hoping my bourbon reds will return.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by foghorn89, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. foghorn89

    foghorn89 New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2014
    backus., mn
    So this is my first time posting on here hoping I can get a little advice As I am new to raising turkeys. So I wanted to try raising turkeys and I chose bourbon reds. I have 4, 12 week old poults that I have raised since a couple days old and am really enjoying it. I have had them in the coop outside for about 4 weeks and the last two of which i be been letting them free range while i supervise for about two hours before dusk when I round them back into the coop to roost and its been working great.. So here is my mistake I met someone who also raises bourbon reds and he talked me into taking two 5 month old hens off his hands and I thought sure why not. Well I kept them all in coop together for two nights and they got along well. So the night before last I decided things were going well enough I'll let the little ones out to range like usual and keep a close eye on the big ones. Well sure enough the big ones flew up in a tree to roost and I couldn't get them down so I just let them be I figured what the heck since they've been doing that on the farm for a while now. Well that's when trouble started because the little ones would not go in the coop for anything. I chased them around until it got so dark I could see them and I decided I'd look in the morning before work. Well I couldn't find the little ones anywhere just could see the big ones roosting where they were. So I went to work all day and now come home to find no turkeys at all. The feed I put out for them is gone so they must have eaten it. I'm just really stressed at this point cause I really don't want to loose them (little ones especially) after all I have invested and gotten attached. So anyone have any advice? How far they may have gone? If there's a chance of returning or are they dead. There was also a bad thunder storm could that scare them of? Any advice is greatly appreciated as I'm just dissapointed at this point and looked all over. Thank you all very much for any input.
     
  2. Book Em Danno25

    Book Em Danno25 Overrun With Chickens

    I am so sorry to hear that. Hopefully they will come back![​IMG]

    Where exactly do you live? Do you have an acreage? How long ago did they go away?
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    I'm going to assume rural/wooded. Call or drop by any neighbors within a half-mile and tell them to keep their eyes/ears open. Keep food/scratch/water out (in several locations). Walk out into wooded areas, in evening, and listen for these 5 month olds going to roost (they usually use congregation call/yelp on way to roosting location and on flight into trees). Carry a couple of 4ft. long bamboo garden stakes (or anything light weight and long) when you search. If you find your guys it might be easier to herd them slowly, than try to grab them up (stick in either hand, arms outstretched - a long time ago a couple of kids with herding sticks would be hired to move flocks of up to 300 turkeys to market over several miles.

    Also check near any local ponds/stream banks for dropping/feathers. They might keep going until they hit a fence line (hope they won't walk along the road). They really shouldn't go too far if they can find food/water.

    Fingers crossed!
     
  4. foghorn89

    foghorn89 New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2014
    backus., mn
    I have about ten acres in northern Minnesota mostly wooded so its easy to miss the little ones but the big ones are pretty easy to spot. I just got in from looking, walked my woods not a sign but I found turkey tracks headed down my driveway so dang I hope they don't go too far. I just wonder why they up and left, and I put food and water out in several locations. So I guess I'll just have to wait it out. Has anyone heard of them leaving like that and actually coming back? Thanks for all the replies!
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO

    Sorry you didn't find them. The little one's, if out on their own, would have stuck around (in the general vicinity of what they know). The 5 month old's were in limbo (didn't `know' your place from a patch of woods two-ten acres distant). At least a month, penned up, is necessary before they get the idea of where they belong. However, poults will single file a box turtle off into the woods (way too curious), a couple of older turkeys in the lead? `off we go'. If your little one's don't go too far/can hear you they might get back.

    If you have a specific vocalization/call you use when you take them food, etc. don't be shy about getting loud when searching - really listen carefully for their vocalizations. Take some treats with during next search - the little ones, i you find them, should be hungry enough to come to you. With any luck, the older ones went their own way (hard to find if the older ones hunker down, or trot-off, and the poults take their lead, when you are closing in).

    Ours have had multiple opportunities to `head out for the territories' with the Wild Eastern flocks, that visit pretty regularly, but they never have (but ours are well imprinted adults on `their own' territory).

    Better luck on your future searches..
     
  6. foghorn89

    foghorn89 New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2014
    backus., mn
    Yea that's my thinking too because the little guys never went far granted that was only a couple hrs vs going on two days. Yea needless to say I'm really kicking myself on getting those dang hens but I guess that'll happen with an inexperienced turkey owner. I looked a bit this morning but the weather has been so bad up here I cant hear a thing so no luck there. Im not giving up yet though with any luck the big ones went their own way and the others won't be too lost to venture back.well thanks so much for the input it does help a lot and at least I'll know for next time if I can't find them.

    The search continues
     
  7. foghorn89

    foghorn89 New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2014
    backus., mn
    Have you ever tried a turkey call? If so which one do you think they might respond to? I'll give anything a try. Thanks again!
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    If you've got one try it. I think there are websites (turkey hunters) that have audio of various calls (usually plaintive hen - to call in toms). Best of luck.!
     
  9. foghorn89

    foghorn89 New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2014
    backus., mn
    Yup my gf downloaded an app and tried through a loud speaker and ended up calling in the big ones just now! Whew that's a good sign just got to pen them up and keep hoping the little ones aren't far behind. Thanks that was an excellent idea!
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Outstanding. Start curry combing (100yd width) back and forth through the woods from the direction the older ones appeared from. If the little guys didn't freak out and get lost in some chance encounter with a predator they should be in a single group.
     

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