Can we feasibly raise turkeys here?

QChickieMama

Songster
9 Years
Oct 1, 2011
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I'm in NC, have plenty of space on our farm, and I'm considering raising turkeys.

What do I need to know?

First, we have bird dogs. One won't bother the chickens if I have the chickens out and about, but the other dog will eat the chickens if we let him out when the birds are out.

That said, how would things work with turkeys? We have a 10x10 dog run that has an opening in the roof for the turkeys to fly out. Would they figure to fly back in there for safety from dogs? Can they out-fly a bird dog? I know they roost in the trees at night, so that'd be fine. Our dogs wouldn't be out at night anyway. How could we make the daytime hours work? Or would it not be worth it to even try?
 

TheJadeChicken

Songster
9 Years
Apr 27, 2012
861
18
171
Saline County, Arkansas, US
That said, how would things work with turkeys? We have a 10x10 dog run that has an opening in the roof for the turkeys to fly out. Would they figure to fly back in there for safety from dogs? The might and the might not. I would put a roof on your pen and just put a branch high as it would, like say 8 feet high. Can they out-fly a bird dog? In my opinion, no. My mother, who was raised with hunting dogs said "If they could get to a tree in time, they might." But it isn't fair for a animal to be living in fear. I know they roost in the trees at night, so that'd be fine.


Our dogs wouldn't be out at night anyway. How could we make the daytime hours work? Or would it not be worth it to even try? I not sure how to respond. It would be up to you. I would keep them in the pen permanetly if it is big enough.
 

mamawolf544

Unbreakable Heart
10 Years
Apr 29, 2009
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alvarado, Tx
I raise turkey's, that would never work. I have trees and in 5 years never have I had a turkey in a tree, They will get on the roof of my house, on top of my garage. And they dont all like to fly.

And people will get mad, but they are my favorite bird and I have give up most of my chickens to raise turkey's so I can say it. They are cute, nosey, friendly and dumb as a sack of hammers.

And in a 10x10 I personally would not keep more than 3 birds in there, and they wont be real happy, they love to forage.
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
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273
Central Oregon
I suspect that if you have heritage turkeys (the ones that can fly) and you let them be loose and your dog chases them, that the dogs won't chase them too many times before your turkeys pack up and leave the neighborhood.
 

QChickieMama

Songster
9 Years
Oct 1, 2011
375
29
206
I suspect that if you have heritage turkeys (the ones that can fly) and you let them be loose and your dog chases them, that the dogs won't chase them too many times before your turkeys pack up and leave the neighborhood.
Yep. Bummer. Kinda what I expected to hear.

One of our dogs caught a roo early summer, and his tail feathers are just now growing back. Took him forever to heal his wound.

So, I'll stick to chickens & quail. Might add chukkars or pheasants.
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,207
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Shediac Cape NB, Canada
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Yep. Bummer. Kinda what I expected to hear.

One of our dogs caught a roo early summer, and his tail feathers are just now growing back. Took him forever to heal his wound. 

So, I'll stick to chickens & quail. Might add chukkars or pheasants.
How about keeping your dog leashed or supervised instead of keeping the birds penned up?

Let your dog out to run the property before you let the birds out, and after you put them away.

My turkeys roost on my barn, and do like to fly into the trees. They outrun my dogs easily.
 

QChickieMama

Songster
9 Years
Oct 1, 2011
375
29
206
How about keeping your dog leashed or supervised instead of keeping the birds penned up?
Let your dog out to run the property before you let the birds out, and after you put them away.
My turkeys roost on my barn, and do like to fly into the trees. They outrun my dogs easily.
Really? I am hopeful! This is how we manage our chickens and the 1 dog who chases, letting one or the other out at a time.

Would the turkeys and chickens free-range at the same time OK?

Would they be happy enough if they only get 3 hrs in the afternoons out and about?
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,207
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
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Really? I am hopeful! This is how we manage our chickens and the 1 dog who chases, letting one or the other out at a time.

Would the turkeys and chickens free-range at the same time OK?

Would they be happy enough if they only get 3 hrs in the afternoons out and about?
http://www.1channel.ch/tv-350792-Dog-Whisperer-with-Cesar-Millan/season-3-episode-9
Watch this episode of the dog Whisperer. It's on the second half of the episode. About a retriever who kept killing pet chickens. Caesar is so helpful. I am trying to train my LGD with my bunnies, so someone suggested this video to me. I think it will help you as well.

1000

1000


My turkeys with my chickens & Geese. Everyone gets along famously.. Except the turkey hens really dislike some of my roosters, but no one has been injured, and they've been free ranging together since June.

You can free range with no issues. Put in the effort to train your dog with them, and you will have peace. My two other dogs are wonderful with the birds, even though one of those dogs HATES (and I mean HATES) other dogs. He will even walk away when a broody hen attacks him with no barking or growling. I was afraid at first, but I would trust him in a playpen full of chicks.. Though he may just sit on them :oops:
 

QChickieMama

Songster
9 Years
Oct 1, 2011
375
29
206
I'll have to watch that. Thanks!

My dogs ARE bred and trained to be bird-hunting dogs. They are whistle-trained to flush birds (quail, dove, pheasant, etc.) and then retrieve them to hand when they fall.

Do you think a dog like this CAN be trained to leave chickens & turkeys alone?
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,207
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
I'll have to watch that. Thanks!

My dogs ARE bred and trained to be bird-hunting dogs. They are whistle-trained to flush birds (quail, dove, pheasant, etc.) and then retrieve them to hand when they fall.

Do you think a dog like this CAN be trained to leave chickens & turkeys alone? 
That's exactly what this episode is about. That dog should be trained to follow your commands, and not hunt on it's own.

This dog on the video is a labrador retriever.
 

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