosting
How to Clip your Bird's Flight Feathers
If you allow your birds to free-range, you will still want to be sure to keep them in their coop at night. The coop is a safety zone for the birds, it's their home and it's where they feel comfortable.
Securing your birds at night will also prevent unwanted loss of birds to night predators and pets that may be gallivanting about in undesirable areas while you are unable to keep an eye on your birds. In addition, owls will frequently target roosting birds.
Most, but not necessarily all chickens, will happily return to their coop at night. Other fowl such as ducks and guineas may be less inclined to do so. It's not unusual for these birds to try to roost in trees. Once this happens the only answer is to try to get the birds out of the trees and into the coop. This can be a very time consuming and frustrating task, so preferably it's best to never allow the birds to learn they can do this.
From the time your birds are ready to free range, clip their flight feathers to prevent them from roosting in the trees. Clipping wing feathers is easy and it doesn't hurt the bird. Use a large pair of scissors or small pruning shears to cut the feathers. Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirt and gloves helps being clawed by a struggling bird.
When clipping wings: