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Is this adequate winter shelter?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Denninmi, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would this be adequate shelter for a S. Michigan winter/

    Last summer, I made this structure for the turkeys for a nighttime/ out of the weather/ winter shelter. I did the same thing 2 years ago for my chickens, and last year for the ducks, and it seemed to be OK for them through 2 and 1 winters past respectively.

    It's a little crude, but I did this essentially for free, out of entirely "recycled" materials that I found (mostly on trash day) or was given or already had and wasn't using for the original purpose. Total out of pocket cost to make this was like $50. It is about 8 feet wide x 16 feet long.

    It is basically made from pallets for the side walls, with a greenhouse type roof. It is covered on three sides with greenhouse poly on the outside. The front opens to the outdoor enclosure through two doors that swing open -- total opening size there is about 3 feet wide x 4 feet high. So, it stays very dry inside, no rain/snow can get inside of it.

    Do you think I should make some kind of "doghouse" type thing inside of this? Would the turkeys use it, or just continue to use their roost (the willow branches, which they took to the very first night the turkeys were in there!)???

    I made doghouse style "coops" both for my chickens and ducks, and they refused to use them for sleeping. The chickens lay eggs in the coop. The ducks NEVER voluntarily set foot in it. I put them in it for a few nights, but they seemed to just hate it. The ducks just sleep in a pile in the corner and seem happy that way.

    Like the chickens, I wonder if the turkeys wouldn't just prefer to roost and would ignore any kind of a coop/doghouse type thing.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Younger turks would probably prefer a dog house, but older turks love to roost. Out of the wind, rain, & snow will be fine for them, just feed them plenty so they can produce good body heat. Also, flat wider roosts would be better, so they can cover their entire foot when roosting. 2x4's work great.
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few thoughts...

    If you are using greenhouse stuff over it, make sure that it doesn't get too warm when the sun comes out. I think if it warms up too much during the day, then cools off at night, the temperature swings can be hard on them. (I know you are in MI, but even here in ND a even a greenhouse that isn't air tight can warm up substantially on a sunny day).

    If you leave them to roost in trees, I have seen owls pick off roosting turkeys. This is mostly a problem if the snow starts getting deep and the owls normal food source is burrowed in and hiding from weather. They will also pick off ducks that aren't under some sort of cover. I tend to worry more about predators in the winter because their normal food sources are harder to find.

    As long as the birds can get out of the wind and rain, they'll be fine.

    Editing to add that you have beautiful turkeys! I used to have one that looked a lot like the one with more red on the ground, she was an excellent mother. What kind are they?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Frosty -- it can't really overheat because the front end (which you can't see) has ventilation. It does get warm in there on a sunny winter day, but not hot enough to be a problem. I put a shade covering over it during the summer, and just took it off last weekend, and that will go back on towards the end of March/first of April.

    They are from E-bay eggs -- the person who sold them said they were "Calico Sweetgrass Royal Palms" -- I guess those are two different breeds, so these are kind of mutts -- I think from what I recall it seems that the father was a Royal Palm and the mother must have been the Sweetgrass. I just liked the look of them in her ad, plus the fact that the seller said they would be small birds, adult weight 10-12 lbs for hens, 15-16 for toms. Just wanting them for pets, I didn't need 50 lb monsters, so I went ahead and ordered the eggs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not referring to overheating, just getting warm enough that when the sun goes down there is more of a drastic temperature change. I have seen surfaces get hot enough to melt ice when the actual temperature is below zero... If they can go outside it shouldn't be too bad.

    I always figured that the one that I had was a Palm x Bourbon, I don't know.
     
  6. erthymom2

    erthymom2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a nice & snugg portable tractor coop for my turkeys that the use in the summer/rainy times but never in late fall - they'd prefer to sit outside and sleep on top of it instead of inside. go figure?? LOL
     

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