1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Free range turkeys?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Azriel, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,047
    16
    161
    Jun 19, 2010
    Montana
    i would like to get a few turkeys to raise for meat,no more than 4, and would like to let them free range during the day. I live in an area with alot of wild turkeys. My question is, if I let them free range will they take off with the wild turkeys? Also, I have never had turkeys, what would be the best to get for a smaller bird, for a family of 3.
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,921
    23
    213
    Mar 30, 2008
    ND
    Any of the heritage types will be smaller than a commercial bird. Mine have never run off with the wild turkeys, but I did have a wild hen with poults join up with a heritage hen with poults and hang around the yard. They actually got to the point where they followed me in to the barn to be fed.
     
  3. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    You should be OK with the wild turkeys. I wouldn't go with bronze turkeys because you should have turkey hunters in the area and I would hate to see somebody take a pop at your dinner. Royal Palms are a smaller breed but if you are a big white meat fan, they have a small, "Y" shaped breast. But they are black and white so no hunters could mistake them for a wild turkey.
     
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    [​IMG] Perfect [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    320
    1
    103
    Dec 4, 2010
    You could still use BB for free range, We have the Midget Whites and the Hollands which are good for free range also.

    The heritage breeds will take off if they are in the mood during the spring.
    I had a RP take off with the wild turkeys before.

    Clipping the wings keeps them in the fence. The BB don't fly so well.





    just my.02
     
  6. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    2
    111
    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    I think the trick to free ranging is training them to come indoors at night.

    I started by keeping my poults in their house for a few weeks. Then I'd let them out in the afternoon and herd them back inside to roost. At first they were hesitant to go very far, which made it easy to get them back in at dusk. By the time they were exploring the far fields they were used to "coming home" as it got dark.

    We have wild turkeys here but mine are tame and hang around the barn. In fact we had to quit the free ranging because instead of going out eating bugs, they preferred to hang out in the barn exploring the tool boxes and feed bags and generally getting into stuff and being a nuisance.

    As far as what kind to get, I've only had Royal Palms and Bourbon Reds. I prefer the BRs because 1. they're bigger and meatier, so they're better for eating 2. because they're calmer and more "tame" and 3. because they're heavier and can't fly over the fencing.
     
  7. seomasters1

    seomasters1 New Egg

    1
    0
    6
    Feb 4, 2011
    Would love to have some wild turkeys to raise too, but it seems like a lot of work. I don't know if the amount of work would justify it though. I may be better off finding a local person who raises wild turkeys and just purchasing from them instead, if I could find someone that is. Nice picture of the turkeys BTW [​IMG]



    For an extensive resource on hunting and fishing outfitters and lodges in Canada visit CanadianHuntingTrips.com.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  8. seabreeze

    seabreeze Chillin' With My Peeps

    663
    1
    121
    Aug 21, 2010
    Scio, OR
    We've been pretty lucky and blessed, our Narangansetts hear all the wild turkeys around us but are content to free range their fenced pastures which totals about 7 acres. They get fed every morning and have learned to roost in the small barn at night, closest to the feed LOL. I can't wait for the hens to start laying, hope we get lots of eggs last time around but the hens (3 of em) nesting under one shelter most likely trampled the hatching babies because we only came away with 8 from a combined count of about 30. So this time around, we will collect them, candle and hopefully hatch in the incubators.

    Any suggestions from the experienced turkey egg using incubator hatchers here?

    Thanks!
     
  9. Randy

    Randy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    AR
    I know a guy that had his RP shot right in his front yard by a road poacher. Anyone that shoots from the road I won't call a hunter. Anyway the owner caught him and the jackwagon said he thought it was a wild one. [​IMG] I think he charged him a 150.00 bucks for it and he paid up.

    I have had bunches of young turkeys take off before. On time a group of about 15 were gone for three days. I don't know where they went but when they came back they sure were thirsty.
     
  10. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,047
    16
    161
    Jun 19, 2010
    Montana
    Wow, I think the Royal Palms are way to pretty to eat. I think I need an ugly turkey if I'm going to eat it. Thanks for all the input.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by