Pet Turkey's?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by rgph2007, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. rgph2007

    rgph2007 Hatching

    Aug 7, 2011
    This my first minutes on BYC so please forgive me if I am repeating a question. I am in my second year of raising Chickens. I love them way too much to put them on my dinner table. I adopted two turkeys with holiday's in mind. But low and behold I am attached to them as well. I suppose some people get perrots or finches, but my birds are some of the best company. I am a young retired vet with severe PTSD and "TURK and Lurk" are wonderful therapy. My question is, is this practical? Do other people actually have turkeys as pets or am I nut's? any advice would be greatfully welcomed.[​IMG]
  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Yes, of course, many people have beloved pet turkeys. One poster on here shows a shot of his pet turkey perched on the open oven door each Thanksgiving, just as a joke.

    The only issue comes if you have the broad breasted white or bronze breeds. Due to their genetics, they develop muscle mass far in excess of normal, or "heritage" breed turkey. As a result, they are prone to cardiovascular and orthopedic problems as they age. The best way to keep these in good health is to restrict the diet quite a bit to a bare minimum of calories to maintain a healthy weight, which is a actually a bit on the lean side, while giving supplements to ensure they get all necessary vitamins/minerals, and to encourage as much exercise as possible. Many people do keep broadbreasted turkeys for many years by following this regimen, but you should be prepared for the possibility that you may encounter heart/lung or joint/bone problems.

    If you have heritage breed turkeys, they should be capable of living probably at least ten years. The broadbreasted birds seem to be able to live to five or six with proper care, sometimes longer. Its all about the healthy diet, not letting them overeat, and getting them to exercise.

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I hope that you are able to enjoy your turkeys for a long time and find peace through caring for them. No reason I can think of that you shouldn't try -- there are plenty of turkeys for sale at the grocery store or local market each Thanksgiving, no reason you should feel like you need to give up yours if you enjoy their companionship.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
    2 people like this.
  3. nightingale7

    nightingale7 In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2011
    North Carolina
    First of all thank you so much for your service and sacrifice!!!

    We have two bronze turkeys as pets. They are 4 months now and have been a joy to have. They are very sweet and very good company. They are social and love to be around us. I would highly recommend having turkeys as pets.[​IMG]
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    [​IMG] THANK A VET!! [​IMG]

    Here's my pet turkey, Barnham. Boy name, beard, but,..... a hen. Her mom abandoned her at 1 week old, cause a hail storm killed the 11 other siblings. We brought her inside & raised her for a while. She used to love to sit on my lap, while watching T.V. Seven years later, she still wants to be carried around in your arms..


    We have a flock of Royal Palms, but they REFUSE to be pets!

    Excuse my manners, cause I have none. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  5. racuda

    racuda Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    We have a pair of Royal Palms and the male follows me around, always curious what I'm up to. He eats out of my hand. He is very talkative and expressive with his vocalizations. The female is somewhat standoffish. They are both way smarter than I though turkeys would be.
  6. turkeys are sweet.. funny.. charming... and wonderful company.. much more than most people I know...

    I have 16 right now and eggs in the incubator.. so some will end up in the freezer.. but its gonna be hard choosing which get to stay and become breeders since they are all such silly, adorable birds
  7. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    I have many turkeys as "pets". I use them as breeders but we do eat a bunch of their offspring. Just don't spend as mych time with the eaters. If you happen to have the broad breasted types, it is best to eat them because they get too large and it causes health problems. If you have a heritage breed then they shoud be good pets for many years. Thureys are addicting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Yes, you are nuts. But so are a lot of folks it would seem because I think fully half or more of the turkeys I sell never see the inside of an oven. Folks buy them thinking of a holiday dinner only to discover that the birds are very entertaining so mobile yard art they become.

    BTW, thanks for your service!
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Yes, my turkeys are pets only. People that purchase them from me also are looking to keep their turkey as a pet.
  10. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I bought my first two turkey poults at a swap meet, as day olds on May 20th of this year. Here they are now:


    I think they will both be pets. I also think they're both toms.....They're only two and a half months old right now....

    I like them too much to eat them.....


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