Roosting Question and Surviving Question

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Rose66, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. Rose66

    Rose66 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    At what age do turkey poults start roosting at night?

    I have six week old poults who have recently taken to sleeping in a nesting box rather than on the ground. Should I block off the nesting box to encourage them to roost or will nature tell them to roost at the right time?

    These poults are very, very, very wild poults and we have not let them out of the tractor they are in yet for fear that the first time we do let them out, they will head for the hills and never be seen again. That is okay with us if that happens but I'd like for them to be old enough to have a chance at surviving. So at what age can turkey poults survive in the wild by themselves?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Southern Utah
    In the wild, turkey poults have parents to protect them. They roost from a very early age, but the toms will even sacrifice a high roost to protect his brood. I would say block off the boxes and manually put the poults on the roost to encourage the natural behavior.
     
  3. Rose66

    Rose66 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    5
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    Jan 26, 2011
    Alabama
    Thanks for replying. We blocked off the nesting box but there is no way to manually handle these poults at all. They freak out and start flying all over the tractor if you even get close to the pen. We have lost two so far who have flown into the wire so hard that they broke their necks. We have to change the food and water after dark so they don't freak out so bad. All of this combined is why I figure the first time we let them out of the tractor, we will never see them again so I want them to be old enough to have at least some chance of surviving. An officer brought these eggs to us and asked if we wanted to incubate them. He said the mother had been hit by a car and he knew they wouldn't survive without help. We already had an incubator up and running and figured why not? But never again will we incubate wild turkey eggs. The babies are just too much to handle for the pens we have. We will definitely let nature take care of its own next time. Tomorrow night, I'm going out to see if the poults have started roosting or if they just went back to sleeping on the ground. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them being up on the roosts!!

    If anyone else has thoughts on the age I should be able to release them, it will be greatly appreciated!
     

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