Can I successfully raise turkeys in woods?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by CNewland, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. CNewland

    CNewland Hatching

    Aug 21, 2012
    I have access to a dozen or so acres of scrubby forest to raise turkeys on and I was wondering if this is a suitable environment to raise them in. I am sure they would love it, but what are some other things I should be considering such as fencing, housing, predation, etc? Having never kept turkeys, I don't know what would keep them from jumping up into trees and over fencing or how vulnerable they are to predators. My plan is to get a good forager such as the Narragansett and hopefully give them as much of a free range environment as possible. Any suggestions would be great!

  2. Celie

    Celie Songster

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    [​IMG]IMO You would be feeding the wildlife living there already, and the only breed I would even consider would be a wild breed. Maybe some of them would survive, just maybe, after they were big enough or wise enough to recognize the dangers and know how to escape it. Of course this is only me, maybe others will disagree. No was a poult would survive! [​IMG]
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Love your question. I am in a similar environment. We have lots of wild turkeys in the area, some stay to visit for a while, others pass thru every 4 days.

    THese woods are open and easy to walk thru, you can see for 100-200 feet around as far as spotting predators. I do see my roosters on guard, they seem to keep watch more than the chicken hens.

    Ond day this fall, the entire flock screamed the alert and raced for home. I thought, false alarm, then the notion dawned "maybe not". I ran thru the oncoming birds to the woods and I looked. THey he moved-- a coyote. WIthin 100 feet of the house. He turned and ran. Pretty coyote.

    Deterents work well with coyote-- they will go for the easiest food, so I make my critters hard to get. I use various wire mesh fencing to surround the main area. THe coyote follow the fenceline and stay out. THis particular red coyote came in where there is NO fencing.

    Go to the ALBC site for some fencing ideas-- there is no ONE right solution. THey rightfully state that each type of fencing has pros and cons. It offers more details than I have seen generally.

    THey coyote do not enter my horse paddocks or the sheep pens. I"m thinking out a new layout to put the larger livestock further out-- I don't think a coyote will try for a 300 pound ram.

    Good fencing!!

    My birds do not forage as I thought they would. S and S Poultry confirmed that they are sight feeders, not scratch and eat feeders, so putting out feed will be 100% necessary IMO. I do see my birds eating grass, so my back yard is getting very short right now. TIme to move them off that area to save the grass.

    I hope this helps-- I"m still learning about poultry, not a lot of experience.
  4. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    If your going to raise domestic turkeys in the woods where wild turkeys live, you really ought to fence them in, even if the enclosure is very large. You don't want the wild turkeys breeding with yours, and you especially don't want your domestics breeding with wilds. Other than that, any breed (OK, color, variety...whatever [​IMG]) will do just fine if you feed them and give them water. But please use a fence!

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