Anyone keep Ocellated Turkeys?


13 Years
Oct 24, 2009
They are amazing colours and I just wonder if anyone keeps them?

They are beautiful, not cold hardy at all, and from what I understand, difficult to keep in captivity. Even if you can keep them alive, getting them to reproduce is even harder. I have heard of a few people keeping them (I'm sorry, can't remember names) and they are also very expensive to buy. I think it was around $2000?
Wow. How crazy they are so expensive!!!! I have seen photos of hunters who have shot a lot a them. At that price that will make an expensive dinner!


Seems sad that people want to shoot such a colourful bird! Here are some shots of some living ones - which I think is better.
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thanks for that link!
I wonder if it would be OK to go on a 'hunt', and just catch them live to take home? Can't see the difference between taking some dead ones or living ones.
Apart from the fact they probably wouldn't be easy to catch, there is a lot of red tape and permits you need to bring a critter into this country. Kevin Porter ran into all of that when he was having some turkey EGGS shipped in. Health permits, and, and... USDA has lots of requirements to ship in live critters or food items (so you can't bring in eggs and say they are for eating either). You would probably need a permit to bring them in dead, too.
There is the quarantine costs, but that can be done. All it takes is money.

Getting a permit to remove the birds from their native habitat would depend upon the country that has the birds and whether or not they are willing to let them leave the country. I would expect to pay a lot of graft before being allowed to take them. Probably, you would pay a wildlife gatherer to collect them rather than trapping them yourself.

You would need a large heated flight cage to put them in. Lots of $$$$ to provide proper housing.
I have been a turkey hunter for many years. I have gotten my Royal Slam which is the Eastern, Osceola, Merriams, and Rio Grande turkeys in America, and a Gould's turkey in Mexico. We were going to go to Guatemala for Ocellated turkeys to get our World Slam, but after we were told how they "hunt" the Ocellated turkey, we decided to pass. They don't gobble and come to a call like a traditional turkey does, but they have more of a singing call and most of them are shot off the roost, which didn't really appeal to me. I would love to hunt one, but I want to actually hunt it, not just "bang" shoot a bird sitting on a limb. I enjoy the "hunting" part of turkey hunting more than actually shooting them anyway. Anyone whose hunted wild turkeys knows how wary they are. Anyway, we had a friend who did go and hunt one, and he was very disappointed because the guide walked him to a tree, pointed up, and said "shoot". He said there was definitely no sport in it. As far as getting one out of there.... well anyone who has ever spent any time in Mexico or Central America knows that US dollars will buy you ANYTHING, but I would think getting it across the border back into the US would be some serious red tape. Like the others said, it just depends on how much you want to spend? And it'd be a tough gamble not really knowing how they handle captivity?
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