New to turkeys, so I need just a bit of help ...


6 Years
Apr 28, 2013
Lima, OH
Hello! I am Emily, and I am very new to turkeys. I decided to take turkeys to 4-H this year and picked up a pair of Royal Palms from a man whose daughter aged out of 4-H. He is still breeding Narragansetts, but did not have a reason to keep the Royal Palms anymore. They are eight months old and pretty tame (for the most part).

This year, I would like to make my hen a turkey saddle/apron to protect her beautiful feathers. Would anybody know about where to find a pattern for one? Or how I would go about measuring my girl to make sure if will fit?

Another question I would like to ask about, is about conditioning my turkeys for show. I feed layer food to them (no one locally sells turkey or game food and I would have to order from online) and try to make sure that they get their exercise. My main concern is my tom's tail feathers are battered up. How would I fix this problem? When do turkeys usually moult, and would he moult his back tail feathers? Is there a way to prevent them from getting battered? He would be so much more prettier if it wasn't for his tail feathers.

My tom does not puff up. Is this a problem?

Finally, last but not least, how do I tame down my turkeys? Although my fair does not have turkey showmanship, I would like to be able to examine my easily like that. Would daily handling calm them down a little so that they will come to me and not just run away? My hen is very flighty. The tom is a little better about it, but when the hen gets a little anxious, he gets anxious as well.

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10 Years
Jun 30, 2010
Aitkin, MN

Welcome to our weird little world of nerdy turkey farmers.
. That's the first time I actually used the welcome smiley

I don't know anything about the saddles. However, your tom will moult his tail feathers, and as long as he has enough room, they will grow out clean and pretty. I'm not sure exactly how mush room is enough room. I know that 1/4 acres is enough, and a 4 ft x 6 ft screen porch is not enough.

No idea why he isn't strutting. Does he gobble?

Taming adult turkeus is toughter than making them tame in the first place. Poults handled daily start out very friendly. Sometimes they become less friendly as they get older. Having a brood makes the hen less friendly and it never seems to come back. But sitting with them and hand feeding them every day helps.

Good luck and enjoy your birds. I have a three year old Royal Palm tom that I think is just to good looking to get rid of.

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