Thinking of adding in some turkeys next year

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Ziegenhof, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Ziegenhof

    Ziegenhof Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    Hello all!

    I have some keets right now that are going to be getting their own pen and a smaller coop once I finish building out a new coop and pen for my chickens (thinking about a month or two before finished).

    I'm wondering what the space requirements are for turkeys? Right now I'm looking for a heritage type breed. I'm not looking for more then 5 or 6 (noticing unless I find a pair local that most of the hatcheries are selling them straight run so enough to ensure one female) and I would like one breeding pair or trio and the rest heading to the freezer.

    So would it be better to integrate the Turkeys and Chickens together in the new house or put them in with the guinea's and make a larger coop for them in that pen (I know they won't fit in the old smaller coop). Either way I need to know approximate space in the actual coop. The pen is going to be fairly large but my gals do part time pen and part time free range (crazy gals I have currently are not smart enough to go back to lay eggs in the coop as they are still young layers).

    Thanks in advance!

    PS any advice on breed would be great as well! I don't need a giant turkey, but prefer something that looks more old style/traditional in looks and can still self populate.
  2. frank53061

    frank53061 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I only have Red Bourbons and it seems that a lot here for the reason of wanting self replicating and meat birds use this breed.
    The Narragansets are a good breed as well but I have no experience with them both breeds in my opinion are a handsome breed.
    Hens around 14 pounds Toms 18 to 20 this Vere's from bird to bird I have not heard of a GIANT Heritage breed compared to the double breasted.
    I have found raising Poults and Chicks together work the best for me I find that the birds will bond together being raised together.
    If your area is clear of black head this will eliminate introducing it to your flock.
    Its a coin toss on what you do with mixing Turkeys with Chickens or Guineas.
    I have read here that Turkeys are known to be the over sears in keeping the other birds in line but I have not seen that yet my Turkeys are over 6 months now.
    I would suggest monitoring this BLOG site and read what people have posted and from time to time ask questions that's the best education you can get.
    There are a lot of good people here with different Ideas that helps a lot.
    I did and I am grateful to them.
    Good luck
  3. foulweather

    foulweather Out Of The Brooder

    Hey Frank,
    Do you use one size laying box for both your turkeys and chickens or do you have separate boxes for each?
    Thanks for all the useful information you share with us.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  4. Southern Oregonihens

    Southern Oregonihens Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 5, 2011
    Also thinking of a couple of turkeys for the freezer... We don't have much space in our little ghetto, so they would run with the hens for a few months.
    Any favorite books on the subject?
  5. frank53061

    frank53061 Chillin' With My Peeps


    This is what I have done I have a large 25ft by 30 ft pen and a coop I used for a brooder after 3 weeks in the bath tub.
    I incubated some Chicks to hatch around the same time that I got my mail order Poults and raised them together till the Pullets were large enough to transfer to the Chicken coop and pen keeping the young roosters and moving the old roosters to the Turkey pen and coop my Hens needed a break there poor little featherless back were looking bad.
    I did not let the Poults and Chicks out of the Coop & brooder for 8 or 10 weeks Poults are easy to die when young.
    First week started at 100 degrees and lowered it 5 degrees every week till the nights wormed up enough that I thought it was safe to do away with the heat.
    Fed the Poults and the Chicks game bird starter till 10 weeks of age then went to a high protein Chicken laying pellets mixing the feed for 2 weeks to ween them off the starter for both Chicks and Poults.
    I was told here and it works well if you free range only let part of the Turkeys out at a time and they wont go far from the ones still penned up 19 to 20 weeks there about started clipping the Turkeys wings I had to do this 4 to 5 times and now only fly to there out side perch not out side of there pen 8 ft high chicken wire.
    My Turkeys are now over 6 months of age.
    I have a 3 x 3 laying box community for the Turkeys I will only keep 4 Hens and 2 Tomes for breeding and probably Incubate the eggs my self next spring will be my first go at that.
    Sorry for jumping around with the info hope it makes sense.
    Good Luck
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  6. Ziegenhof

    Ziegenhof Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    Thanks for the helpful information. I was lucky to find someone who had torn down an older shed and picked up a lot of good heavy plywood for the new coop project which is going to start today!

    The good thing is this even had a door with a dog door built into it and it's the perfect size for turkeys so going to recycle that. I'm picking up one roll of 150 foot fencing also and will add in another as I clear some brush to make them a very large pen (butting up against other wiring so it will go twice as far).

    I'm also since I'm going into town going to purchase an incubator. I want to be ready for next year and have some eggs I want to try hatching about same time my RIR chicks get here after the 10/8 hatching from Murry.
  7. foulweather

    foulweather Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for your quick response Frank. I always appreciate your comments.
  8. iron chicken

    iron chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2012
    Fayettville, Arkansas
    if you don't want to get BIG turkeys I would sugest getting midget white turkeys they are smaller, (hens about 12pounds males about 20) but they MAY be a little bit more expensive than other turkeys but not alway, BIG MAYBE.
  9. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    1. I have about 30something Holland white turkeys, about a hundred or so chickens, a hundred or so ducks and 4 geese, that free range during the day on about 5 acres, but at night they put themselves to roost in their 30'x50' barn [​IMG] , that I go close up every night about dark-thirty and open each morning shortly after sunrise. The chickens will lay in several nests, the ducks will either use the nests or down around the pond, depending on their mood, but the turkeys will each find a private place after a walk about that they will consistently lay in, but each of my turkeys usually lay in their OWN spot they select on their daily walk-about to go lay [​IMG] . I suggest White Holland or Standard Bronze turkeys, if you want a really big Heritage turkey, but that's just me. If I am going to raise a Turkey, I want the biggest bird for my buck,LOL, as I put it! [​IMG] These are the breeds that the BB turkeys were bred from.

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