As you probably already know, I’m crazy about heritage turkeys. I love their personalities, disposition, their eggs and of course, the flavor profile of their meat. I even wrote a short ebook on how to raise and nurture them! But sometimes? When 4 month old poults continually fly the coop, pester the neighbors and refuse to cooperate? It’s time to deal with the problem. Here’s how you can keep your birds from flying the coop!
And yes, the technique works well for a variety of barnyard fowl!
Get Yourself a Pair of Barnyard Scissors
I recommend using a strong pair of scissors for this job. And grab a friend or family member. The task is much easier with two!
Trim One Wing
This is the key to keeping your birds on the inside of the coop. By trimming one wing only, their balance becomes disoriented.
And it discourages them from any ‘flights of fancy!’
How Much Do I Take Off?
Because flying fowl also need to roost at night, you don’t want to take remove too much! At the second set of overlapping feathers is usually a good rule of thumb. Yes, if you look closely most birds have 3 layers!
This leaves them enough wing power to fly up to their roost but discourages long, horizontal flights.
I put together a quick video for you as we do our turkey poults. Push play and enjoy!
Yes, it’s as easy as that! One by one, catch and trim a wing on every bird. And for most poultry, it will be enough to keep them at home!
In our experience with heritage turkeys, it takes about 4 months for the feathers to regrow. And then? Another clipping may be necessary.
But for the season, your birds will likely stay put.