housing my pet turkeys for the winter

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by AHappychick, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    my hetitage turkeys have stopped sleeping in their pen months ago and really it is not set up to be a winter pen. I have a large dog house that would fit the pair of turkeys but they never go in it, although it is not cold yet.

    At the moment the sleep on the fence up against my house right behind a satalite dish and although the wind is blocked there is no real shelter there.

    what should I build for them? ill they use the dog house if they get cold, or should I build a tree house thing up high where they could have some shealter and roost like they have been?

    How do the survive when the are in the wild? do they hunker down in a cave or something like that or do te just sleep in the trees all huddled up? Is there a simple set up I can give them and does anyone have pics?

  2. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    In the wild they go to areas that have trees or heavy under growth for protections and huddle together for warmth.
    The trees or heavy under growth keeps the wind off of them. Typical a wild flocks are usually between 8 to 20 birds.

    Its depends on the weather, Here we have bad wind chills and snow drifts in the winter, But not all the time.
    We can have -30 temps and 30 to 40 mile an hour winds for short periods. We have a large indoor area that is not heated but protected from the wind.
    Inside of the is area we have a couple a smaller coops that are heated. One if for the layers that is kept at no lower then 30 degrees to
    help keep egg products up. The other one is heated but the turkeys preferred to be in the unheated pen at night.

    If the temps get down to say around 10 Degrees, 10 to 15 mile per hour winds and you don't have many birds they may need help with heat.
    But free ranged turkey or those kept in outside pens will most likely ignore any housing you make. They may use shelters, but they prefer the open area.

    In all case they need protecting from subzero cold wind, unfrozen water, and feed. If they are free ranged and deep snow you may have to clear there feeders.

    Some times open shelters facing south may work. Kind of a lean to with roost in the to the top of the shelter.

    Kind of like this plane but split in half and covered on three side:

  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Mine slept in a tree all winter despite rain, cold, sleet and snow. The only time they sought shelter on a lower branch (in a pine tree) was when the wind was REALLY bad and the snow was blowing. Actually that night I put them inside.

    This past winter, I started putting them inside in REALLY bad weather, and they actually started to seek the coop out when it got really bad (not cold, but snow/wind) situations. I think they were relieved those nights that they didn't have to tough it out and that they had a cozy house. But the other wintry nights when the temps were below freezing (but no wind or snow) they chose to stay outside.

    That's when I learned that they really do think about stuff like, that on very bad nights they would wait for me to get home from work -- even after dark -- to open the coop door for them to go in! I would drive up in my car and they would come running up to me in the dark, begging! They were smart!

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