Turkeys and clipped wings

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by freemotion, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. freemotion

    freemotion Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Western MA
    Hey, turkey owners, can I keep Bourbon Reds in a pasture with a four foot high wire mesh horse fence? Will they fly out? Can I clip the flight feathers off one wing, as I did with my chickens, to keep them off-balance and in the habit of living with us?

    How long should they be penned up before letting them out? (So they will know where home is....)

    I will be looking at a breeding trio this week and also would like to know opinions on how old they should be to live out in the uninsulated barn without heat lamps, and how old they should be now to breed and raise poults this spring/summer?

    What might be a good price in New England?

  2. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I don't think a clipped wing would keep them in a 4 foot fence. My bourbons clear 6 foot chain link in their dog kennel run, there isn't enough room to get a wing flap in that space so I think has more to do with their legs. Bourbons are great fliers and mine can easily make it onto my roof or several feet up a tree. Make sure the pen for acclimating is well covered, these guys do not like containment and will fly/jump over anything.

    Once turkeys are full grown they are one of the toughest birds and can take below freezing temperatures. Turkeys are native in New England so with the exception of really high temperatures in the summer nothing should bother them.

    Adult breeding pairs in New England are expensive at about $100, once in a while you'll find them for cheaper but since they eat so much they tend to sell high. My hens who were hatched in July are just starting to lay now, but I don't think breeding season has started so I don't believe any of these eggs to be fertile yet.
  3. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    Quote:ya take it from picco they can fly HIGH
  4. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    McCleary, WA
    Yes they can clear a 4' fence. The best way to keep them in is to make sure they don't have any where on the fence line they can roost at. They will more then likely not fly over a fence unless they have a gate, cross brace,chain link top bar, etc. to land on then they go over. After you eliminate those things then you should not have to much trouble. We keep ours in on 4' fence. If they are being feed and have a roosting spot that they like and they have all they need in the fence they will not go out, unless scared, or excited. You can clip one wing back real far and then you have solved your problem 90%, after We clip our flighty ones a few times, when they are young 3-4 months old, it is like they forgot they can fly for a while. If you have things they can roost on the fence line, you will need to take a 2 ft tall piece of fencing and attach it where they can roost, then that will eliminate that area as they might try to fly up to it and they will hit the fence guard you put up and they stop trying.
  5. mawark

    mawark In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2009
    I clip my turkeys wings. Only places where I hava had problems in past has been at gates & corner braces. I built taller gates and raised corner fencing to 6'. Cliping wings is a serious job.

  6. cutiepieacres

    cutiepieacres Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    S. CA
    I keep mine in 4" fencing and I do keep their wings clipped. I clip both wings but only the few flight feathers. I am sure if they really wanted they could get out but since they have their house and food there they seem content to stay in.

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