Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Clipped Wings

We are often asked what's the difference between a heritage turkey and a regular turkey. Had anyone been visiting last night at dusk, they would have had first-hand experience.

Heritage turkeys can fly. Unlike commercial birds such as the Broad-breasted Bronze and White which have been bred to grow amazingly fast and develop oversized breasts to the point they are too heavy to fly or even naturally mate, heritage turkeys have smaller breasts and are still able to take to the air. This was becoming increasingly obvious last night as several birds hopped the fence when Jessica fed up her Farm Show goats in the pen next to theirs.

So Ralph and I had to do the duty. Clipping wings on small chickens and turkey poults isn't all that hard and I've done it by myself quite easily, but last night's task was definitely a two-person job. He would grab each bird by their legs, flip it upside down and I would clip their wings. Don't worry, there's no blood or mutilation involved...just a simple clipping. It was fairly easy to tell who had been clipped because I only removed the white-striped portions of their flight feathers.

Plenty of flapping, but no flying.


  1. And I thought my big breasts were a problem....

  2. Nice looking bords! Enjoy your time alone with organ meats and wine:)