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Turkeys as pets? - Page 6

post #51 of 89

I do keep my turks and chickens together.  I know that blackhead is always a danger, but for 4 years I have not had a problem, so until I do, I will continue to manage them together.  I don't have space to give everyone separate a environment (chickens have had the run of my entire yard, so if blackhead were to appear, it would be everywhere) so that would just have to be the end of my turkey keeping.  

I don't have any interspecies issues, but the turks went in with the chickens when they were just a little bit bigger than chicken size.  As adults, the turk hens are dominant, but disinterested in chicken politics.   The tom is only interested in showing off, and He is polite enough to only try to mate with those who offer. (and also takes care of himself when the hens are not interested...'nuff said)  I would suspect that without any turkey hens, he might be a problem, given his constant obsession with only one thing! 

I think two hens would be a perfect backyard "flock", as you never know what you're going to get as far as tom personality.  The hens will be a-okay w/o a tom, though then they will be flopping down for you to mate with them!

I started with 9 poults and once I could tell boys from girls, just picked the tamest 3. You will probably have to find someone locally (craig's list?) in order to get just one or two heritage birds, as mail order requires 10-15 minimum, and (at least our) feed stores only sell BBW and BBB.  

BTW, my favorite part of turkey raising is watching the 6" tall poults strut and display like the big boys!   

post #52 of 89

We've had so much fun with all our birds that I wish we had started much earlier--and wish we'd added turkeys to the flock sooner as well.  I say "go for it!"


We thoroughly enjoy our little band of turkeys and have never had any trouble keeping them with the chickens (and ducks).  Our original pair, a BBW hen and a BBB tom, avoided the dinner table because A. she was entirely too sweet to butcher (and we thought turkey eggs would be grand), and B. my husband was in the hospital when Mister was supposed to have his date with destiny.  Mister had a stay of execution and returned the favor by becoming a good guardian.  Strangers coming onto our property think twice when they see him because he's an impressive bird--a big boy with very big feet.  One of our local sheriffs remarked that he had never seen such a large turkey and if we ever had any problems, we should just let Mr. T out.   haha!  He does fancy himself to be "all that," but he was hand raised and has never been aggressive toward us.  Too many cuddles and kisses, I guess.  Had he been problematic, he would have gone into the freezer no matter how old he was.  ;)  I have seen him get after our rooster, but he's such a lumbering oaf Bruce doesn't have any trouble avoiding him.  If for some reason any of our chickens has not made it into the hen house before dark, Mister Turkey remains outside until we locate the wanderers.  On the rare occasion we can't find a chicken, Mr. T puts up a considerable fuss about being locked up.  He will stubbornly remain outside, even in a rainstorm, until we've recovered the missing girls.  


When last spring rolled around and he was a year old, we were given to believe Mister T wouldn't taste very good so we just let him be.  He cruises our yard, always nearby if I'm outside, gobbling, thrumming and fluffing himself up like a Thanksgiving poster child.  Poster turkey?  He follows he around the yard while I work, walking at a stately pace, rarely in a hurry.  I believe his presence in the flock was a good deterrent for predators until recently as he seems completely unperturbed by the possum that keeps entering the hen house (and is in danger of losing his life if he doesn't cease and desist).  He was single-minded in his interest toward Mrs.T last summer and I do worry about her because of his size.  I've read that big BB toms can do serious harm to hens and we don't want that to happen.  She's more reserved than he is, but she is a sweet bird, gave us a considerable number of eggs in the summer and fall, and we had eggs inexplicably hatch.  I now have a pair of five month old BBW toms that are two of the most delightful creatures we've ever had on our little farm.  From the get go they were silly and spirited and affectionate.  We raised them inside with a pair of duckling siblings (fearful that Mrs. T, for all she was sweet, would crush them) and they are the funniest little (well, not so little now) fellas.  They cavort like puppies, singing and hooting merrily everywhere they go.  All I have to do is call "hey, boys!" and they come running.  In the morning, they circle the food bin until it is opened for breakfast.  When we set the eggs we had determined were actually fertile, I had visions of a freezer full of unlikely crossbreed turkey.  What I got were what we call our Impossible Poults and we're so attached to them (and them to us) that I'm having a terrible time thinking about eating them.  We kept waiting for them to display some Bronze characteristics, but they are exactly like Mrs. T and she is obviously very proud of them.  We now realize we're probably courting disaster with three toms (and they eat an awful lot), but so far the boys are too young and goofy to cause any trouble. Like the other poster, we often find them--and most of our lovely chicken girls--at the back door (they'll come right on in if you aren't careful).  In fact, they marched through a considerable snowfall yesterday to ask for treats and check the snow under the wild bird feeders.


After hatching out the first turkeys (we had three, but lost one) we attempted to set additional turkey eggs in the fall (Mrs. T began layng very late in the year) and while some of them began to develop, we eventually lost all the eggs. Not sure if that was a genetic issue or incubator issue because we did have some trouble with regulating temps.  We'll certainly try again this year as I'd still like to put some turkey in my freezer.  In the meantime, these guys have become pets.  They aren't as "pretty" as Mr. T with his iridescent feathers and classic Thanksgiving Turkey appearance, but they seem to have great senses of humor and we really enjoy them.

post #53 of 89
I have 3 broad breasted bronze for pets. Got them when they were relatively little. All 3 use to roost on my out stretched arm when little. Now several years later the 2 females R ok never allow me to pet them but tolerate me. The male attempts to attack me anytime I'm around. He has very long nails and Spurs. So needless to say I stay away as much as possible he tolerates my husband so any time there's something that needs to b fixed in his pen my husband does that. As one person told me in a reply to one of my posts that turkrys do not make good pets. They live my instinct alone to eat and reproduce
post #54 of 89
Here's a picture of my turkrys
post #55 of 89

Ugh. Stop posting about how awesome turkeys are. I can't handle the cuteness. I really want to get one this spring to keep for thanksgiving, but I know exactly what will happen. I'll fall in love. If they are cuter and friendlier than my hens (especially my lap dog - the buff orpington), I'm in trouble.

post #56 of 89

This is big bird one of my pet turkeys
post #57 of 89

Is big bird a bourbon red?

post #58 of 89
He is a buff x Norfolk black
post #59 of 89

We have pet turkeys. Bronze and mixed Palm/Bronze. They live as long as a dog if you feed them and them don't get eaten by a predator. They are quiet entertaining, they have a very complex and strong family bond, They are excellent at keeping your property tick and bug free, and alerting if anyone comes onto the property. The males are imposing and perhaps intimidating but not aggressive. The females very loving and cuddly, they bond with people and want to be carried around. We have 4 full grown males, they occasionally fight but basicly travel as a very loud group. The males babysit the young, and they roost with them at night covering them with their wings. Interesting experience having turkeys! Important for turkeys, 2 x 4's or rods high up in the barn to roost. In warmer climate they roost in trees. Disadvantage: large, runny poo's.

post #60 of 89

We love our 8 year old pet turkey hen and tom!   They have been great pets to have.  We lost one when they were young after neighbors dogs tore into their pen. We shut them into their barn pen at night to avoid the coyotes getting them too.   

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