Turkey coop & run sq footage

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Smitty's Farm, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    I have 4 Blue Slate & 1 Black Spanish heritage turkeys that are almost 6 months old. They are cooping in a temporary coop at night for safety and free range during the day at the moment.

    I need to provide them their own bigger coop w/ an attached run/flight pen. I still want them to free range as much as possible, but would like to be able to coral them into a run in the late afternoons if I'm not home, so I don't have to get them off the top of my chicken's coop, run, garage or trees. LOL!!!!!

    I know about 45 min to an hour before sunset they get all squirrelly looking for anything high to roost on, so we've learned to make sure they get a bed time snack and drink and head them to the coop any time after 4 pm since it gets dark around 5pm.

    My husband would love it if they would quit jumping on our extra car parked in the back drive way and could do without the presents they leave all over our back patio & garage if the door is left open. LOL!!!!!

    Plus, today we had a bit of a scare w/ coyotes coming in the yard. I'm sure I would have come home to finding a few less turkeys & some beat up if my teenage daughter wasn't at home to scare them away. Yipes! She was pretty scared and now I'm worried that I need to construct something ASAP. That would have been so sad, b/c we loves these babies.

    I think I've read somewhere that they need about 8 sq ft per bird, but wanted some opinions. I know w/ any run/flight pen bigger is better. I think they'd mainly free range, but keep them in the run if the elements are bad or in the late afternoon if I can't be home before their roosting hr.

    Any help would be really appreciated.
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Check this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=92240 It's pretty comprehensive (and continues to accrete more info. as time goes on).

    My folks lived in Lebanon when pop was stationed at Scott AFB. I'd see raccoons sauntering around the golf course across the street from their house, in the AFTERNOON! Predator proof the run and a shed is good. Turks like to play and hop around: 10ft. minimum. Try to put in some boxes/table/etc. for them to get up on in the run, ours will contest a bale of straw to `own' the top.

  3. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    My three are in a 10x10 roofed pen with two walls. Can't truly call that thing a coop, we do call it Coyote Ugly. They're free range and don't play in the coop at all, they go in to eat, get warm - it gets great afternoon sun, and to go to get snack in evenings and sleep. So I am no one to ask about minimums. At ten feet I could put up more birds! Yay.

    We do some chasing of turkeys off of chicken coop, so I built a log/branch rack that led up into a nearby tree. They're delighted with even higher access and if I miss getting them down from 20 ft up, I'm not too worried about predators.

    The guy I got these from was overstocked and still these were healthy and sound and doing well, despite being in what was mostly a pen with partial tarp cover, with about eight ft each, maybe less, and no ranging. He was moving to a bigger place.

    I learned from the chickens - go as big as you can afford to build, you'll fill it eventually.

    LOL the addiction continues.
  4. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Thank you so much, Ivan. Love the pic of your turkey.

    I have read that wonderful thread of turkey info, but was still baffled about sq footage needed. It is a wealth of turkey info. I just want to make sure I give them enough space, esp since they are so spoiled w/ their freedom right now during the day. I do make sure they are cooped up tight at night.

    Labanon is a neat little town and it's not to far from us. We are close to Fairview hts.

    Oh yea, we have every kind of predator here from raccoons, opossum, coyotes, hawks, etc. We haven't lost one chicken yet to a predator. Our dogs usually keep day predators away (except hawks), but they sleep in the house at night now b/c the winter cold weather. I think they must be losing their touch, b/c my daughter said they were inside sleeping, being lazy when the coyotes came to visit yesterday.

    We usually don't have coyote visits during the day, but just at night. I think they are being pushed out of their natural habitat w/ the local farmers selling their land to develop schools, churches, & subdivsions near by.

    I guess I will stick them in my chicken run if I have to go anywhere until I get their run constructed. I don't won't to take the chance of not being home to hear the commotion of coyote visits. I'm worried and have to do something ASAP.

  5. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Quote:Thanks Walkswithdogs! I love to hear how everyone manages theirs flocks.

    How cold is the winter elements where you live? So yours sleep in the trees during the winter months to?

    Yea, I know what you mean learning from chickens on going bigger. We left just a wee bit of growing room in the first coop we built and I filled it this spring, plus b/c I kept seeing diff breeds I wanted. I still want more, but I'm really maxed out on space. LOL!!!!!

    These turkeys are so much fun. I can see the addiction starting with them to. LOL!!!!!

    They are on my back patio right now staring at me through the sliding glass door.

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