should I coop up turkeys that attack chickens?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by trunkman, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I have 5 bourbon red turkeys that are pecking at and chasing the chickens and it's driving us nuts. We decided to separate the turkeys from the chickens so I'm making them an 8 by 12 three sided stall with a 12 by 20 enclosed run. They've been free range since they were about 2 months old and now they are 8 months old so I'm sure they won't like it much but I can't think of anything else to do with them to stop them from harassing the chickens. Have any of you had to do the same thing and did it work out well for you, or do you have a better suggestion?
     
  2. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tooele, Utah
    I've had the same issue with a couple of my turkeys as they've gotten older, and not just any one breed. Once they get bigger than the chickens, they can do some real damage, and I have seen my turkeys gang up on the chickens if one of them decides they don't like them. It's unfortunate, but I had to pen mine because I don't want dead chickens. The turkeys may throw a little fit about being penned, but they'll be fine [​IMG] If anything, you can pen the chickens every so often and let the turkeys out on a supervised "field trip".
     
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  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Are the pecking on just the roosters or both the hens and roosters?

    My turkeys harass the roosters but I don't do anything different. My roosters are almost as big as the turkeys, so they can hold their own. They is never any bloodshed. My turkeys are just bullies. :/
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  4. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    They are picking on both the hens and roos, last weekend they had one of the hens cornered and were going at her big time, I had to step in and break it up.
    A couple of weeks ago I came home to 3 of them on my neighbors deck and one was on his grill, the scary thing was that his dogs were watching them licking their chops waiting for them to jump down, I was glad the turkeys decided to fly instead of jumping off the deck!
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO

    Definitely get them penned (probably clip their wings if you aren't going to cover run).

    Think there is an `order of precedence' function operating at some level. Our chooks were raised with a gimpy BBB jake, and the chooks took no guff from it. When the heritage poults were released into the `chook's domain', they were chased unmercifully by those chickens. Almost nine years later (and 3 generations of turks) the turks still abandon the fire pit and their dirt bathing when the chickens wander in to take possession.

    Our new cockerel has been reinforcing the hierarchy, though one of the toms did turn on him after being cornered (was a draw).
     
  6. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I got the turkey pen and run done today, they don't like it very much but it's keeping the chickens safe. They are used to having control of our yard, the chicken run and controlling everything that the chickens do. After about an hour they realized that they were cooped up and started chirping and gobbling like crazy, that went on for about an hour till it started getting dark, then they jumped up on the roost and bedded down for the night, all is quiet now.
    After getting the turkeys under control it was time to get my 28 11 week old egg layer chicks wings clipped and set them free to range with the mature chickens. It was a little chaotic at first but after about an hour it got dark and half the chicks went into the main coop to roost with the adult chickens and the others went to bed in their usual coop that I call the mini cooper. [​IMG] The mini cooper is just a 4 foot by 8 foot mini coop I use to raise chicks till they are old enough to mix in with the adults.
    So everybody is happy except the turkeys, I feel bad for them but they will have to get used to being cooped up. Now we can reclaim our gardens. [​IMG]
     
  7. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tooele, Utah
    Nice work! Something else that may help is if you have something you can throw in the turkey run for them to pick at. It helps when they get bored. I've been tossing pumpkins into my turkey run. They like that.
     
  8. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    Red, funny that you mention pumpkins, l cut one up last week and put it in the run, the chickens went for the seeds and the turkeys pecked at it once and walked away not to touch it again, I ended up giving it to the chicks and they tore it up, the chickens ignored it once they ate the seeds. I will try giving them other treats to give them something to pass the time. [​IMG]
     
  9. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    Well the turkeys are cooped up now, they aren't used to not be able to free range and are putting up a bit of a fuss, I feel bad for them. I'll give them a couple of weeks so they get used to their pen then I might clip their wings to keep them from jumping over the fence and hopefully they will know where their enclosure is and go back to it when it's time to roost. Have any of you done this and did it work out for you? I'd rather they free range than keep them cooped up. Do they do like chickens and go to the coop when it gets dark out or do they just stay wherever they are at when it gets dark?[​IMG]
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Maybe, with consistent `training', on your part, you might get compliance - after a month or two. Ours were pretty easy to train as they had arrived as day-old poults and imprinted on us. Took about a month of `convincing'. They march back, single file, to their run, every evening and roost in their shed without intervention (other than to close the door). The first generation has trained the succeeding generations. [​IMG] Use, long, light weight sticks (in both hands) to make yourself `bigger' and herd them, slowly, where you want them. Helps to have some of their favorite treats available at destination of your choice.
     

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