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anyone else having issues getting turkys to use the coop

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by TarzantheChickenMan, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. TarzantheChickenMan

    TarzantheChickenMan Songster

    Oct 1, 2009
    Guthrie, MN
    my 4 blue slates are refusing to go in the coop at night the issue is when i try to put them away any time of the day they just fly up to the roof of the house or barn
    its hit -30 a few nights now and they seem fine heads and feet look good from what i can see they eaten great and talken turkey
    just i can catch em and put them in way more skiddish then the other turkeys if had over the years
    i know wild turkeys are tough just how tough are domestic ones?>

  2. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    ours do that if we dont start getting them in a bit earlier than sunset.

    we start herding ours in an hour to 30 mins before it gets dark. we've been getting them in early b/c its so cold. otherwise we have to throw plastic buckets at them to get them off the roof!

    and of course, only feed them IN their coop so they'll get the idea

  3. solarquail

    solarquail Songster

    Aug 27, 2009
    i have three turkeys that are very good and go into the coop everynight now for the fourth turkey NOT SO MUCH he sleeps ANYWHERE but the coop! so he kept flying up really high and i couldnt reach him. soooo i clipped his wings....and now he still wont go in the coop he can still fly up 3 feet onto a bantam pen so its a constant fight with him [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Oh well!....
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    All turkey varieties (M.G.'s) are pretty cold hardy (Broad Breasted's, at least the hens, included). If you want them in the shed wait until you see them eyeballing the roofs and loosening up their wings. Get a couple of long sticks, one for either hand, and herd them into the shed - just keep your `wings' outstretched and walk along slowly to keep the `herd' moving (not as prone to `stray' as chooks). If you've already tried this method and they know the drill then, yes, they'll probably go into VTOL mode [​IMG] . However, if this ploy is a novelty, they might just fall for it.

    Yes, if one is consistent, they will pretty much learn to return to roost inside without intervention (ours were the most `flighty' during their first summer-fall):

    We keep ours locked down owing to predator load (trap and retire most, but only one way to be sure).

    It has been unusually cold here since October (wind chills tomorrow around -25°F). Our guys are 4+ yrs old, and they prefer to hang out in their shed and watch the snow blow by. However, I `shot' these guys out back day before yesterday (they are roosting in the oaks and hickories about two hundred yards behind the house tonight, could hear them clearing dead branches as they were settling in - dumped out some old cracked corn for `em). Note the `late summer hatch' juveniles in the flock. The Wilds are maintaining pretty nicely, in this weather, this year:

    Just keep an eye on the feet (seems to be the first place frostbite shows up in the turks from what I've seen).
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    I've had both -- turkeys who slept outside, and turkeys who dutifully go inside the coop.

    I think the ones who go in the coop do it because i put them inside since birth. Once in a while, they try to sleep outside on the fence and I always make sure to herd them inside the coop. They go in very dutifully on their own, now, also because their mother goes in the coop, even though they're all grown up now.

    The ones who slept outside, slept up high (40 feet up) in a huge tree, so I had no way of herding them into the coop. they got in the habit and slept out there all winter, in snow, wind and rain storms.

    Personally, I like it better with them in the coop because my life is easier now!! And I don't worry about them as much.

    I don't know what to suggest, except I think if you herd them in 30 minutes early and feed them in there (and lock them in so they can't come out so they must roost there) and do this a few nights, I think they are smart and will figure out what you want them to do. In my experience they are good learners -- you just have to be consistent and develop the habit with them for at least a week or two or three. Then they should get trained.
  6. melody123

    melody123 Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Most of my turkeys like to sleep outside their pen. It's funny to see the frost on their feathers in the morning. They seem to do just fine.

    When we had a cold snap, 9 degrees, I made them go into their pen and shut the door behind them. They didn't like it, but I couldn't leave my little turks outside in that kind of cold. They probably would have done just fine.

    Sometimes one of the hens will sleep inside with the chickens. Maybe she likes to be warm.[​IMG]
  7. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    CA - hi! hows it goin

    40ft up? wow i dont think i could throw a bucket that high to get 'em in.. hee hee

    ivan - LOVE the pix of your turkey in the snow! do you have a temp or combination of weather conditions where you DONT let your birds out?? we are probably over cautious but we figure if its sub-0* wind chills everyone has to sit inside. whats your threshold for keeping them in?

  8. Frogdogtimestwo

    Frogdogtimestwo Songster

    May 21, 2008
    I too had to clip wings in order to get them in the coop at night. I bribed them with treats, now after a month they dutifully go in but they are not happy about it.
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    ohiofarmgirl wrote: ivan - LOVE the pix of your turkey in the snow! do you have a temp or combination of weather conditions where you DONT let your birds out?? we are probably over cautious but we figure if its sub-0* wind chills everyone has to sit inside. whats your threshold for keeping them in?

    That is the `Wild' Eastern flock that hangs out in the surrounding territory. One of the reasons (besides all the White Oak trees - acorns for winter forage) they roost in this area has to do with this being a something of a `blackhole' for predators (they wander in but don't wander back out). That our closest neighbors also have turks, probably has something to do with it as well.

    They get pretty chummy (shot from Dec/`07):

    Sometimes they push it: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=92240&p=2 (post 12).

    Ours were out for a couple of hours in the afternoon, today. It was a balmy19°F in the sun. They returned to their shed when the wind picked up. We keep a 15W light in the turkey shed (enough light so they can see early in the morning, but not so much that they get `busy' with one another) and a heated water bowl. They do just fine. All we do is close the door after they go to roost.​
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  10. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    thanks ivan!

    we let them out in the afternoon when the wind dies down.. we just close them up, like you do, when they go back inside.. of if anybody looks chilled or if they huddle together.

    we had a couple of wild turkeys that stood on the other side our fence screaming at ours.. its was pretty funny.

    our 'predator black hole' operatives are a couple of big dogs.. so even tho the predators stay away.. they bark at about everything


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