More Turkey Questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Laingcroft, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Laingcroft

    Laingcroft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all. I have been raising chickens for about a dozen years...replacing chicks every two years, keeping hens, eliminating roos. I feel pretty comfortable with poultry, have determined my favorite breeds and plan to start breeding/incubating my own in 2012. I would also like to raise heritage turkeys (slate or narragansett - leaning toward the second) and have a few questions I hope can be answered.

    I have ten wooded acres (approx 4 in cleared pasture) perimeter fenced in four foot cattle fencing with lots of mast from the oaks, poplars, hickories and sweet gums. There is electric cross fencing from horses/goats/sheep that are now gone. We also have a LGD to help control the predators - mostly fox, skunk, raccoon, roaming dogs, and the occasional coyote or black bear. My poultry all free range anywhere they want to go though they mostly stay close to the house. I think our place would provide a good home for turkeys (the eastern wild turkeys seem to like it) but I still have a few concerns. We had guineas but they had to go once they started roosting on the house - tearing up the roof shingles, knocking the satellite dish out of line and pooping all over everything. I don't care if the turkeys roost in the trees or on fencing and I plan to provide a turkey hut with perches --- but the house has to be off limits. We currently maintain a chicken free zone around the house with three foot wire fence and plantings/hedge trees growing in front of it. The plan is to upgrade to flight net 9' high behind the plantings. Is it likely that the turkeys would respect this as a barrier if we don't feed near the house?

    The other concern is we grow veggies/fruits for market. I know from experience that once the chickens discover these goodies, it's hard to keep them away. For the most part we grow vertically and they mostly "harvest" the low hanging fruit. Are turkeys insatiably curious? From what I understand they are voracious eaters. Again, they can have the low hanging fruits but I don't want them stripping everything bare.

    And last, but not least, I'd be thrilled to have them eat all the crickets, beetles, and bugs they want but would they go after bees too? I'll be adding the first of three hives in May. My friend's chickens stay well away from the hives.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:Interested in the replies too, [​IMG] AND [​IMG]
     
  3. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm PA ETL#195

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    Quote:I would suggest lots of research, but in the end, it may come down to which you prefer. Myself, I prefer the Narragansett.

    Quote:If you start with poults and rear them in the hut/coop it should be habitual for them to roost inside. However, they can and may fly to roost in trees or the house roof if they choose. If these are not to be show birds, you might consider pinioning them at hatch. This will keep them from flying higher than about 4’ or so.

    Quote:Wednesday we volunteered to haul off fall decorations for a few local businesses. Gained 7 bales of straw for nests and half a load of pumpkins. All of our poultry loves the pumpkins. Turkeys will eat whatever they can find, though they love grasses. I would either upgrade the garden are with the flight net or plant enough for everyone.

    Quote:If a bee gets in their way, they will eat them. However, I doubt they will eat enough bees to destroy your hives. Once a turkey learns they will sting, they should steer clear like your chickens.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:I would suggest lots of research, but in the end, it may come down to which you prefer. Myself, I prefer the Narragansett.

    Quote:If you start with poults and rear them in the hut/coop it should be habitual for them to roost inside. However, they can and may fly to roost in trees or the house roof if they choose. If these are not to be show birds, you might consider pinioning them at hatch. This will keep them from flying higher than about 4’ or so.

    Quote:Wednesday we volunteered to haul off fall decorations for a few local businesses. Gained 7 bales of straw for nests and half a load of pumpkins. All of our poultry loves the pumpkins. Turkeys will eat whatever they can find, though they love grasses. I would either upgrade the garden are with the flight net or plant enough for everyone.

    Quote:If a bee gets in their way, they will eat them. However, I doubt they will eat enough bees to destroy your hives. Once a turkey learns they will sting, they should steer clear like your chickens.

    Do you know of a good site that shows how to pinon? thanks
     
  5. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    My chickens and guineas don't trash my garden. I have a few hens that will snitch a cherry tomato or two and are crazy for the calyxes of tea hibiscus that I grow but mostly pretty good with the gardens. The turkeys are a different story..they walk very carefully around each of my pepper plants even the ghost peppers (think way hotter than habaneros) and pick off each pepper one by one and eat them. You must put up a fence around the garden. I will have a better fence around my garden next spring lol.
     
  6. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pretty much agree with what Jim said. If you don't want to permanently pinion the birds, you can catch tham occasionally and just trim the primaries on one side. It helps if you and the turkeys aer good friends..easier to catch. If you don't do something to the wings, they will fly around. Mine only occasionally get up on teh roof, although one does roost high in a tree. Most of mine are clipped now, but the ones that survived thanksgiving were raised by a hen free-ranging, and are not very friendly compared to the ones raised by hand in the brooder.

    I also prefer Narragansetts to blue slate. My favorite right now is red bronze (awesome forest green irridescence on the tail flats matched with a beautiful buffy tan), but I am breeding for golden phoenix. Hopefully will hatch some next spring!!!
     
  7. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm PA ETL#195

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    Quote:Here is a website with the how to pinion instructions. http://www.gamebird.com/pinioning.html

    Warning
    ! It can not be redone once pinioned. Be certain this is what you want to do. A pinioned turkey will be disqualified at a sanctioned APA poultry show.

    We pinion ALL of our Muscovy ducks in compliance with USFWS regulations. We prefer a toe nail clipper.

    Only pinion or clip one wing. The concept is to place the bird off balance and they can not fly very high or straight. Clip both wings and they can still fly. Discovered that with my first wing clipping about 1972 or so. Learned that lesson well with over 100 clipped wings. Make that 200 (2 wings per bird). Now my pre-teens help me clip wings. We have a few Muscovy that were not pinioned. Not quite brave enough to pinion an adult bird, yet.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:Here is a website with the how to pinion instructions. http://www.gamebird.com/pinioning.html

    Warning
    ! It can not be redone once pinioned. Be certain this is what you want to do. A pinioned turkey will be disqualified at a sanctioned APA poultry show.

    We pinion ALL of our Muscovy ducks in compliance with USFWS regulations. We prefer a toe nail clipper.

    Only pinion or clip one wing. The concept is to place the bird off balance and they can not fly very high or straight. Clip both wings and they can still fly. Discovered that with my first wing clipping about 1972 or so. Learned that lesson well with over 100 clipped wings. Make that 200 (2 wings per bird). Now my pre-teens help me clip wings. We have a few Muscovy that were not pinioned. Not quite brave enough to pinion an adult bird, yet.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks I think I'll stick with clipping the wing, thats what I do with my Muscovies to keep them home.
     

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