Turkey newbie here, a few questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by pamelajean, May 22, 2019.

  1. pamelajean

    pamelajean Songster

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    We went and got a few turkeys 2 weeks ago and they are growing quickly, which is forcing me to think about what comes next. I have experience with ducks, but from what I can tell, this is a completely different kettle of fish.
    So, a few questions:
    1. Will my turkeys be okay to free range in the same area as my ducks? (Within a electrified poultry netting). This space does have a kiddie pool for the ducks within it.
    2. When can I give my birds time outside. I have read about "feet not hitting the ground" a number of times. Can I bring the little guys/gals outside with me for some playtime during the day?
    3. What age can my turkeys go outside full time? Is there a nighttime high temperature that can be used to go by?
    4. What kind of night-time space will they require? I have a 10 x 12 enclosure for my 5 ducks that is within the electric poultry netting but I'm guessing the turkeys should not be locked in with the ducks at night....
    5. Can you recommend any good sites/forums for general information for the turkey newb? I've been scanning forums on here and am getting tips here and there but am always looking for more info.
    6. We are raising for meat, and if its something we enjoy, plan to continue with a few more birds next year. How do I not get attached to these little guys! They are so calm compared to ducks, and playful, which I was not expecting! I already see myself getting attached!
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    The pool can be hazardous to the poults. If they get stuck in the pool and cannot quickly get out, they are likely to die from hypothermia.
    My poults basically have their feet on the ground from the time they hit the brooder. The brooder bedding is sand that dig from outside and sprinkle in the brooder. On warm dry days, the poults can be out for short supervised visits.
    They can be out once they are fully feathered and acclimated to the ambient temperature. My poults do not get to spend the nights outside until they are big enough that the owls do not consider them easy prey. Mine usually get to roost outside once they are 3 to 4 months old. Their outside roosting area does have flight netting above it which helps to discourage the owls.
    Do not pick them up or play with them. BB turkeys are far too easy to get attached to because of their gentle nature. I do my best to not imprint the poults whether they are BB or heritage. Minimal contact is best for both you and the poults.

    I do not recommend mixing turkeys with waterfowl. Their feed requirements are different. Waterfowl tend to be wet and muddy while turkeys especially poults need to be dry.
     
    memphis likes this.
  3. pamelajean

    pamelajean Songster

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    Aug 3, 2017
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    Thanks for all the info! I was pretty sure they should not go in with the ducks. It would have been the easiest and have some protection with the netting but we'll go another route.
     

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