Can turkeys see well in the dark?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Razz Gavin, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Razz Gavin

    Razz Gavin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    At first I always assumed farm birds had poor eyesight at night but the turkey I have seems to be proving me otherwise. I bring her into the garage at night to sleep in a dog kennel (which she hates) and I leave her for a few minutes so she can eat and drink before going to sleep, then when I come back out to close her cage and turn the light out she's gone. So I turn the bright lights on outside to search for her and I find her across the yard sleeping on top of the hay shed.

    I don't understand how she found her way there so easily if turkeys really do have terrible night vision like I've been reading. It's nearly pitch black out besides a couple lights on the other side of the road through some trees yet she manages to successfully get over and around two fences and jump on top of the shed. Then once I get her down and she starts following me back to the house, once she realizes it's because I'm going to put her back in the garage she veers off back into the dark as if it's a natural direction and the most comfortable thing to do. She's starting to make herself seem like a creature of night and shadows.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  2. pv74

    pv74 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 1, 2014
    Southern Idaho
    I don't know about turkey night vision, but the only time I brought my turkeys inside was when they were still little (I would let them out in the pen during the day, then they would follow me (marching single file) into the garage for the night where they roosted on an old livestock tank.

    When they feathered in, I built them a roost out of some old 2x4's and left them outside in there enclosed pen permanently.
    I was told turkeys prefer to roost uncovered, even in the worst of weather...and so far, that's been true...they don't seem to care how cold it is. When it gets dark, the turkeys perch on the roost I made them.

    I would think your bird is trying to go to where it most comfortable.
  3. Razz Gavin

    Razz Gavin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    I'd love more than anything to let her roost where she feels most comfortable but I can't let her do that freely because of the coyotes around our area. I lost 2 roosters and 3 hens in one morning from a coyote who struck before any of us even awoke. They were probably snatched up the second they jumped from the tree and touched the ground. We built a chicken run and coop for them now so they're all locked up at night but I can't put the turkey in there because all the other birds pick on her. We do have another pen I can set up to put her in now though. Because it's been so long since the coyotes have gotten any birds, the original reason I brought her indoors was for nights when the weather became freezing cold. Her current bird companion is a small blind rooster and because recently he's been lacking so much body weight I brought him indoors and put the turkey with him just to be sure he wouldn't freeze to death. However now that the worst of the weather is over for now it should be safe to put them back out in their regular enclosure.
  4. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    Turkeys are not like chickens when it comes to moving n the dark. Turkeys are much better at seeing and even flying in the dark. I used to think that catching skittish turkeys would be easy if I waited till dark. It is easier in the dark than in the light, but if a turkey wants to get away, it can!

    Predators can be a problem. Turkeys are so much more valuable than chickens that it may pay to invest in some fencing.

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