How old before free range?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by khs2424, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. khs2424

    khs2424 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    I have 4, 12 week old eastern turkeys in a pen now. I was just wondering, at what age can I let them out to free range?

    TIA
     
  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Depends on how well your area is protected from predators. 12 weeks is old enough to free range but its up to when you are comfortable.
     
  3. khs2424

    khs2424 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    Honestly wouldn't say I'm comfortable ever letting them out of the safety of their pen. How can I teach them to come back into their pen at night to roost? I'm so afraid that if I let them out, I'll just never see them again.
     
  4. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    If you have raised them there then they are not going to take off. It's a risk you take when you freerange birds. I raise extras every year in case I loose a few.
     
  5. khs2424

    khs2424 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    So I guess to put it in more simpler terms, they think of their pen as "home" and they should go back there in the evening. Correct? Much like chickens?
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Kind of like chickens. Begin by letting them out an hour before sundown and stay out with them. When they start eyeballing trees/roof move them back into the pen and distribute a few treats; helps to have a few grapes to squeeze open and drop on palm - safest way feed beaky turks.

    Need to be consistent about their returning to pen, and inconsistent with treats (intermittent conditioning works best).

    During the winter our turks always march off into their run and roost in their shed a bit earlier than the chooks (without intervention), in the summer the timing is reversed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011

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