New Turkey questions...

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Few questions about turkeys. I had some for a 4h project many years ago. I raised them in an aviary and moved them outside when they were about 7 or 8 pounds each. Only problem was they preceded to stick their heads through the chain link fence and get them bitten off by our dogs. Needless to say I don't want that to happen again.


    Currently, I have a fenced yard where I can house them, approx 30' x 30'. I will be building a "coop" for them to go into at night before I get them. So...


    Questions;

    # 1- are they going to stick their heads out of the chain link fence and die like the other ones did? What could I do to keep them from doing that?

    #2- What is a good turkey for a sustainable flock, raising themselves etc...

    #3- What age birds should I get?



    Thanks!
     
  2. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Turkeys are just naturally curious and will poke their heads in (or out) anywhere to see what's going on. They will also fly over fences because everyone knows the grass is always greener on the other side. If dogs are a problem with your poultry then they will definitely be a problem with turkeys as well.
    We use poultry wire to fence our turkeys in, not that it does any good because they fly out of the fence anyway.
    Any of the heritage breeds are a good choice for a self-sustaining flock and will breed and set their nests and raise their young if you allow them to do so. It sometimes takes a little help or maturity to get them to do that. My girls from last year's hatch would not go broody during this, their first laying season but NOW when the eggs aren't fertile anymore, NOW they want to become mamas and are hiding eggs and making nests.
    My preference would always be to get new poults and start from there. That way by the time they're old enough to roam around they are already familiar with HOME and hopefully won't stray too far. They also know you and you are FOO guy so they love you whereas older turkeys may be skittish for awhile so they're hard to herd in at night if you're going to be putting them up, hard to catch if you need them caught and hard to work with if you need to clip wings or medicate.
     
  3. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Thank you!


    I currently do not have a problem with my chickens and dogs at all. But the chickens don't stick their heads through the fence. LoL.


    I'm just so worried they will do that again. [​IMG]


    I've talked the bf into getting a batch of cornish x and we are going to put those in the new yard for now, after they are processed we will get a few turkey poults.


    I was thinking Standard bronze or Narragansetts, are these good?


    How many should I start with?
     
  4. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Remember that the both the Bronze and the Narri's fall into the LARGE turkey category (i.e. + 30 lbs) so that may be a factor if you're planning to use them for meat. If you buy a straight run from a hatchery you'll have to get about 15 but the extras are usually very easy to sell and that way you can wait until they're old enough (if you can afford the feed bill) to see which are males and which are females. If I had plenty of room, money enough for food and good housing I'd start with two toms and six to eight hens but I tend to go overboard. At the very least you should have a breeding trio of one male and two females. If you have more you can always sell babies or hatching eggs to help pay back some of the costs involved in raising yours.
     
  5. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Standard Bronze are huge, and are the largest of the heritage varieties. Our toms are waist high on me and are in the low 40 pound range, the hens are in the upper 20's. For all that size they just as gentle as can be.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  6. toto65

    toto65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2010
    Holland, VT
    Beautiful birds, Steve! [​IMG]
     
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  8. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Consider wrapping the run in the hardware mesh / welded wire (at least the bottom 3' or so). The openings are much too small for them to be able to poke their heads through it.
     
  9. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Y'know Steve I was planning to go with some of Porter's Spanish Blacks for next year for my LARGE breed of turkey but those pics (and the fact that I just found out you can easily discern the difference between a Bourbon poult and a Bronze baby) have just convinced me that I need to get some of your Bronze turks instead. Just wish you shipped poults but now that I have my kick ass incubator I'm sure I'll have better luck hatching them. I'm going to go put in an order for next spring as soon as payday comes.
     
  10. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    You got it Lor, just let us know when you are ready for them. We have 2 strains, both large. One side came from Miss Prissy here on BYC and the other side we did a road trip to South Carolina to get them.

    Steve
     

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