Attracting grasshoppers & tractoring turkeys

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by BeardedChick, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Ok, we have a grasshopper boom going. I'd like to put the turkeys out in the tractor during the day, near the edge of my garden where there are lots of annoying grasshoppers.

    What can I do to attract grasshoppers to the tractor? I read that the bait they use is made of wheatbran. Sprinkle wheatbran? Water the area where I am planning to set the turkey tractor? Any other ideas?

    I'd let the turkeys free range, but I'm not sure they'd come back. They are kinda flighty (~7 weeks old). Could I put three of them in the tractor and two of them outside of it to forage???
  2. My own followup. I let three turkeys out for the first time, kept two in. They didn't 'get' grasshoppers yet. I did get a couple of them to eat a grasshopper, but they aren't grasshopper killing machines yet.

    Going to try wheatbran as bait to see if the grasshoppers will come in close to the tractor.

    It was really fun watching the young turkeys puff themselves up trying to strut around and look tuff.
  3. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    I have no idea how to attract a grasshopper, but if I were you I'd keep all of them in the tractor, it is to avoid the risk of one deciding to run off, because if they haven't been out for awhile, then they wont understand what or where home is.
    Good luck [​IMG]
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Sounds like it would have been very relaxing and entertaining to sit there and watch them.

    We are absolutely inundated with grasshoppers this year ... never had it this bad before. We are have a serious drought though and that always means more grasshoppers. My chickens are doing their best but they have no hope of even making a dent in this year's grasshopper population. It's also strange for us this year ... the grasshoppers are 98% little, itty bitty ones. We usually have huge ones but far less. ????
  5. Do turkeys often run off?

    The coop/tractor area is all in my fenced back yard, so hopefully that's a fairly safe place to work on free ranging them. Today, I had the tractor against the coop (it's temporarily serving as the run) so they just milled around outside of it.

    But I do worry - if they get into the woods outside of the yard, they could easily take off & never be seen again. I gave them a pan of water near the tractor, and they seemed to hang around that.
  6. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    The risk you take at letting them out, is if you have woods nearby, they will eventually wander into them, not to stay, but to check it out and even nest.
    2 of my hens went down there and nested, the one came back halfway through incubation because something ate her eggs.
    The other one never came back, I assume something got her.

    Did we want them down there? No, but there is really no way of stopping them.
  7. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I don't know if you have heard this before, but turkeys aren't real smart. If they don't intentionally run off, they could simply get lost.

    Mine are in a run and are fly eating machines. [​IMG]
  8. Chirpy, us, too. There are lots of the little nymphs. Yuck.

    Linck, sorry something got your hen. I thought I'd need to keep mine in when they are laying - that would be next year, right?

    If they don't intentionally run off, they could simply get lost


    So will keeping a couple of turkeys in the pen help the others to stick around? I am not clear about that from the post.

    Not always real smart myself. [​IMG] :| [​IMG]

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