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BASIC TURKEY KNOW-HOW: Any Tips for Starters?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Gresh, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Gresh

    Gresh Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Hey, ya'll.

    I've been interested in turkeys for awhile and would like some basic info on space requirements, shelter specifics, and disease control. I have a flock of twelve chickens and two ducks and I know that for awhile baby turkeys should be COMPLETELY separated from other poultry, but that's about all I know. Some basic questions I'd like to know are these:

    1) When not on free range, how much space would 6 to 8 turkeys need in a pen?
    2) How much protection do adult turkeys need from the elements?
    3) At what age do young turkeys become "immunely" strong enough to range with other birds and not get disease?
    4) Are there any common turkey diseases to keep an eye out for, and, if so, what are the best means of preventing them?
    5) What domestic turkey breeds are known for having flight capabilities? (I once heard that Midget Whites could fly, so that is why I'm asking.)
    6) How good are turkeys at self-defense, and what predators tend to prey on them the most?

    Thanks to all who are willing to help. I may or may not get seriously interested in turkeys but the answers to these questions will certainly help me in decisions. I would love to keep turkeys because they are so rare and their numbers are so low (minus, of course, the meat-engines the commercial farms invent).

    God bless,

  2. The best thing to do is to set down and spend a while going threw the history of blogs most or all questions will be answered.
    1. Double breasted Turkeys short lived because of weight issues around 5 months Heritage breeds take x 2 to raise to finish weight live to 7 years.
    2.All Turkeys fly well clipping wings maybe needed until they get some weight on and then not flying so much Perch height for adult Tom not more than 4 feet.
    3. The coop is the best defense from predators and a secure Run 4 to 5 times the room you would have for each Chicken free range is good if you are able to.
    4. Raising Poults and Chicks together worked great for me the Chicks worked well in reminding the Poults to eat and drink I still have Hens that prefer to be with the Turkeys they grew up together Family LOL.
    5 Game Bird starter till 20 weeks will not hert Chicks to eat as well works likes Miracle grow ween them off by mixing Laying pellets with starter for 2 to 3 weeks when they get up in size feed them all left over food wast not want not no raw potatoes.
    6. The more time you spend with them the friendlier they are and easier to handle feed treats when you call them and they will always come.

    People her are of different opinions Double Breasted fast growing for the most part can not reproduce the Non double breasted breeds can and will reproduce takes more time an effort but I think its worth it in the long run I think for the most part people here can get attached to there Turkeys there like Dogs with feathers they want to be with you all time.
    Poults are fragile more so than Chicks I kept them in a Brooder till 12 weeks and the temps at night did not fall below 70 with a heat lamp the more Poults and Chicks the more body heat to share if needed.
    I used apple Cider Vinegar in there water at 3 week till 20 weeks of age 4 tbl spoons to gallon and food grade diatomaceous earth in the feed and dusted them for parasites .

    good Luck.
  3. Shangrila Farm

    Shangrila Farm In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2012
    Good read :)
  4. Celie

    Celie Songster

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
  5. Lupa Duende

    Lupa Duende Chirping

    Sep 7, 2012
    Thank you!

    Any other ideas as to how to entice my Fairway into the aviary for the night? Lots of critters around here think she looks delicious and I want her locked up at night with my ducks and chickens.

    Turkey Treats? Home-made and cheap if possible.
    oh, and safe for piggish goats, pony, dogs, chickens, ducks, and goodness knows what else
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    We pick up the turkeys before they go to roost and move turkeys to their house.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  7. Debbi

    Debbi Crowing

    May 2, 2010
    I don't have any turkeys yet, but mealworms work GREAT as chicken treats! I can't throw them out fast enough, and end up with chickens sticking their heads in the bag or bucket to self feed! You can feed them live or dried, and they are easy to grow yourself. Save for any other animal to eat too, and they are very high in protein. You can do a search here on BYC or on the web and get all kinds of info on them. That is my next project!

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