Is it really worth it?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by shadowman, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    I wanted to get some turkeys in the spring. I have a supplier about 45 minutes from where I live. BUT,, from what I've read on here, they seem like a lot of trouble to raise when they are young. Do you really have to keep them off the ground for 6 months?? I had planned on a 10'x10' enclosure with access to a large run area. I was going to put either pine shavings or sand on the coop floor. So what is the "real deal" with turkeys?? Is it really as precarious as it sounds to raise these birds?
    I would really like to get some Royal Palms, but, I don't want to get them just to have them die on me!
     
  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    when mine are fully feathered, they go outside just like the chickens. [​IMG] Just be sure when you move them that you make sure they know where the food and water is. They can be a little dense. [​IMG]
     
  3. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine are brooded and raised just like the chickens -- right alongside them, as a matter of fact.

    IMO most of turkeys' bad rep is a function of the mistakes people make raising them. Turkey poults don't need special treatment, but they need the correct treatment. They're not as capable of picking up the slack if your brooder setup is subpar. Whereas with chicks you may have a few losses, some non-thrivers/slow growers, but they tend to survive even if you throw them a few curve balls. With turkeys you have to have your act together, as long as you do they're fine.
     
  4. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    So as long as I'm careful and attentive and follow the same rules as I do with my chickens, with a little extra care to accomodate their "densness", I don't need to worry about some of the "horror stories" i've encountered? That makes me feel more confident already! I was thinking of getting 6 royal palms and 6 bronze. A 10'x10' coop should be O.K for twelve turkeys? I have as much space as I care to use for their outside run.
     
  5. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By Lake Superior
    This is my first year with turkeys, or birds of any kind in a very long time. had chickens when I was a kid. Just follow the good advice on here with a little common sense and you will be fine. Mine hit the ground after they were fully feathered and all has been well.
     
  6. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Keep them warm, dry, clean, water and good feed(28-30%) and they will be fine. 12 young birds in a 10X10 is fine but they will need much more space and then a way to seperate next breeding season so you cand keep pure breads.
     
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Turkeys are very cold-hardy. They do fine outside with no heat as long as they have been allowed to acclimate, just like chickens. Our youngsters have been down to -15F without heat already this winter, and last year's adults were fine down to -40F without heat. [​IMG]
     
  8. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    Wow, minus 40 !! They sound like a pretty tough bird. I guess it makes sense though, we have a lot of wild turkeys around here. That is a successs story in itself. We had no wild turkeys in our area for as long as I can remember, then the ministry re- introduced them about 15 years ago. They instantly flourished, and now they're all over the place. They have spread from county to county. They're obviously a very resilient bird!
     
  9. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last year was our first year with turkeys, and we read all of the horror stories about how hard they are to raise... and then we found them to not be much different than chickens, and no more difficult, either. So, after just one year, I can't claim to be an expert, but here are my thoughts based on limited experience:

    When young, turkeys are pretty fragile and not very bright, but if you get your heat lamp set up right, they will figure out where they are most comfortable. Like others have said, once they get feathered, they do okay in the cold.

    Our Bourbon Reds had a strong tendency to roost, even at a young age. We had to give them some tree branches, otherwise they roosted on the edge of their feeder and pooped in it. Also, as they got older, they wanted to roost higher and higher, so we had to put netting over the top of their brooder box to keep them from exploring the world.

    10 x 10 sounds about right for enclosing young birds when you are first introducing them to the outside, but I don't think that's anywhere close to enough space for 12 full sized birds. I know that a lot of people don't think they need much room, but I personally don't feel comfortable raising an animal if it has to stand knee-deep in its own muck. We had 8 birds in an 10 x 20 ft enclosure, and it got pretty yucky from time to time. I occasionally mulched their run with deep piles of straw, which helped a lot with the muck, but, really they should either be allowed to free range or should be given a lot of room. They can generate a lot of poop! Next year, we are going to build a turkey tractor. The tractor we use for our meat chickens is such a super system! Always access to fresh pasture, never any birds on the loose or roosting in weird places.

    Maybe some of those points are helpful. I get a kick out of our turkeys, and I'm glad we started doing them.
     
  10. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    Thanks for all the information. The 10'x10' coop is just the coop size. They will have as much outside run as they need ( I have 40 acres to work with.) How much coop space should I allow for each turkey? I have a whole barn at my disposal. I can section off as much coop space as I need in the barn and use the outside 10'x10" coop for chickens if need be.
     

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