Got 10 turkeys! What do I do now?

PurpleCArTires

Songster
Sep 23, 2020
379
765
201
Taneytown
Hi yall! So yesterday i got my hands on 10 adult turkey hens! I dont know what to do with them. I had some in ny chicken pen and they reeked havok on my fencing, so i moved them all inside my brooder house (a concrete building). I saw they fly, like really high, so i clipped their wings. I plan on keeping them in the brooder house for a few days till they trust me, and then let them loose in a large pen, but i fear they will jump the 4ft fence and run away. And they cant live in the brooder house, i will need it in the spring for my chicks.

So.... I planned on butchering the larger ones in a few days and maybe keep a few of the smaller ones to fatten up. How do you butcher a turkey? Is it the same as a chicken? Any tips would be appreicated!

Also, what sort of pen should i plan for the smaller ones. Will they eventually trust me like my chickens and just hang out in the yard or will they run away first chance they get?

Also, anyone know the breed? Heres a pic.

I am totally new to turkeys so any tips are very much appreciated!
 

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iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
678
1,346
241
Maine
Butchering a turkey is exactly like butchering a chicken. Just heavier generally. They are strong and will flap hard so watch your face when you do the killing. The ones you don't butcher will indeed eventually trust you, maybe even be little more friendly and curious than chickens might be. They are very good pets. Kind of like dogs. I had a naraganest turkey once that would accompany me and my dogs on short walks into the Colorado desert. If your fence has a top bar on it, I would definitely worry about them jumping it and over to the other side. But a welded wire fence with no top bar is pretty safe. They need to be able to jump to the top of the fence and have something to perch on in order for them to be interested in getting to the other side.
 

Anne02

Crowing
Dec 23, 2020
752
4,863
256
They look like bronze turkeys to me. I raise 4 bronze turkeys about two years ago-for meat- and they were delicious! A kill cone can help with butchering. How did you "get your hands on them"?
 

PurpleCArTires

Songster
Sep 23, 2020
379
765
201
Taneytown
They look like bronze turkeys to me. I raise 4 bronze turkeys about two years ago-for meat- and they were delicious! A kill cone can help with butchering. How did you "get your hands on them"?
My neighbor didnt want them lol. They were hanging out by my chicken pen and the neighbor came over and said they were her friends and she called him to come and get them and he said he didnt care if we wanted to keep them. So I was like "sure"! Lol. But I am not set up for them at all. There was 17, but 4 are still running loose in the yard, and 3 were hit by cars or lost somehow because only the 14 came back today (they have been hanging around for the past 5 days trying to get at my chicken food). So last night i managed to coax them into my chicken pen, but they tore it up, so i moved them to my brooder house.
 

PurpleCArTires

Songster
Sep 23, 2020
379
765
201
Taneytown
Another quick question... We decided to butcher 5 and keep the others for awhile. I moved them to a goat shed i am not currently using inside of a fenced 1 acre yard with a hot line running about 2 ft from the ground. I clipped the turkeys wings so hopefully they wont fly away, but I am still scared to let them loose in yard. How long do you think I should keep them in the "coop" so they realize its home?

Like for example when I move my chickens around, i leave them in the coop/run for a week and then let them free range. They then always come back to their home at night. Are turkeys the same?
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
678
1,346
241
Maine
They should return after a couple days confined in a coop or fenced in area. A week is definitely safe. I usually can't wait that long. But I'll let you know that a single strand of hot wire isn't going to do anything to either protect the turkeys from predators or keep them contained.
 

PurpleCArTires

Songster
Sep 23, 2020
379
765
201
Taneytown
They should return after a couple days confined in a coop or fenced in area. A week is definitely safe. I usually can't wait that long. But I'll let you know that a single strand of hot wire isn't going to do anything to either protect the turkeys from predators or keep them contained.
lol, i got impatient and let them out of the shed today. Their poo was getting crazy and they were eatting the feed in crazy amounts. They hung out in the yard all day with a few chickens i have in the same feild. They didnt go back to their shed at night tho.

The food and water is still inside the shed and i saw them go in and out throughout the day, but they decided to sleep in a bunch of brush instead of going back to the shed tonight. I hope they will start to trust me and the shed and sleep there so i can close them in at night.
My dogs can climb the 4ft fence (they are husky/malamutes) and will go after them. So i have to leave the dogs in the house or watch them closely until i can contain the turkeys again. 😭.
Plus i dont want to chase them around the yard when its time to slaughter. I may have just screwed myself LOL 😆
 

78753

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 17, 2012
23
24
89
We have to carry or harrass our turkeys to get them into their shed, whereas the chickens and ducks just go in at night. Turkey poo is BIG, but so are turkeys! Our heritage girl doesn't tend to fly UNLESS she's going to roost at night. Otherwise our 3' fence keeps her in. At night we have to harrass her out of the tree with a long pole. PAIN!. Keep your turkeys separate from chicken yards to prevent blackhead transmission. (We don't but we only have 2 to lose, you have 5.) Good luck. Turkeys can be great.
 

PurpleCArTires

Songster
Sep 23, 2020
379
765
201
Taneytown
We have to carry or harrass our turkeys to get them into their shed, whereas the chickens and ducks just go in at night. Turkey poo is BIG, but so are turkeys! Our heritage girl doesn't tend to fly UNLESS she's going to roost at night. Otherwise our 3' fence keeps her in. At night we have to harrass her out of the tree with a long pole. PAIN!. Keep your turkeys separate from chicken yards to prevent blackhead transmission. (We don't but we only have 2 to lose, you have 5.) Good luck. Turkeys can be great.
Thanks for the info! We actually ended up butchering them all last week. I lost 4 to a fox abd trapped the rest into the shed. We just decided to harvest them all now, and maybe get some babies in the spring that will grow up and love us enough to not fly away. I also want to build a seperate pen for them that will protect them even if they dont go into their house at night.

We just werent set up for turkeys this time! But i did enjoy them while they were here and would like to get some more eventually.
 

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