At our place we dont like to trim the feathers.We like them to have a chance to get away from predators. We have never had a bird take off but we have had them killed from foxes and other pest in the past. Now our dogs pretty much take care of most. And night vision scope helps with the rest.
I've never trimmed a chicken's feathers. I've seen them try to fly but never actually achieve it. They can do a heck of a low-flying bombing run though. Still have a picture in my head of five hens chasing a terrified cat round and round the run.... :
Is this for small, skinny (ie light) birds? Are there breeds that fly more than others?
Well two of my smaller chickens (bantums I think they are called) flew the coop. The fence is 6 feet tall. I did a little "youtube research" and found some videos about it. The key is to trim just one wing, then the chicken cannot get enough lift, I guess. I have been told that if you do both wings, the muscles will adapt though time to get stronger and fly with the shorter wings. This could be total BS but so for it has worked. I have not had any trouble with the bigger more heavy birds yet, guess they are too heavy to get that high.