Thinking about Turkeys

Augie1

Chirping
Aug 18, 2020
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I want to raise 3 or 2 Turkeys for Thanksgiving next year. I will raise them in a 2 acre property in semi suburbia. The way the property is laid out is that In the front yard which is about 9743 Sqft of Orange and lemon trees. Or In the back yard about a acre of a steep hill meeting the creek. I’ve seen coyotes and all sort of predators using the creek. I don’t live on the property so I need a way to open the coop in the morning. I’m raising 8ducks and 18 chickens in the orchard they have a electronic door that opens in the morning and I go up the in the afternoon to close the door. The ducks live in a plastic fenced in part of the orchard and have a separate coop. How loud are Turkeys? Louder than 8 ducks? The idea that I have is setup an electrical fence in the orchard and have the Turkeys sleep in the lemon trees. Would they be killed? Or have them raised in a medical coop. I did have 6 chickens killed in the front yard overnight last year. What would the best way to raise turkeys?
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
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It would help if we knew if you intend to grow a fast growing meat variety of turkey or a heritage variety.

As long as the electric fence is hot enough to deter large predators from getting in and secure enough to keep predators from digging under, the turkeys will be big enough to be fairly safe from aerial predators like hawks and owls once they are about 4 or 5 pounds. A coyote would have no problem eating quite a large turkey if it has access to it. They may or may not sleep in the lemon trees. Depends on how tall they are, how dense the branching is, and how thick the foliage is. Would also depend, again, on if you are planning on growing a heavy broad breasted turkey or a lighter heritage type.

I would suggest using some kind of shelter for rain and wind cover unless there are thick bushes that they could get into in your orchard. I came up with an interesting mobile orchard shelter this year: I used two pallets leaned together and tied with rope at the apex to form an a-frame type structure that they could get under or on top of. I could drag them around the orchard really easily. I made four of them and that satisfied 37 turkeys.
 

iwltfum

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Sep 10, 2018
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You might have been planning on this already, but I should add that you will likely want to rotate the turkeys around your orchard several times while growing them. I usually rotate paddocks around 7, 8, maybe 9 times over the 13-15 weeks that I grow turkeys from late July-November. They will mess an area up and cap it off with manure very quickly and the trees won't appreciate the manure if it's too concentrated. Even if you give them a large area, they will prefer just a couple of spots and, if you don't move them off that spot soon enough, they'll over work those areas.

Plan on at least 40-60sqft per bird per paddock change. Even more than that is better if you can make it happen.
 
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Augie1

Chirping
Aug 18, 2020
191
111
91
It would help if we knew if you intend to grow a fast growing meat variety of turkey or a heritage variety.

As long as the electric fence is hot enough to deter large predators from getting in and secure enough to keep predators from digging under, the turkeys will be big enough to be fairly safe from aerial predators like hawks and owls once they are about 4 or 5 pounds. A coyote would have no problem eating quite a large turkey if it has access to it. They may or may not sleep in the lemon trees. Depends on how tall they are, how dense the branching is, and how thick the foliage is. Would also depend, again, on if you are planning on growing a heavy broad breasted turkey or a lighter heritage type.

I would suggest using some kind of shelter for rain and wind cover unless there are thick bushes that they could get into in your orchard. I came up with an interesting mobile orchard shelter this year: I used two pallets leaned together and tied with rope at the apex to form an a-frame type structure that they could get under or on top of. I could drag them around the orchard really easily. I made four of them and that satisfied 37 turkeys.
I’m thinking of heavy breasted birds. I do like the idea of the movable pallets. It’s about 30 trees most are 4-8 ft with middle to heavy foilage. I already have ducks and they go around the fenced in portion of the orchard. Should I make paddocks for the Turkeys inside the fenced orchard? To move around the poop load?
 

R2elk

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I’m thinking of heavy breasted birds. I do like the idea of the movable pallets. It’s about 30 trees most are 4-8 ft with middle to heavy foilage. I already have ducks and they go around the fenced in portion of the orchard. Should I make paddocks for the Turkeys inside the fenced orchard? To move around the poop load?
If you raise broad breasted turkeys, they will not be roosting in the trees once they get some size on them. You don't want them roosting on anything over 2' off the ground or they could cripple themselves when they land wrong.
 

Augie1

Chirping
Aug 18, 2020
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If you raise broad breasted turkeys, they will not be roosting in the trees once they get some size on them. You don't want them roosting on anything over 2' off the ground or they could cripple themselves when they land wrong.
Oh really
Thanks,
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
677
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Should I make paddocks for the Turkeys inside the fenced orchard? To move around the poop load?
I would move them personally, but 10k sqft isn't really a whole lot of space to work with. I read that as 90k sqft initially. I would probably split it into four pieces of 2500sqft each.
 

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