About turkeys: how to clip wings and at what age you can trim (2023)

Table of contents

  • Turkey breeds prone to flight
  • Methods of restricting the freedom of turkeys
  • Turkey wing clipping
  • Pruning steps

The correct name for this bird is domestic turkey. The male is called - turkey, hence the colloquial name of the female - turkey, the chick - turkey.

Wild turkey was domesticated by the native inhabitants of America, the Aztecs, long before the Europeans appeared on their land, who in the 16th century brought this beautiful and powerful bird with excellent dietary meat to Spain. From there, she settled on farms throughout Europe.

This bird is from the class of galliformes. Yes, yes, they are direct relatives of ordinary chickens and were previously called Indian or Spanish chickens in Russia.

Turkey breeds prone to flight

In the modern classification, there are more than thirty breeds of domestic turkeys of various weights and breeding directions:

  • egg;
  • meat and egg;
  • meat breeds, the so-called broilers.

About turkeys: how to clip wings and at what age you can trim (1)

How to trim the wings of turkeys

Several breeds are in the greatest demand in the backyards of Russians:

  • Bronze chested;
  • White Moscow;
  • White broad-chested;
  • The so-called Bigs, crosses bred by the British with the marking Big-6, Big-8, Big-9.

The largest in the world is Big at number six, the turkeys of this cross in adulthood may well reach 40 kilograms.

And now a logical question arises: can a bird with such a huge weight fly and fly over a fence? It turns out it can, and how! Adult turkeys are capable of flying at over 20 kilometers per hour.

Well, of course, they will not fly south for the winter, but this bird is quite capable of flying over a two-meter fence in search of greener and tastier grass, or flying up a tree branch to eat fruit. And at the same time dig and trample the beds in the master's or neighbor's garden.

This is important! According to farmers, only Broad-chested White turkeys do not fly at all.

All other breeds will require owners to answer the question - what to do so that turkeys do not fly? And taking urgent measures to limit the freedom of poultry, in order to avoid conflicts with neighbors and the safety of the bird itself. Otherwise, leaving the territory allotted to her, the turkey may well die under the wheels of a car or be torn apart by dogs.

About turkeys: how to clip wings and at what age you can trim (2)

Flying turkey

Methods of restricting the freedom of turkeys

There are several ways to restrict the freedom of turkeys:

  • Increase the height of the fence of the walking aviary to 2-2.5 meters and tighten the top with a net. This must be done so that the bird cannot leave the enclosure.
  • Tangle the wings. This operation is not so difficult, but requires some experience and attention. To do this, they tie the base of the wings of the bird with a wide, flat braid, passing the braid under the belly. It is necessary to bandage carefully so as not to transfer the joints, and at the same time the bird could not spread its wings and make flapping movements with them.
  • Burn the first joint on the wings of the day-old turkey poults. The operation is performed with a hot steel plate and can be performed by a veterinarian or a person with experience who has tried to do it under the guidance of a professional. The wing will heal quickly and the bird will lose its ability to fly forever.
  • The simplest and most correct way that does not cause stress in a bird is to cut off several centimeters of flight feathers on the wings and tail with scissors, depriving the turkeys of the opportunity to rely on the air during takeoff.

Turkey wing clipping

How to clip the wings of turkeys correctly so that they do not fly? As a matter of fact, it is not the wings themselves that will be cut off from the bird, but the flight feathers on them. Trimming is done by half or two-thirds of the feather, so as not to injure the turkey with painful sensations. You need to carry out this operation together, since the bird is large, powerful and it will not be easy to cope with it alone. It is necessary to fill the feeder with grain, this will distract the bird and make it easier to catch.

Attention! If the caught bird actively resists, then the simplest action is to put a bag over its head. The restriction of vision will force the turkey to calm down.

About turkeys: how to clip wings and at what age you can trim (3)

Feather trim pattern

One person holds the bird at its feet, holding it in place with his hands and preventing it from pecking, and the assistant spreads the wing to the side and cuts the feathers with a pruner or large scissors.After that, the same action is carried out with the second wing. Everything must be done quickly and clearly, as delaying the process leads to serious stress for the bird.

Pruning steps

Pruning is best done in several steps:

  1. The first step is to trim the secondary flight feathers on both wings. These feathers rest on the bones of the forearm and are smaller than the main flight feathers. The main flight feathers rest on the bones of the wing brush. After that, you need to observe for several days, perhaps turkeys with such trimming will no longer fly, and the preserved main flight feathers will make the trimming invisible and allow you to maintain a decorative appearance.
  2. If the turkeys continue to fly over the fence, you will have to sacrifice good looks and trim the main flight feathers on one wing. This will create an imbalance in the flight phase, the turkeys will simply not be able to fly, because no one has canceled the laws of physics yet.

Important! Can turkeys have their wings clipped often? No. Trimming is done at the age of 16 weeks and is repeated no more than once a year, after replacing the trimmed flight feathers with new ones.

Another interesting question, how high do monthly turkey poults fly and can their wings be clipped? Monthly turkey poults do not fly, but jump from a running start, their wings are not adapted for flight, since a full-fledged fly feather has not yet grown on them. And cutting it alive means risking bleeding, which may well lead to the death of a turkey.

Pruning the flight feathers on the wings of turkeys seems to be a difficult and troublesome business only to those who have never done this. With some skill, the process takes a few minutes. Accordingly, the farmer can carry out the procedure on his own, at home.

The advantages of this type of flight restriction are undeniable: the bird does not receive physical injuries that affect its he alth, and gets the opportunity to graze on the paddock, gaining extra weight.


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