Can you clip a Turkey's wings?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Wyo Chick, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Wyo Chick

    Wyo Chick Songster

    I have 2 Royal Palms and they won't stop flying on top of the chicken coop. Can I clip their wings?

  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    Yes. But just clip one. If you clip both wings they can still fly sort-of. If you only clip one, they go into spins and crash. They learn not to do that. But they need to be clipped regularly or they will start flying again.

    Mine need to be clipped again very soon!
  3. Nice, I didn't know they could still fly if you clip BOTH wings...
  4. kywest

    kywest In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2009
    central Ohio
    If you clip a bird's wings it will not regrow the feathers until the next molt. If you clip during molt, you could have to clip again very soon, but feathers do not regrow once clipped unless they are removed at the follicle.
    Always be careful when clipping that you do not cut growing (blood) feathers (covered in waxy sheath at the base), as these will bleed profusely. It is always a good idea to have a needle nose pliers handy when wing clipping for accidents - a bleeding feather can be yanked out, and it is easier to stop the bleeding at the follicle than from the end of a cut feather.
    Do not let this discourage you from clipping. I find it an effective way to contain some of my birds. Feather clipping is painless for the bird if fully grown feathers are clipped, and the bird is used to being handled.
    One other caution - I have had birds break blood feathers that I avoided while clipping. If you clip all the feathers on a wing, leaving, say, the one blood feather you find to finish its growing, that feather is then subject to damage when the bird tries to fly. I've come in to a bloody mess in the morning after a bird has whacked a blood feather off on a perch or against a wall. Since then, if I encounter a blood feather while clipping, I always leave a feather on either side for support until it finishes growing. Then you can clip all three.
    As far as clipping one or both wings, this is individual to the bird. Very heavy birds can often be grounded with just a few feathers clipped from each wing. Very slim birds can often still fly quite well with all primaries and some secondaries removed! Some are easily discouraged by the "off balance" feel of single wing clipping , others learn to compensate and can still fly. You may need to experiment until you find what works for your birds. I always like to leave enough power so that if they do manage to get to a place a few feet off the ground, they don't sink like a stone on the way back down! Ouch!!
    Most Zoos pinion their free ranging birds to keep them grounded - removing the last bone from the wing. This sounds barbaric until you consider the repeated stress to wild or semi wild birds from being handled multiple times a year, and the danger if the birds were to accidentally escape from that "one extra feather" finally growing in that the bird required for flight. Obviously, not a good option for adult birds, but done right after hatching, it could be a more humane option for birds you do not intend to acclimate to handling on a regular basis. It should always be done by a vet or bird keeper with the right equipment and experience.

  6. Celie

    Celie Songster

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    Frank, love your videos. Looks like you have White hollands. Are thy and what breed of chickens? [​IMG]
  7. I,m Sorry that's not me its just a youtube video I found and its the best I have found he does a great job showing and explaining how to clip wings.
    I used his video as a guide on how to do it.
    And Know I don't have any White Hollands I have Red Bourbons only I would like to try my hand at some Narragansets.
    As far as video goes I have what is called a face for Radio LOL.
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Yep, you can clip their wings.
  9. momma_raven

    momma_raven Chirping

    Sep 22, 2010
    Thanks for posting the you tube video Frank, it is very helpful! [​IMG]

  10. DustyDawgy

    DustyDawgy Songster

    Apr 13, 2013
    Can you keep turkeys with chickens? I own four chickens, and would like to purchase a turkey or two. My chicken coop has three connected sections- one the size of a school bus, and two of roughly the same size, about 20-fot by 20-foot.

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