escaping turkeys!!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Hillsvale, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    We have two blue slate and one burbon red turkey which free range in our enclosed pastures and are cooped at night. When they are let out in the morning they roost while its still dark/dusk on the pasture gate... when it starts to get light they have lately thought it was a good idea to go exploring... by and across the road!...

    They are about 4 months (burbon red and maybe 10 pounds) and 6 months (blue slate toms, maybe 15 pounds)... firstly, is there a way of stopping them from getting onto the 5.5' pasture gate... will clipping their wing feathers help?... if I build an outdoor roost closer to their hut do you think that may change their direction/focus?... they are so nosy its hard to curb.

    If clipping their feathers will help, how do I do that... besides with leather gloves? [​IMG]
     
  2. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I clip mine on one side only. I clip just like you would for a pet bird. See the photo http://birdmart.com/reference/wings.html

    Are
    you letting your birds out at dusk because you leave to work at that time? Many preditors will attack at dusk. I don't let mine out until later in the morning. This has helped me alot.
     
  3. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    Yes, Simon lets them out at 5:00am or so... he is out with the dogs so one would assume that they would scare pretty much anything off... if they didn't the turkey's roommates (3 african grey geese) make enought noise to wake the dead! We leave for work at 6:45 am at the latest. By late October it will be dark until 7am and it will get dark at 5:00 (late winter)... so they need to learn to manage that. My only real concern over the dark when we get home is gathering them up to put them away for the night.

    I am going to build a higher perch for them closer to their coop and maybe that will disuade them from hanging out on the exterior gate (which by the way is 100 feet from the road) nosy birds! lol
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    How spacious is the coop? The only way to be sure (5.5' ain't much even for a clipped turk) is to cover run. They can be trained to roost where you want them but it has to be done cosistently for about a month. Ours can fly up into the big Hickories in the adjacent chicken run, but they always march back and roost in their shed:

    [​IMG]

    And a couple of pics of this year's hatchling getting some education: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=386328

    Our
    toms rarely clear the six foot welded wire fencing, the hens have never had a problem doing so but stay in the vicinity owing to the toms being in the run (only exception is if they've gone into egg laying mode and, if not provided with a predator proof nesting arrangement, will wander into the most dangerous area on/off your property).

    How far will they travel? Below is a shot of a portion of our neighbor's former flock, in our yard. They would march through ten acres of heavily wooded land to socialize with ours. They would return to their owner's place in the evening by lining up, galumphing out front and single filing it home along the side of the road. Preds have killed them all (raccoon got their last Slate hen late this spring).
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    hummm maybe I wasn't so clear re-reading my first post.

    I have about an acre and a half fenced with welded wire and barb... the turky hut does not have a run.... they roam the fully fenced pastures with the geese. The issue comes when they are let out in the morning, they roost on thegate leading to our driveway and the road... and being nosy they have go to and across the road 3 times now!

    They have a roost in their coop but they love the various gates.... so I surmised that perhaps I should build them a roost higher than the gates, just outside their coop (but inside the pastures)
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    You could try a higher roost (will have to move them to it if they don't catch on). Sorry about misunderstanding re: setup. As they get older what will probably happen is that the more `exploration' minded turks will continue to do just that, while bigger, less curious, fellows stay in pasture and the others wander along on the outside; basically, a very big run. A smaller run would allow one to clip the wing of the least flighty individual (so long as one turk is in the rest usually hang around) and the others would probably not go all the way to the gate, and beyond (would have little choice but to roost where you want them to).
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  7. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    well my toms are fairly big and I am a bit height challenged when it comes to picking a big tom off a gate higher than me but they LOVE hog pellets!.... So could bribe them with a bit of pellets in a dish attached to their roost..

    I still have 3 eastern wild and 3 royal palm, about 2 months old in the extension of the meaty hut under netting.... we lost several eastern wild babies to the brush so keep the new ones under wraps! These guys are just starting to fill out a bit... but for the winter I would like to get all the turkeys into the same hut rather that the three big one's hanging wth the geese!....

    I think they are training me to be honest!
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Our Royals were on the wing more than not, as jakes and jennies. Had a hen that reminded me of a tumbling pigeon (drop forward off a branch, flip over, and fly off in the opposite direction). After retrieving the Royal and Slate jennies from the chimney during a thunderstorm, I got serious about who was doing the training - somewhat successful [​IMG]

    Good luck! Post up some shots of the flock.
     
  9. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think that 5'5" is high enough. If you leave your turkeys all day you must make sure that they cannot escape and nothing that will harm them can get in. Some say that 6' is the right height for a fence or gate but even that may not be enough for some birds.
     
  10. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    Quote:its unlikely anything can get in unless it flies but obviously increasing the height of my pasture fences isn't happeneing... did you read the bit about 2 acres?

    Regardless my turkeys fly up on the roof and everywhere else so even your quotes 6' wouldn't cut it! My concern as mentioned is that they recently started visiting the road. I can not nor will I encase these birds in a run, that is defeating the reason I have them! My 6 others will be allowed to join them is a few months when they can protect themselves.

    I am looking for a reasonable solution such as the one's Ivan and I have been discussing. There are many many people out there that don't even fence them during the day nor lock them up at night, I do.

    Ivan, these is the old picture I have of the birds at work...

    [​IMG]

    that's their shared hut, pic is June 14

    [​IMG]

    also June 14, love them all!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010

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