ok someone please help.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by bigtuna, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. bigtuna

    bigtuna In the Brooder

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    was wanting to get maybe 1/2 dz turkeys, im on one acre in the country. would like the birds to free range. as much as possible, how are they protected from raccoons, snakes,coyotes, dogs. im really having trouble understanding this. i know that i shouldnt clip their wings. but i cant babyset them. could someone explain this please. thank you im sorry carthage mo. area
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  2. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

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    What boundary protection do you have at the moment?
     
  3. bigtuna

    bigtuna In the Brooder

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    neighbor lady owns propert directly behind me with barbed wire fence. rt side is a tree line and small brush nothing to the front county rd. and open county rd to the left with a big drainage ditch??
     
  4. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    Well turkey's naturaly roost so if you have tree's they can roost in they will go there at night.Buttttt from experience if you have fox, coyote or pesky neighborhood dog's.You may lose some.Luckily the pair of Narrgansett's I raised were trained and they roosted every night with some bantam's in one coop.On the other hand I got Royal's a couple year's later and they would barely even go to horse stall rafter's at night and I did wind up losing a couple due to most likely fox and one Tom to neighbor dog.I had 4 that roosted most of one winter on our roof [​IMG].They would have snow and everything on them Gaaaaaaaa.I finaly sold them.They were beautiful bird's though and quite tame too.Hope you have luck if you get some.I don't have any now and sure wish I had my Tommy back he was my fav.
     
  5. bigtuna

    bigtuna In the Brooder

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    well i guess ill just build a run and a coop, just try and go as big as i can afford
     
  6. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    my Turkey's are only in a 'pen' till its warm enough then they are on there own, but I do have quite a few pine trees the roost in, do not clip the wings, they can not get away from predators. Mine will not go into to a building for anything but a free meal, when its gone there high tail it back out, the only varmints I've had problems with was, I think was a coyote or a dog, but it was a hen with young chicks that was eaten she wouldn't go into the trees because of the pouts, I even had an owl go after one of my BB Bronze tom what the bird (owl) didn't realize was there was 4 more tom's in that group, the owl lost a lot of feathers that night, turkeys 1, owl 0 [​IMG] also -40 wind chill doesn't bother them either
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  7. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

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    I'd say that the first thing to do is to secure the boundary with, say, wire fence 6' high. Less than that and predators will get in and your turkeys will get out. We had big problems with that at first and it really has to be done. If it's not possible to fence your whole property, fence as much as you can for your turkeys.

    You will need a coop for night time. We are still learning but the principles we shall use for the next construction are:

    High roof to let heat rise on warm days. Long overhangs to keep rain away from the structure

    Earth floor for easier cleaning, raised a foot or so above ground level to keep it dry.

    Wall on one side and wire mesh on three sides. Wire mesh well bedded into earth to stop escapees and intruders from tunnelling.

    Perches 2" diameter and 2' above the floor.

    Dark corner for nests when you need them.

    If you buy poults don't underestimate how much they grow in a few months. Make the coop big or they will be fighting over roosting space. For six grown ones that forage during the daytime I'd be thinking in terms of 10'X10'.

    If you hatch poults later you will need somewhere else to keep them - away from the weather and any mature turkey that isn't mum.
     
  8. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    I agree with Thai that you need a fence. For only six turkeys you don't need a huge area. Even if you only fence off 1/5 of an acre, I don't think they will eat the range down to bare dirt. My fence is 6 ft chicken wire, with two more feet laying in the grass on the outside to prevent digging, and two strands of electric around that just to be sure. We have bobcats, grey fox, and coyotes in fairly high numbers.

    For the adults I built a 10X10 covered roost (no walls). They prefer to sleep on the roof. Even with a clipped wing they can get some height. I wouldn't worry about trying to get them to go inside unless you have lots of great-horned owls (luckily, we have very few great-horneds).
     
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster 10 Years

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    I think if you put them in a coop with a perch for several days, they will naturally return there to sleep at night--especially if you only let them out 1-3 hours before dusk the first few days you let them range.

    If they learn to roost in the coop, you can close it each evening if that routine will work for you, and at least protect them from nighttime predators (which are more prevalent).
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010

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