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I want some turkeys! Help please?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by safarichick101, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. safarichick101

    safarichick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am hoping to get some bourbon red turkeys for pets not food. Anyways, I live on 3 acres and own 11 chickens already and planning to get more in the spring. I know about black head and so I'm hoping my dad will let me build a separate shelter for them. I'm fine with them free ranging but the only problem is we live next to a fairly busy road and I have heard turks freerange further than chickens. The chickens are excellent about staying on the property when they are out. But I am also concerned that they will run the place dry of 'treats.' Yes I supply layer and scratch and the occasional garden food (that they don't eat). I would like for our land to add some variety to their diet. And the chickens enjoy it.

    Also.. We aren't technically supposed to have poultry at all - but after 2 years of having a roo, nobody has complained.. plus, our house looks like a barn and we have a small texas barn on our property that is original to the house. I've heard turks are quieter so I assume that we will be okay. Also there are peacocks that call at night in the distance so how could a turkey be worse? We also have a park behind our house with soccer players that are so noisy. So what do you think?

    Just give me advice please. :]
     
  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Bourbon reds fly. You will have to keep them penned or severely cut their wings and put up some five or six foot fencing with no top rail to keep them in. I LOVE your town by the way. I considered moving there a few years ago...
     
  3. safarichick101

    safarichick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Really? That actually sparks pride. Yes. I don't think my dad would be to happy about building a fence that big. WOW.
     
  4. texascowboy1979

    texascowboy1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Turkeys are great... any new turkey has to be penned with a top for about 3 or 4 months so they know where HOME is... and they have to get used to you for food before you release them...

    Regardless if you clip there wings... they can still get up a 6 foot fence... I cliped there wings and put them in a 6 foot fence... they techniclly climed over it... so a top is required... your better off not clipping there wings and raising them that way... and when you let the loose... they can fly if the feel threatened... Ive lost 13 turkeys to predation... so dont clip there wings...

    Thats just me.

    Oh... and they dont make much noise...
     
  5. chocolate m'scovy

    chocolate m'scovy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bourbon Red girls are actually quite talkative if they see something that they view as a threat(i.e. dogs, chickens). They'll gang up and start squealing and squawking while chasing away invaders(animal, not human- they're just inquisitive towards people). The males are more laid-back, though they do strut and all.
     
  6. Donna R

    Donna R Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2009
    Plant City, Florida
    I have 1 bourbon tom and 3 bourbon hens. They have never flown off my property 4+ acres) and do not have their wings clipped and they are penned each night. They aren't really noisy (will talk if you talk to them or are startled). My chickens seem louder.
     
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they have a large enough area, turkeys aren't as inclined to go over a fence. So if you were to fence the entire property with 4' mesh fence, it would help keep predators out and all of the poultry in. I once watched a wild turkey wander back and forth for an hour because the rest of it's flock was on one side of the fence and it was on the other. Poor thing couldn't understand why it could see the flock but couldn't get to them. I finally had to go out and herd it towards a gate that I opened for it. We have 21 acres, and when my turkeys are free ranging they not only wander all over my property, but visit neighboring property as well if I don't watch them. Now and then I have to go out and call them, but at least (unlike chickens) they will come when called or follow you if you have to go retrieve them. I also keep food out for them so they know that this is home. I would worry about the road and them turning into road kill if there isn't a fence.
     
  8. ruralmom

    ruralmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, Frosty. I see that you are from the Dakota and have cold winters as Colorado does. I too would like to have some turkeys. What breed is cold harty? Can free range turkeys roost in trees if the are available or do they need training? Can chickens and turkeys co-habitate? I would like to free range them and we have alot of 'inventory' at our ranch. Inventory per my husband definition mine is old rusty farm equipment, that I think could be good homes or roosts. Or am I providing free food for the occational fox and raccoons? Thanks Nancy
     
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Nancy! My experience with them... I have had Royal Palms, Narrigansett, Bourbon Reds, and right now have 7 White Hollands, 1 Bourbon, 1 Regal Red, and 2 Broad Breasted. They all take the cold just fine, I give them a shelter to get out of the wind and snow/rain. Turkeys will very happily fly up to roost in trees, on your house, on rail fences, whatever they can find. My problem isn't raccoons or foxes, it's owls picking off a few while the turkeys were up in trees. Actually, I didn't lose any... mine were roosting with a bunch of wild turkeys and the owl got some of the wilds. I took the hint and locked mine up. That is more of a problem in the winter when the bunnies and mice are hiding from the weather. The only turkey that I lost to a raccoon was a broad breasted hen that was trying to nest. As for co-habitating with chickens... contact your county extension agent, or check with others in your area. There is a disease called blackhead that chickens can carry. The chickens won't have symptoms, but it can be deadly to turkeys. It isn't a problem every where, so see if you can find out if it's a problem in your area. My chickens and turkeys have been together and we never had any problems. I do have to add a disclaimer here... turkeys are addictive! There, don't say that you weren't warned [​IMG] Gotta love it when I am out working on something, hear a noise behind me and turn to find the whole flock standing there watching like 'what are you doing, mom? Is that something for me to eat?'
     

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