Baby Turkey need friends??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hawkeye95, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is my first Posting, BTW...

    Last week, I had a crazy thing happen. I live in the country, and while I was driving on the highway, I saw a pure white baby turkey abandoned in the ditch. No houses around that might claim him. So I stopped and I told myself, that if he ran, I'd leave him be. But instead, he saw me and came running right up to me and let me pick him up! So, I drove with him on my lap and went to the feed store to get him some food and we came home and set up a temporary chicken wire fence under my back deck. I've had him for a week now. He is getting bigger- more of his feathers are coming in and he's starting to try to fly a bit. He's all alone. I've been thinking about getting chickens for a couple of years now, anyway- but I have no coop. And the plans I have for a coop will take me a few months, I'm sure to build it. I didn't want to buy chicks until I was prepared. The kids want to keep the turkey, since he follows us and is really sweet... but does he need a friend? Could I buy him a couple of chicks? He chirps loud and unhappily when we go back inside. The problem- I don't want to buy another chick unless I have to, since I'm really not prepared right now. I do have a large barn and horses.. worst case, I could put him in one of my unused stalls with another chick?? Ideas? Does he really need a friend, or can he be an "only"? The horse stall idea worries me because I have seen an owl go in there hunting mice. I'm totally new to this! Here is his picture, for some reason, I can't post one in here. I feel sooooo unprepared, but I want him to stay safe and healthy.

    http://flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/432E46
    okay- maybe this link for the picture of him will work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  2. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and [​IMG] !
    Your turkey is lucky that you found him!(the link won't let me see your picture) If the turkey is still young and you get chicks or another turkey for it, it would probably accept the new birds better now than it will when it's fully grown. I would try to get it friends while it is still young. [​IMG]
     
  3. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been reading on here that birds are social, and he does seem sad since he walks around peeping loudly like he's calling us. He has a "happy" peep when he sees us. He is still really small, its too bad you can't see his picture. He is fluffy/fuzzy on his belly and neck (no feathers). But his wing feathers have come in and he has a few tail feathers among the fuzz. I've been bringing him into the garage at night and putting him in a large box. I'm not sure how old he is, but since he still has quite a bit of fuzz...he's really young, right? When can he stay outside in his fenced in pen under the deck? I have no real shelter for him (no coop/box). But I did put chicken wire all up to the top of the deck so he can't escape- and I hope, nothing can fly in to get him. But we do have bold coyotes around here, plus the darned neighbor's cat that snoops around here hunting rabbits and mice. Can't afford to start on my coop until next month.
     
  4. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

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    Yea why not get some chickens. [​IMG]
    If you have a barn maybe get some chicken wire and some T-post and build a temporary pen in one of your stalls till you have time to build a coop..
     
  5. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If he has fuzz then he is still young [​IMG] I would wait until he grows in more feathers or until you get the coop up before I would leave him outside all night. Sounds like your turkey has bonded pretty strong to you:) (your photo is set to private)
     
  6. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Congrats on your little turkey!

    While a friend would be beneficial for the little guy, if is inconvenient for you then you can go without. He has likely already bonded with you guys! The turkeys I hatched about a month ago, I had one that bonded very tightly with me as opposed to the other turkeys. I know that happy peep you mentioned quite well. My little Sierra will give that rather piercing "flock call" (at least that is what I think it is) when I leave, since she'd follow me everywhere and be a happy house turkey if she could. My little turkey will sit on my lap, shoulder, and when I take her out to the grass, she stays very close.

    They learn to fly at a very young age. They will do test flights, and before you know it, one morning they'll greet you on the outside of their brooder if you didn't have a top on it (personal experience here [​IMG] )! I used to take them into my big open basement for leg stretch time when they were still young, and they'd do running flapping flights, and then run back to me for safety before repeating! They got airborne pretty quickly after that!

    If your little turkey is a broad breasted white, you may need to be careful with feeding, as in keeping the bird on a 'diet'. They are like the cornish X of the turkey world. Can become obese and die of heart failure at a young age. Hopefully you have a heritage bird who will live a long, happy life!
     
  7. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    WOW!! Thanks for all the turkey info!
    http://flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/432E46

    I hope this picture of him can be viewable. Most of his wing feathers are in and he flew out of his coop yesterday- I just put the rest of the chicken wire up to the top of the deck after he did that. He seems way too tiny to be doing that already! I didn't realize they can over eat? I've just been putting out food as he needs it. I noticed in the last two days he has been eating a LOT more than he started off.

    Okay.... so if he's bonded with me, then he won't need any friends? I was really hoping to hold off until I get my coop built. My husband has FINALLY agreed to let me do it. He's been very on the fence about it. But perhaps this turkey has changed his mind, since he's so sweet. When the turkey is out of his pen, he follows me everywhere and when I bend down, he actually crouches down into a sitting position so I can pick him up or pet him. He closes his eyes and makes kind of a puttering/peeping sound when I pet him. I can't wait to get started on the coop- I'm already salvaging stuff- windows, etc for it. [​IMG]
     
  8. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Only if the turkey is a broad breasted white, when it gets older (more of an adult) will you need to be careful about how much it eats. Right now the little one is a growing baby! BBWs were bred to get huge fast so they could be butchered for food, not to be a long lived pet.
     
  9. Dlynch

    Dlynch New Egg

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    Your story makes me smile [​IMG]. Sounds like the turkey found a wonderful home.

    We live in the country and have found that wildlife and stray animals decide to allow us into "their" families on occassion. Former Mother and keeper of fox, cotton tails, wild turkeys, several fawns, possum, numerous birds (baby owl, many sparrows, titmouse), armadillo and a herd of miniture horses- not to mention 3 stray dogs which now have a permanent home. Thank heavens our local vetenerian and county biologist live just a few short miles down the county road. We are new at raising chickens and the thought of raising and releasing critters that prefer to eat chickens over their tougher natural food choice seems ironic. Rasberry, the gray fox we released last spring, still eyes the house from a distance in the morning but we no longer encourage her with food. Moody Blues, the possum, still knocks on the back door at night for peeled grapes and steers clear of the coop. No problems yet. I guess the dogs are earning their keep.
     
  10. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hopefully he's not one of those, then. That would be kind of sad. But I have no clue what he is. He (or she) is just plain white and my DH is joking that he looks like a Butterball turkey. *sigh* Is there anyway to tell if this is a girl or boy and what kind of turkey he is? I put in a new link to his picture, but maybe he is too young to tell?
     

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