Free range turkeys?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 26, 2011
I am looking at getting some free range turkeys for 1.5-2 acres of land. My questions are: What breeds would be good? I want them to be able to reproduce naturally, but have plenty of meat, but also look pretty. My other question is, how can I keep them out of my garden? I'd prefer not to use electric netting becuase I'm worried about it shocking people. Thanks for any info!!
There is no way my turkeys would stay on my 2 acres not even 6 so unless your neighbors don't mind turkeys in their yard I wouldn't think it would work out like you're thinking. All of mine like to fly and roost way high on stuff you wouldn't think they could get to so mine are fenced and netted they still can run around and fly but not at my neighbors garden......or mine either
My 2 bourbon reds were free range before we moved. We had three acres, in town, and they never left the property. They would hang in the garage and porch but never went in the road or to a neighbors. When we moved to 19 acres of woods I moved them to a fully enclosed pen with a wire top due to predators. They are not afraid of dogs or cats and would be an easy meal for a bobcat or coyote.
So it would depend on the situation.
Mine stay in a large inclosure made of 5' horse wire with an inclosed roost. I let them free range from 3:00PM until they return to their roost in the evening. That way I'm sure of getting their eggs. I agree with lotsapaints. I don't know anyone who just freeranges 24-7. It's too risky. Mine have learned to stay close to home during the short time they are out.You will have to fence your garden in also. They love fresh veggies.
My 6 Bourbon Reds free range on 1 acre of fenced property and have never fly over the fence. They always return to their roosting places (wherever that is on the property). I have never lost a turkey to wandering off or going into the neighbor's yard.
mine only left the property once, 3 day's after I dislocated my shoulder, but they got lost, kinda, mine followed the areas without snow, got close to the road and a someone chased them 1/2 mile down the road, luckily the neighbor they ended up at knew they where mine and helped me chase them home, on the funny side they cleaned up all the spilled seed under the bird feeder so my neighbor didn't have too, he was happy about that

I had bourbon reds, blue palms, midget whites and auburn's a group of 16, when at home they lived in the pine trees
Mine wonder around my yard and have never left the property. They actually stay in a space that is less then 1/2 acre. My yard is almost 2 acres. They like hanging around the chickens I guess. They also know where the food is. Why leave?....... LOL. I have heritage bronze turkeys. One tom and 2 hens.
I have 2 toms (bronze?) and 1 slate hen and they have the run of our 9 acres. We don't have neighbors close and they usually stay around the barn yard and roost at night way up in the rafters. Unfortunately the hen is a love bug and goes where ever the people are. The toms don't like it and have started giving my DH trouble. They make a weird high pitched call and jump at him. They are cautious when he faces them, but as soon as he turns his back they go after his legs. He chases them and eventually they leave him alone. I hope they can work this out, I don't really want to lock them up, they like me and I enjoy their company.

Here's my burly escort - they follow me everywhere

Electric fencing--the woven wire netting type worked great on our sheep. BUt then they couldn't fly!
It's not meant as a permanent fence but perhaps it could be topped with netting or cut their wings???? It's not dangerous to people or animals; it's not a constant current, it pulses. It does really, really hurt enough to always remember DO NOT TOUCH. Once my DH pushed down the fence for me to step over, lost control of it mid stride and it hit the inside of my bare upper thigh (wearing shorts). Ouch!
Okay, so when I said 1.5-2 acres I meant that's whatI wanted them to stay on. We actually have a lot more, with separate wire fences, but would that deter them? What about those horse pannel things that are like thick metal? Thanks for the info so far!

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