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Trying to understand my Turkeys, they won't go into the coop to roost.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by r4eboxer, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    I got 18 poults this summer. They were very fragile as poults and I lost 8 within a few days and then lost one to an accident and another to an illness in 2 months. Now the remaining 8 are about 8 months old and they are extremely hardy.

    I have a coop for them but they will only go in it to eat. During rain, sleet, snow or freezing temps they stay outside and seem none the worse for it. I just wonder why they start out so fragile to cold, light and everything under the sun and as adults they seem to prefer extreme weather. (though not heat)

    I'm wondering why my turkeys will not go inside the coop to roost? They roost on top of the coop, I have a net covering it or they would roost in the pine trees.

    I am also wondering about free ranging. Up until 4 months ago I let my turkeys completely free range, they made a mess all over everything so I cooped them up. Those of you who free range.. Do you find it hard to keep them out of where you don't want them? The turkeys were jumping up on the deck, pooping all over my sidewalks and roosting in the trees and making a huge mess where ever they went. I have a large pasture where they could range but to keep them away from my sidewalks, off my porches and decks I'd have to net the entire 10 acres in. What do y'all do to keep them in a pasture area. It sure would be more economical to have them if they could forage for food. They are very good at foraging, just not staying put.

    I am considering getting rid of my turkeys if I can't get them to pasture and stay put. I will be moving them to a coop there soon. They will just fly back into the trees in my yard I'm sure. I have clipped wings before but that did not seem to stop much as they can jump pretty high and over my fences in spite of clipping.

    Any suggestions please? I've spent a lot growing them out and for shelter but I don't see I can make up in hatching eggs for all the feed they eat. I've got 2 pair of Royal Palm, 2 Narragansett hens, 1 Bourbon red hen, and a blue slate. I lost the mates for the Narragansett, BR and Slates, really as far as hobby goes I'd like to get them paired up but not unless I can manage free ranging. I do have a team of 3 GP's that keep everything safe so free ranging is safe for them.
     
  2. Coupe

    Coupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I has 2 turkeys that wouldnt sleep in the coop aswell. They would roost rigjt above my front door! Friends would come over and my porch light would come on and the turkeys would scare the piss out of them lol. I never could keep them in the coop. They would always sleep on my roof, no matter what! Rain and snow didnt bother them.
    You could try putting them in the coop at night and locking them in.
     
  3. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    [​IMG] That's funny about them scaring your friends. haha. I could lock them in the coop but that would mean I'd have to chase them in every night. I don't mind them not going in as much as it's confusing. Poults are oh so fragile and then when grown they are very hardy.

    I really can't handle the poop from them roosting in my yard anymore. What do you do about that? I guess 7 make a much bigger mess than just 2. I don't have the time to clean up after these birds all the time. They completely tore my yard and flowers up. I knew they would tear up flower beds so I put my flowers in pots. That was a BIGGER mistake. They then got into my pots and kicked the dirt everywhere. I just got it cleaned up with a power washer a few weeks ago when we had a warm spell. The dirt is everywhere if you let poultry free range around the house.
     
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    My turkeys love roosting high as well. We don't have predators, so no problems with their safety at night. I do have a few girls that will roost with the chickens and ducks but for the most part, they love to roost high. The only thing that I can say is maybe if you lock them up for a few days so that may go back in to roost but I don't think it will work. Turkeys have a mind of their own and they will do what they want to do. They are not like chickens.

    This is what it looks like in my chicken yard when they go to roost. Sorry about the blurry pics but this was taken about 9:00 PM at night. You can see that they like to roost high on top of the chicken coops. :/

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Yes!! So funny, mine roost like that too. Do you free range yours in pasture? I want to move mine to the pasture and keep them out of my yard. I'm going to give wing clipping a try again. I figure they will just hop on top of my fencing and jump over back to the yard. I don't understand it. There is 10 acres of green grass, and bugs and then 12 more of wooded area with plenty of other types of forage for them yet they INSIST on hanging out in my yard where the house is. I want to keep my turkeys but I can't take the mess any more.
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I have the same problem. My turkeys WILL NOT venture off. They will stay as close to home as possible, which could be a good thing. I have other property but they refuse to step foot on it. :/
     
  7. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feed them where you want them to go, I moved my range feeder all around my property and now they get the point and will range over the entire yard.
     
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    My set up is a little different. My chicken yard is a little over 3/4 acre and my feeder weighs about 100 lbs plus 400 lbs of feed. Ain't no moving that thing. :lau With 250+ animals, I am not able to move that feeder. That would confuse the heck out of ALL of them.
     
  9. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Skids and a car or tractor, move it a little each day. In my case everytime I needed to fill it I would move it a little. (40 ft?)
     
  10. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have to fence out anything you don't want them into. Adult turkeys will stay nere their food and not fly over fences as much as when they are younger!
    I feed mine in the barn and feed them at dark so they are busy eating so you can lock them in for the night!
     
    1 person likes this.

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