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turkey owners in *cold northern* areas - what housing do you use?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by patandchickens, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    By "cold northern areas" I mean getting down to like -30 F or colder at times, before windchill.

    I am mulling over what to build for next winter -- having the current pair of turkeys in a pen in the chicken building is just not a workable long-term proposition for various reasons -- and would love to hear what sort of quarters y'all give your turkeys in winter. I will not be heating, indeed probably won't have electric available at all (yes, I'll be bucketing water out there a lot), will have attached run.

    Pics, descriptions, advice, etc?

    Thanks very much,

    Pat
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't have pics, but I have a non-insulated small building with a doorway (with no door) to the pen and a roost inside. There is a side door to go into the building. The doorway to the pen is on the east side of the building, prevailing wind is from the north west. As long as they can get out of the wind and the elements, they do fine. Most of my buildings have the doorway on the south side, but it wasn't practical with this one due to the location. I'm assuming that North Dakota qualifies for your definition of cold northern areas [​IMG]
     
  3. bee_wrangler

    bee_wrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my RP's are in a pen inside my barn, chicken wire and 2x4's. From what I hear turkeys are pretty hardy, I think as long as there are no drafts they should be fine. the worst part of no heat is the water lol, its a never ending chore keeping it water and not ice
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I should add, an important part of what I'm trying to find out is how much space you give your turkeys in wintertime?

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  5. bee_wrangler

    bee_wrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my coop is about 30x30 for 5 RP's
     
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My building is about 10' x 10', the pen is 8' x 10' and I have 9 heritage and 2 broad breasted in there. They are getting along fine.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks folks! So, does 10x10 (or other shape w/same sq footage) building, plus an enclosed run of perhaps 10x20 that they would have access to 24/7, sound reasonable for like 3-4 turkeys? I am thinking yes, from your replies? They would have a much larger grassy paddock for warm-weather use.

    Pat
     
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One turkey book that I have recommends 12 square feet per bird for turkeys. If you used that as a guide, you would need 48 square feet for four. A 10 x 10 building is 100 square feet, so I think that would be ample space. What you are describing is bigger than I have for winter quarters, and I have 11 birds in there. No picking or problems...
     
  9. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    I keep six (two boys, four girls) in a 10x14' pen in an unheated bank barn (two screened-in windows and plenty of cracks between boards for ventilation), and they have access to the entire neighborhood to free-range if they like. Important housing note: apparently clipping a wing did not deter them from flapping up over the 12' high wall and into the open hayloft, whence they can flap their way out through a ventilation shutter that was left open in late fall and is now frozen in place. However, they did not leave the barn more than twice regardless of this escape hatch; they stay quite close to their food and immediately flap their way back into the pen at the least little noise. For all practical intents and purposes, they never really leave that pen, they just huddle in a group in the rafters above it most of the time. Occasionally they flap their way down to eat, prance around at each other, or to annoy the dogs. No fighting, they focus their aggression on the squirrels that attempt to raid their food bins.

    I used to have them in an outdoor pen, but we got horrible windstorms in late autumn/early winter, and after tacking the plastic down on the thing, weighting it down with stovewood, and building snowbanks up around it three times over to no avail, it was just not going to work. Plus, it was less secure than the barn, we had a trespasser issue. In the late spring, after the garden is in the ground, I'll move the turkeys that aren't breeding back to the outdoor pen and put it in the orchard (has a locking gate).
     
  10. KrisRose

    KrisRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    Quote:I have an 8x8 with a roost/loft combo that the Toms (3) sleep on. A straw/plywood palace that my BBB hen sleeps under and a RP hen sleeps on top. The run is about 30x10 and they free range in my fenced back yard. I got a used gazebo from my neighbor that I reinforced with wood and then put hardwarecloth on the whole thing (It has a canvas/tarp cover). I build a roost in it and thats where they slept during summer and fall. With nasty weather they do prefer to sleep in their coop [​IMG].
    BTW I luv my turks but they are big poopers [​IMG]. I clean their coop everyday if possible. Takes 10 to 20 minutes.
    Turkeys + Turds = TOXIC [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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