Newbie needing advice

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by dreamingbig, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. dreamingbig

    dreamingbig New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Hi I am in the process of buying a house. The owners are relocating and have offered to leave their bees, chickens and turkeys for us. They have five layers (rhode island reds i think) and a mating pair of bourbon red turkeys on one acre of mostly woods with six foot fencing. Can you recommend a good beginners book for raising heritage turkeys? Do we need to construct some type of maternity pen for the bourbon red hen assuming she lays again this year. She had twelve poults last year but a raccoon got a bunch of the babies (according to the homeowner). We are very excited about this and I am trying to educate myself in the next few weeks.
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to the forum! That is exciting to have a new home that comes with birds and bees. We started keeping fowl because we bought a place with swans and chickens that the owner left for us. We were lucky that the previous owner had enclosures built for his birds. If you actually have time to build a nesting pen while you are moving into a new home, then you would probably want it to be covered on top to keep out those climbing raccoons. I will leave the turkey book recommendations to someone who has turkeys.
     
  3. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    [​IMG] Do you have any type of shelter for the turkeys set up right now? They are not much of a coop bird but will appreciate something that allows them to get out of the wind, or sun. My turkeys roost on top of the coops. A three sided pen of some sort with a roof, roost and nest box is adequate but if you don't have a livestock guardian dog you may want to build a predator proof enclosure.
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    :welcome

    Pretty useful, in general, online and free, is ALBC's Turkey Manual: http://www.albc-usa.org/EducationalResources/turkeys.html

    The BYC, long running (been accreting info for years) thread of general/specific info (and photos): https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/92240/give-me-the-dirt-on-turkeys

    An example of how to use BYC's Advanced Search: Type: "turkey book" (with quote marks) into search field/ choose POSTS ONLY/TITLES (don't worry with choosing specific forum to search as books on turks might be mentioned in several): Then press SEARCH BUTTON AT BOTTOM OF SCREEN (the one at the top of the page will just return Everything that one isn't honing in on. Result of above Search:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/ne...re=gt&numupdates=&newer=1&type=all&advanced=1

    If one keeps a word processing document open, while reading threads for info. one can just copy/paste useful/relevant info into the document (enough info on BYC to create one's own turkey reference). Try searching: "turkey nest".

    As was mentioned, assessment of pred load and developing passive/active defenses will protect the bird's lives and your investment.

    Nice to have you onboard - the more `turkeys' the better :)
     
  5. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    I do that with a SQL database and enter all the info into fields and colums. Great Tip
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Still using Asksam(7) (started with initial DOS version// limited versatility but a devil I know) & Alpha4. Access when when I have to.... Just wingin' it these days. [​IMG] (I feel old) :rolleyes:
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Turkeys are a little different than chickens-- we herd them into a shelter as needed for our own peace of mind. Storms, heavy snow, heavy rain. We have a fox that is scouting around-- the predators are out there even if you can't see them. Many a hen get 'et when they find their own location to nest. IMO find a place for her before laying season begins to help get comfortable in the new quarters.

    Bees are awesome!! How wonderful to start with all these creatures!!

    Enjoy!!
     
  9. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You don't say where you are located, but in the South, turkeys start laying in December and continue until September or October. Turkeys go broody easily and are very good mothers, but you will need a safe place for her and her poults. They will need to be protected from predators! She will need a private place to lay her eggs and after a couple dozen are laid she will set on them for 28 days to hatch. While she is hatching, she should be separated from the tom. How nice to buy a place where the livestock is included and reproducing age! Congratulations and Welcome to BYC!
     
  10. dreamingbig

    dreamingbig New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Thanks so much to everyone! We are in Ohio. The Owners have agreed to meet us before closing to give us a lesson on care for the turkeys, chickens and bees. They have a chicken coop - we saw three eggs while we were there, so they are laying. They have an entire acre fenced with 6-ft no climb horse fencing. It is predominately wooded. I didn't see where the turkeys would go for shelter - unless they go in the coop? I know the owner had built a smaller enclosure for the turkey and poults last year, though he said they outgrew it pretty quickly so I am trying to brainstorm some type of enclosure we could quickly create (makeshift for the year) while we try to move in (April 1). Or maybe they will be leaving us their enclosure - we don't know yet - but either way it isn't big enough as the poults grow. Right near the pen is a 30x40 pole building with a concrete floor. Would it be better to have a temporary enclosure inside? Or maybe located within the fenced acre? If the hen has already started laying eggs (I know the owner said she would start soon but I don't know what "soon" means) can you move the nest? Ahhhhh - so many questions!

    Will predators attack full-size turkeys?

    When we were there for the house inspection, we walked the perimeter of the fenced acre and Tom followed us around and the hen and chickens followed him all around too. How do you protect the bottom of the fencing from predators? I read about electrical strands - but that seems a lot for an acre enclosure? I feel very excited but very overwhelmed with not a lot of time to research.

    Thanks for the suggestions about searching the site. My husband had meat chickens when he was a kid, but we are both new to layers and most definitely new to turkeys. Our experience is with cats and alpacas only!
     

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