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New Turkey owner and I have some questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by firedove, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    I picked up a young tom Royal Palm turkey today. He is currently in a big carrier in my run in shed (which has no other animals at this time). I have the gate closed across the front of the run-in so he is safe in there for tonight. I checked on him a short time ago and he is resting comfortably. So my questions:

    When can I let him out of the carrier? I have no full pen to put him in (we are still building).

    Will he jump/fly out of the run-in when I let him out of the carrier? The gate is only 5' high.

    How long will it be until I can safely free range him? I want him out with my chickens to help protect them from predators, but I don't want him just taking off.

    So basically, what do I do next?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 18, 2008
    McCleary, WA
    Will he jump/fly out of the run-in when I let him out of the carrier? The gate is only 5' high

    Yes, you need to put him in something that has roof on it or enclosed so he can not get out.

    How long will it be until I can safely free range him? I want him out with my chickens to help protect them from predators, but I don't want him just taking off.

    It usually takes a few days to a week for them to stay put and make your home their new home. Want to get him feeling comfortable and feed him good. Then he'll know that he is to stay there for good. Plus you want to quarantine him for a week or so before you turn him loose with your other poultry , to make sure he has no diseases.​
     
  3. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    Thanks Harp [​IMG] Now I just have to figure out how to let him have some exercise until we can build the pen next weekend. This may sound stupid, but is it possible to rig up a turkey leash, something that I could put around a leg and attach a rope to so he can get out and walk around a bit without the worry of him flying off? I don't mind spending the time with him. I'm just concerned about him being in the carrier for a week. It's a good sized carrier, he can lay down, turn around, and stand (although he has to duck his head when he is standing) but that is the limits to his range of motions in the carrier.
     
  4. reveriereptile

    reveriereptile Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2008
    Northern NY
    I have some turkeys but haven't had to do it to them yet but I have clipped duck wings before. If you don't mind clipping his wing feathers you could do that but I know mine like to roost. Also it takes a long time for the feathers to grow back. I have seen chicken leashes before in different threads. I don't know if one would work on a turkey or not. Seems like it would though especially for a short time. You might try to do a thread search for chicken leashes or look online to see how they are made to make one. Should be to hard to make one. I just put mine outside the other day and the fence on three sides is 8' tall and one side is only 4' but I don't think they can see the top of the fence on the 4' side. I don't even see the chickens fly over it for some reason. The chickens will fly/run up the tall fence to roost. They haven't tried to go over it yet but the toms might be a little to big and the hens have made a nesting spot they like. Also my toms don't want to get away from the hens since they don't want the other breeding. Usually just push each other. Also forgot to mention the toms and two of our hens we bought during the winter so it is their first time outside here. We had them in the barn for the winter.
     
  5. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    Thanks reverie [​IMG] Unfortunately I have no hens to keep him occupied as he is my very first turkey and a snap decision acquisition as well. I'd never even heard of a royal palm turkey before I met my guy this morning at a chicken swap. I didn't think I'd ever have any interest in keeping a turkey.

    I will look up the leashes and see what I can find.
     
  6. reveriereptile

    reveriereptile Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2008
    Northern NY
    I find the royal palms the prettiest of the turkeys. Right now I have a blue slate pair, bourbon red pair, and a giant white hen left from ones we raised from poults. You're going to have to get some more. It is fun watching them especially if you have two toms when they are strutting and gobbling.
     
  7. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    just do everything that Harp says
    [​IMG]
     
  8. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Chillin' With My Peeps

    All in all quarantine should be a minimum of 30 days, as for the bird figuring what home is, your looking at least around 4 weeks to keep him there if free ranging.

    But then if there are no other turkey friends around, you can bet first call of a wild hen will have him on the run even after 4-5 weeks of being penned..Love is a strong thing to stop..

    Charlie
     
  9. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    So what you are saying is I'm probably going to need a hen? I was afraid of that. DH isn't too thrilled that I brought home one turkey that I didn't even have to pay for. He will hit the roof when I tell him we need to buy another one!

    Quarantine here isn't really an option and seeing as how the first thing my chickens did when they saw him today was to head on into the run-in to check him out I don't think it's going to happen. My chickens aren't clipped so unless there is a solid something in front of them you bet they will go over it.

    I bought him a harness today. A large dog harness fits him great with room to grow. He is wearing it now in his wire dog crate to get used to it. He didn't seem too upset when I used it to guide him from the carrier to the crate. In fact he got the idea of it pretty quickly and just went with my gentle pulls. He really is quite a docile guy.

    New question, he is still in my run-in shed but is now in an all wire dog crate. will he be too exposed if it gets cold tonight or will he do OK since he is dry and out of the wind?
     
  10. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would get him a girl friend for sure, he'll be a happier turkey and is more likely to stick around. I know from experience with my turkeys they do much better in a flock or small group. One thing with hens, you must watch during the laying season as some will tend to run off somewhere to lay a clutch of eggs, they can be buggers for that...

    If he is fully feathered, but has not been exposed to the weather he should still do just fine in the pen in a sheltered area..

    hope you can get your hubby hooked on turkeys..he'll love them once he does..they are really great birds to have around..love to see the males strutting around they look so majestic..

    Charlie
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009

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