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New to Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mrwoodboat, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A Co-worker gave me a pair of young wild turkeys since he knew we had pheasants, quail, and chickens. I read everything here about turkeys in general and feel we will meet their needs although they were used to being free ranged all the time and roosting on a fence- we won't be able to do that due to the proximity to neighbors and roads but will be able to let them out with the goats during the day. At night they will have to go in a 12x12 dog pen with a roof on it...
    I will feed them a 28% crumble and give scratch grains- is there anything else I should try to learn about keeping them? They seem to be fairly tame and inquisitive..
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    They do fly very well. Just something to keep in mind. Keep the feed in the dog run and put up a roost pole (doesn't have to be high 3.5-4.5 ft. off of ground). Keep them in pen for a week. First few times you let them out, do so about an hour before sunset. As soon as they start eyeballing roof of house/trees, guide them back to pen (a couple of 4 ft. sticks - bamboo garden poles work great) slowly with poles at ends of outstretched arms. Repeat until they get the idea.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  3. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So we have had the turkeys for about a week- we are housing them with our chickens for the time being till they know this is home...however, I have decided to give them their own run as they do not seem to be happy being in with the chickens as they don't feed other than some scratching for the grains I toss into the straw everyday, also they are just staying on perches..
    I went and purchased another 12x12 pen yesterday and have some nylon 2x2 poultry netting that I will use for a roof till I can get some more metal roofing (or PC roofing).
    My question is- they were never inside or in any type of shelter for the past yr- is it possible that having the roof and one side enclosed in the pen they are currently in is creating some issue for them? Would I be better off in just having the netting on the new pen for them and maybe a free standing 3 sided structure for them to go into if they wish, or maybe just put roofing over 1/3 of the pen and a dog house for the hen for when she lays?

    Just not sure how I should proceed- thanks for any advice
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Just cover a third of it with a tarp over netting (good idea to run 2x4s over top bars of enclosure before putting on tarp if you're going to get snow), for the time being, and place the roost under it. Plenty of sand with a bit of straw serves as pretty good base (in my experience). Hen would probably appreciate a hideout. You'll know, if using straw, in particular, as she'll be hunkered down in it in a corner.

    They just need some time, about a month, to adjust to new environment.
     
  5. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks- I ran 3 cross bars (1 1/4" EMT) at the roof to hold the netting up- I had not thought of a tarp!! I was thinking of putting 3 pallets together for a henhouse- I have plenty of pallets from work..
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Great!

    Forgot to address the feed. Try tossing some live meal worms in the feeder (hanging feeder?) and see if they don't go for them. If they do, dampen the meal worms so the crumbles will stick to them. That should reorient them. These guys are very wary of any new food. Insects are an instinctually derived target however, and a few handfuls should get them into eating the crumbles (if it wasn't just fear of the chooks that kept them from the feed).
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014

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