2 options for winter housing which would you choose?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by LivinNewDreamInND, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. LivinNewDreamInND

    LivinNewDreamInND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    I have three turkeys. A Bourbon Red Tom who I think is 1 1/2 years, a White Holland Hen who is the same age and a 4 1/2 month old White Holland hen/poult. Right now they are in the main room of my 25'x40' barn. The Tom roosts on the horse stall gates and the 2 hens roost way up in the rafters. I am in North Dakota and we are going to be getting our first below 0 temps next week. I am wondering if they would be better off left in the barn where they are or if I should move them to a smaller coop room 8'x10' with 7 1/2' ceilings. The room is definitely warmer than the barn but I am worried they won't appreciate being confined to that space where the only option for roosts is a 2x4 roost I built, that is about 4' off the ground. Right now I have no heat in my barn or coop rooms what so ever and from what I have been reading I don't think I will be putting in anything more than a 100w light when in gets very cold (-15 or colder) and that would be only in the coop rooms. I don't think there is any practical way to heat the main room of the barn but it is draft free and I have a lot of straw down for some insulation.

    Any opinions on the matter will be greatly apprectiated.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    As long as they're free of drafts, I'd not worry too much about the adults. Our neighbor's big Bourbon tom ALWAYS roosted on the railing of their front deck, where he'd catch the Northwest Wind swirling around the side of their house. I'd see him hunched over, as I'd drive past in the evenings, looking like some off-white gargoyle; but we only hit the abysmally cold wall a couple of times a year (wind chills -20 - -30).

    I'd keep the poult on high protein feed and keep a couple of suet cakes hung up, would probably keep poult in shed at night as well since it is somewhat less cold (put more energy into growth than staying warm). Other members from your `lapland' latitude can offer better advice.

    good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  3. CDennis

    CDennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2009
    My turkeys have a coop, and overhang with perches at the so called ideal height and a barn. For the past two winters they have spent everyday outside roosted on the metal roof of the chicken coop. For the first 2-3 months EVERY night I would go out there and get them and bring them in to their nice coop, or the barn or covered perches. After awhile I gave up, it frustrates me to see them sleeping in the rain or snow, but not sure what else I can offer. So if you don't plan on actually getting them from their roost spot and locking them up at night be prepared they may sleep where they want. [​IMG]
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    4 of 5 of my heritage birds always roost on top of the run. The other is smart enough to come in from the rain. No real cold weather just yet.
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Mine like to be outside in the cold weather, but... over the years, I have noticed that if I offer them to come indoors on a particularly bad day (windy, cold, freezing, snowy, but mostly they hate wind), they will actually choose the indoors for once. I would make sure they have dry, draft free perches, like the others said above.
  6. arabianequine

    arabianequine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 4, 2010
    I have a indoor coop and run for the chickens and turkeys. I have one heat lamp on the turkey side and the water under that to keep it thawed out but they get enough warmth from around the heat lamp. They do prefer to be in the run a lot but can come in if they want to. I notice the girls come in more then the tom did. They were all butchered this year but I have one peking duck and just put him in there tonight. Some small amounts of snow have been flying and on the ground but tomorrow in the teens and tues windshield -12 it says right now so I think it was a good idea. The duck has the same options as the turkeys had.
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    If you use any type of heat lamp, make sure it's very secure. If they get knocked down they can start fires. Mine don't have heat and there isn't electricity to the buildings (yet) so I pack water to them. If you saw the building where the butcher turkeys were, I normally have them in there but had to move them out when it flooded last spring and it never really completely dried out. I'll be putting them back for the winter (now that the ground is frozen) but will probably have to take them back out in the spring. At least DH finally fixed the roof leak so maybe next summer it will dry out? I plan to try to put a concrete floor in the building itself. They have 24/7 access to the run, the doorway to the run is faced away from the prevailing wind. They do fine in there, even the bunch I had hatch out in early August a few years ago. I think I would leave baby with the adults, she can get close to them for warmth and will be happier than she would be by herself.
  8. LivinNewDreamInND

    LivinNewDreamInND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I moved them into the smaller room last night. They didn't like the process but I think they are adjusting well. I did not add any kind of heat lamp in there room because the Hen and Poult fly around a lot and I am afraid they will knock it down. We did add an extra layer of clear plastic roofing over the window for extra insulation. I think it will work out ok.

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