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Ask a Poultry Farmer

Advice from a man with sixty years of experience with chickens, turkeys and waterfowl. With community blogger Dale Wheelock.

Ask a Poultry Farmer: What is wrong with my turkey's wings?

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Dale Wheelock
Monday, March 14, 2016

If you notice the wings of your waterfowl and turkeys are dropping down or sticking out, they might have a condition called split wing or angel wing. It's a condition where the last joint in the wing goes in a different direction.

The most common cause in waterfowl is too high a percentage of protein in the starter feed. A 16% to 18% medicated feed seems to work well. If you are raising them for meat, after their skeleton has stopped growing you may feed a higher protein grower of around 20% to 22%.

In turkeys it just seems to be the nature of the beast. You start seeing it at about ten days in about a quarter of them.

It is rare to see angel wings in chickens.

To fix it hold the wing in one hand, grasp the very last part of the wing and tuck in under the rest of the wing so the feathers are parallel with the wing bone.

Tape it this position for two days, three at most.

Remove tape. If it's still not correct re-tape it. We have found that small strip of duct tape (no pun intended) works best.

As always, ask further questions in the comment section.


Dale Wheelock has been raising chickens, turkeys and waterfowl since he was a farm kid in the 1950s. He owns and operates the Wheelock Family Farm in Walworth County with his wife, Barb, and has been an agriculture leader in the community for decades. Read more about poultry farming at askapoultryfarmer.blogspot.com. Dale is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management. Have a question for Dale? Send him an email at askapoultryfarmer@gmail.com.


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