Free range question

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by trinar, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. trinar

    trinar Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    I have a 2 acre orchard of pears, figs, and grapes. Thinking about getting some turkeys this 2014 spring to free range there. Will have a 10 X 10 chain link pen under large oak tree for them to roost at night. If this will work, what type birds would I want to look for that would do well here, and what type birds should I avoid? Thanks for any hints, suggestions, or advice. We have about 50 chickens for eggs, so know a bit about birds, but no experience with turkeys yet. There are wild turkeys in the woods bordering us. I wonder if they will want to socialize with ones we get?
    Thanks
    TR in central AR
     
  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    If you want the to fly into a tree to roost, you probably want heritage turkeys. You should also do everything in your power to keep your birds and wild birds separated, especially during breeding. You don't want your domesticated genes to get into the wild population.
     
  3. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    The turkeys will help themselves to any fruit they can reach. They will perch on the fence, and then the trees. You will eventually have to provide shelter for the hens to nest in. If the pen is only to lock them up for the night, just cover the top with chicken wire, for their protection. If you are not free ranging, I would only get 1 tom and 3 hens, because 10x10 is not very big for more than that amount.
     
  4. trinar

    trinar Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    I appreciate the good advice logerdogger. Heritage birds will be what I start looking for, and I will try to prevent them mixing with the local wild ones. I didn't know that could be a problem, never heard of it. That would be an interesting topic to research to see how often that happens, and what the outcome is.
     
  5. trinar

    trinar Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    Celie; Good points. A lot of the pear trees are still short, so I will start pruning all the lower limbs now since it is pruning time now, so they won't have the low hanging fruit. The pen is just for night, there is a huge old oak over it to roost in, and a 20' X 30' run on the other side of the tree that used to be a pig pen years ago.
    I have 11 roosters running around the place, I noticed that I got a lot more pecans and saw a lot less squrels around this fall. I think the roos scared them away.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the turkeys.
     

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