Questions about raising turkeys free range

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by khs2424, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. khs2424

    khs2424 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
    43
    May 24, 2011
    I am currently incubating some turkey eggs for a friend who just recently told me he won't be able to take the turkeys. Thanks! [​IMG]

    My question is, my father raises goats and has three fenced in fields. One field has a Great Pyrenees that guards the mothers and younger goats. (I'm assuming that this would NOT be an ideal place for the turkeys.) The other two fields do not have any dogs but do have goats (unbreed mothers and a billy) in them. Would these two fields be OK for the turkeys to free range in? Of course I know that they would be able to fly and pretty much go as they please but I will be doing the feeding in one of the two fields. Let me know what you guys think or am I just wasting my time thinking these turkeys are even going to stay here.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    5,404
    20
    243
    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I think there are some challenges, but it could possibly be done.

    First off, you would need to build a coop for them to live in, where they could be locked up every night and would be let out every morning.

    Then you would have the problem of the goats stepping on the babies. If they were full grown I would say maybe.

    Also, is there a fence? How would you keep the goats out of the turkey feed?

    If the dog is a good one he will help watch out for them, but that's a big maybe.

    You could always sell them on Craigslist. [​IMG]

    Just some ideas. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  3. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    759
    2
    119
    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx
    dont worry about the dog, he will adopt them if you introduce them while still in the house. They they will follow him around as momma. Should be pretty funny to see after they get bigger.
     
  4. khs2424

    khs2424 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
    43
    May 24, 2011
    I may have to go the Craigslist route. Even though I think it would be awesome if they would stay. There is a 4 - 4 1/2 foot fence around the entire fields. Not 100% sure on the height but it's around that height. Also, there are trees in the fields so wouldn't they just roost in the trees? Just wondering. I have no problem building them a coop. Just think instinct would take over if there were trees for them to roost in.

    He also rotates fields so maybe they can stay in the unused fields until they are a little bigger, then they could be introduced to the goats or vice versa.

    Also, the dog is not in the house. She stays in the field with the goats. Good dog too because she takes really good care and attention to those goats. Especially the kids.
     
  5. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    5,404
    20
    243
    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    They could easily fly over that 4 or 5 foot fence and unless you could keep them inside (or somewhere safe) until they are big enough, as babies they would be sitting ducks for any predators that happen to be around including raccoons, hawks, etc. You could try it, but I doubt that many (if any) would make it to maturity.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,711
    532
    408
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Guard dogs are wonderful. I had a Maremma and he guarded our sheep. Never lost a sheep but all other game was free game! He killed raccoon, skunk and oppossum. With a proper introduction the guard dog is likely to guard the turkeys as well; just know your dog and test the situation.

    THe goats are not likely to be a problem; my sheep eat at bunkers and all winter tolerated a hen walking under them, between their legs looking for spilled grain then and hopping up on the feeder to steal more grain! THe sheep did not care. The sheep do steal the feed out in pans when they get loose; put the feed pans up high where the birds can fly up to feed but the goats cannot reach.

    Selling off poults can be a good option , too. You will know what is best for you in your particular situation. GL
     
  7. khs2424

    khs2424 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
    43
    May 24, 2011
    Looking like Craigslist is going to be the answer. [​IMG]

    I wish I could keep them but I just don't see them having much of a chance at free range. We just have too make hawks, raccoon, and coyotes. Though the dog does seem to keep the coyotes away, you can still hear them in the distance. A young poult would just be easy pickens for a hungry hawk and the dog can't really do anything about that. I sure was hoping to have some beautiful turkeys walking around the property.

    Anyone know what an eastern turkey chick would go for on craigslist? [​IMG]
     
  8. MammaMayI

    MammaMayI Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Aug 8, 2011
    I was going to agree...depending on where your dad's dog was trained, actually, the dog could be the answer to your needs to protect the turkeys from predation. We are looking into a Maremma (a smaller version of your dad's Great Pyranees), specifically to protect our poultry! The breeder we will use trains their dogs to protect ALL stock, including poultry! That said, it would be ideal to have some kind of dog house or etc to have the birds roost in, at least till they're not babies any more. Somebody will be happy about their find on Craigs List, if that's the route you're going!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by