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free ranging turkeys -- feeding them

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by soimcrazy, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. soimcrazy

    soimcrazy In the Brooder

    May 10, 2007
    Dinwiddie Virginia
    I've raised chickens before but never had turkeys, just dont have the room for them. A coworker has about 4 acres fenced-in that I'm considering using to raise turkeys. Shes tired of cutting the grass all the time and told her she needs something to eat the grass.

    Who here free ranges their turkeys? How well do they eat grasses? I know that grass doesnt stand a chance against my chickens, they eat it.

    Also, what other grains/foods do they need to be fed? Or are there any special grasses that need to be planted for them to eat?

    thanks !!!!!

  2. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Songster

    Nov 18, 2010
    Crestview, FL
    Put them out there with a range feeder filled with flock raiser or something similar and fresh water. They will be very happy to forage on whatever grows naturally.
  3. soimcrazy

    soimcrazy In the Brooder

    May 10, 2007
    Dinwiddie Virginia
    how many turkeys per acre to keep the grass under control?
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    If you want grass under control, consider geese. The majority of their diet consists of grass.

    Turkeys eat a lot of feed, even if free ranged. They eat the grass as much as a chicken does. The geese keep it down much better.

    I have 1.25 acres that is just grass (the rest is wooded area), and I still had to mow. I have around 120 chickens, 4 turkeys, 3 geese, and 6 ducks.
  5. Sorry But I agree Birds of any king that I know of Dont grase like cattle they do eat grass as a supplement to there diet.
    The best animals that comes to mind to keep the grass and weeds eaten up would be sheep and goats with some Turkeys thrown in the mix.
    This way you would have Wool and Milk and Meat add a few chickens and you got eggs year round to.
    Before you know it you got a farm :thumbsup
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  6. Celie

    Celie Songster

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    I agree with AOXA and Frank, Chickens will eat grass, but destroy most of it with their scratching for bugs, which is what ranging is about. We have about 400 birds on 4 acres, and we still have to mow, for it to look decent. Birds do not cut grass, they tare it up to dust bathe and eat bugs, etc. Geese are very thrifty on feed and hardly cost anything to feed and are good at keeping bugs and weeds down in the garden, too. Turkeys eat the most, when it comes to feed, in my opinion. I know nothing about goats and sheep, except I like the taste of lamb chops. LOL We plant winter rye in the fall for green feed during the winter and have Bahaya in the pasture and Bermuda around the orchard, which is actually my front and rear yards. You might want to contact your local AG agent for advice as to what to plant in your area. I love my turkeys and have an active breeding program, going on, but to me it would not be half as enjoyable having them kept somewheres else. Count on putting a considerable amount of money into feed![​IMG]
  7. Shelshanam

    Shelshanam In the Brooder

    The only problem with mixing sheep and goats is they have vastly different mineral needs. Goats have to have copper and it's toxic to sheep, I tried a mixed pasture with raising both and finally gave up as trying to feed them mineral laced food without the sheep stealing it was miserable, hard, and frustrating!

    But sheep are the better grass grazer, while the goats do like the weeds (although most of my Nigerians love grass grazing at certain times of the year).

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