Need advice

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by AmericanMom, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    2,817
    245
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    I am the proud owner of three Bourbon Red Turkeys, One Tom and two hens.. They free range with the chickens (We have separated them three times and they always find a way back and worry and fret the fence line until they do)
    All three turkeys turned 7 months old on the 5th of this month, the male is a strutting fool and does the dance around the girls, I noticed the other day one of the girls was dancing with him.. I am assuming it is either dominance or love...

    My question, they are 100% with the flock of chickens and roosters, I am looking forward a few months hoping to be able to gather the turkey eggs and hatch out some and hopefully have them brood some. Would it be better to force a separation or do you allow the turkeys to nest in the coop.. They free range 1/3 acre but DH wont allow over growth and although there are tree's there are no shrubs or over growth so in my mind nowhere for a turkey hen to go and be alone.
    I have two large pet carriers that I found at yard sales that I thought I would put out for them but the chickens wont stay away, would that change when the turkey hens get in the egg laying way?

    Suggestions and direction would be appreciated for this novice to the world of Turkeys. [​IMG]
     

  2. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chirping

    148
    13
    53
    Dec 3, 2014
    In the Boondocks
    I am not very familiar with turkeys but a very close friend had some and she tried to get them to lay and hatch their own eggs. It never worked. They were free-ranged and INSISTED on laying and hatching their eggs in the tall grass. They always lost their chicks and wouldn't sit on their own eggs in a chicken coop even when they were given a large nest, dark room, etc. But they liked sitting on chicken eggs. So I would keep them away from the chickens if you want to have any turkeys hatched. Maybe they could have their own little coop aside from the chicken's coop? Another person I know has turkeys that always hatched their own eggs, they were kept with a few chickens but they had their own coop. They were free-ranged. There was one hen who hatched in the grass one year, but that never happened again as she was locked up the next year.
    One thing I do know, don't keep guineas with your turkeys. At breeding season the guinea cocks will run the turkey toms to death. It happened to my gramma, she lost her only tom because her guinea cock would not allow the tom to eat or drink or even sleep in the coop at night. It was a tragic loss.
    Sorry, that's all I know. Best wishes with your turkeys and happy holidays!
    spitfirecream15
     
  3. turkeyguy123

    turkeyguy123 Chirping

    111
    6
    83
    Jan 24, 2013
    In my experience if they learn to lay in the coop, they will continue to lay there. The problem is getting them to lay there in the first place. I kept my turkeys in a small enclosure and used fake eggs to entice them to lay inside. After they began to lay inside regularly, I allowed them to range over a larger space and they continued to lay indoors.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    2,817
    245
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    we don't have tall grass in their run (1/3 acre) and we tried separating them from the chickens...three times, we added a coop and run on the north side of the coop, they had a very large run that took over part of the garden, plenty of space and such.. They wouldn't have it, at any time day or night they would worry and walk the fence line trying to get out, if they succeeded (which they did three times) they headed strait for the chicken area. Finally we let them be as chasing them down and putting them back was not working. I will just have to watch them, I have lots of hens that go broody and an incubator with a second one coming in February.. If I have to hatch them myself that's ok but I will put out containers for the Turkey Hens just to see if they will use them. And no, I don't have Guinea's so were good there.
    Half of the chickens in the coop are these turkeys hatch mates so that could be why they are refusing the separation [​IMG]
     
  5. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    2,817
    245
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    Ok, We are adding 100 square feet onto the coop by spring and it wont be hard to add some extra large nesting boxes at floor level for the hens.. If they don't use them I can always use them for my broody chickens ..


    I am so excited and remember last year at this time when I decided I wanted to raise Turkeys and was reading and researching as much as I could, I hope Hope HOPE the hens are good layers and the tom does his job [​IMG]
     
  6. turkeyguy123

    turkeyguy123 Chirping

    111
    6
    83
    Jan 24, 2013

    You may not even need to have the nests at ground level, most of the time my hens nested in milk crates that were a few feet off the ground. As far as laying mine laid eggs nearly every day. Hope I have helped.
     
  7. R2elk

    R2elk Crowing

    5,409
    5,825
    491
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    One of the easiest to make nesting area for a turkey hen is to lean a pallet against a wall. The opening should be adjusted so that the hen can get in but it should also be too narrow for the tom to get through. I have made nice nest areas for my hens but the first spot to get used every year is the pallet leaning against the wall. I did stick a board over the top to help keep the rain out.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

  8. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    2,817
    245
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    well that's an Idea too.. Lord knows we have those, DH brings them home from work and we use them on any odd building project, they also make pretty sturdy fencing as my Brother used them for his pigs.
     
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    2,817
    245
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    I will take any and all suggestions, I may use them all and just see what the hens decide to use if anything lol.. Thanks!
     
  10. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chirping

    148
    13
    53
    Dec 3, 2014
    In the Boondocks
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by