minimum space and house ideas for turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by teenieborch, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. teenieborch

    teenieborch Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Feb 28, 2008
    SE Portland, OREGON
    HI!
    I'm very excited to have found this site and have been reading quite a bit about turkeys. I currently have 5 chickens and am thinking about raising 2-3 turkeys specifically for dinner!
    I would like to create a space just for the turkeys to keep them healthy but am not sure on minimum space (they cannot be free range, I'm in town on a 50x100 lot) and what a simple house could look like. I'd rather not spend a lot on building supplies for an experiment, so your absolute bare bones experiences would be appreciated!
    also, how long does it take to raise a turkey from day olds to ready to butcher? I'm not looking for a 38 pound turkey!
    thanks so much in advance!
    Christine in Portland OR
     
  2. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    My turkey coop was 4x6 with a 5x8 attached run. that worked fine for 4 Bronze.
    I butchered at about 12 weeks old, 1 was 38lbs 2 were 28, and 1 was 24. If you dont want to max out their weight I'd just keep an eye on the birds and the food bin. When you can envision them as a good size for the oven and the food bin is emtpy its time to butcher.
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    49
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I raised 2 hens last fall, bourbon reds. My coop house was 8x10. They grew out real nice with minimal effort of my part.
     
  4. teenieborch

    teenieborch Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Feb 28, 2008
    SE Portland, OREGON
    thanks for the information! So they need a set-up similar to chickens? I assume no nest box but how about a perch to roost on? Can they sleep on the ground?
    I'm getting excited, my daughter thinks the whole idea is barbaric. We'll see what happens!
    Christine
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    179
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Welcome, teenieborch! American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has a thirteen chapter guide that can be read online and/or downloaded (if you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader, guide is in Adobe PDF format, that is a free download as well). It covers everything but processing. I've included a link to that, as well, from the U.Florida.

    http://www.albc-usa.org/

    (click on downloads)

    And, as your daughter would say: the `barbaric' info.:

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA188

    Just don't name them or spend much time around them. What they are missing in `raw smarts', they more than make up for in sociability.

    I'd suggest either all hens or all toms. A same sex flock will get along just fine - less work than chooks. After they navigate the risks of`poulthood' (have to be careful with keeping them warm enough and making sure they learn to drink and eat), they are rather low maintenance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
  6. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    We used a couple of 2x4's on their side for roosts. I have heard if you dont provide a roost that laying on the ground can bruise/damage their breasts.
     
  7. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    587
    0
    169
    Mar 6, 2007
    tennessee
    We are going to be housing our turkeys in a hoop house. it was fairly easy to make. They are inn the barn right now till it warms up a little Next year we will wrap the hoophouse in plastic. Crystal
     
  8. teenieborch

    teenieborch Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Feb 28, 2008
    SE Portland, OREGON
    Crystal,

    What is a hoop house? What experience caused you to decide to wrap it in plastic this year? Thanks in advance,
    Christine
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    (they cannot be free range, I'm in town on a 50x100 lot)

    When I was a kid in the 70s, a family around the corner from us (the burbs of Philly) raised at least one big white turkey and several guinea fowl. The reason I know is that they got out. At my parents' house I still have an old photo of a "low speed chase" as the escaped turkey was herded back down the street towards home. Very comical. I recommend preventing escapes unless you want to massively entertain the neighbors [​IMG]

    (They never did get the guinea fowl back -- the rotten things haunted the neighborhood for the better part of a year, getting stuck in peoples' garages and making unexpected earsplitting noises outside peoples' bedrooms at 6 a.m. All in all I'd suggest sticking with turkeys, in town <g>)


    Pat​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by