Turkey questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Sherriekim, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Sherriekim

    Sherriekim Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    Southwest Idaho
    I was wondering, those of you with turkeys, do you let them free range or do you keep them in a pen? I have what I call pasture fencing, 4-5 feet tall around the perimeter of my place. Not barb wire, but wire fencing that has an approximate 6 inch square. Would that be enough to keep them contained or would they just fly out? My dh says turkeys don't fly that well, but I keep hearing they like to roost in trees so they must fly better than he thinks. Those of you that keep them penned, do you have a top on the pen and what is it made out of..netting, wire?? Another question... Is there a difference between a white palm and a royal palm? asked the owner what the difference between them was, she said she really didn't know, she just always thought her were a white palm and never heard of the royal palm. [​IMG] Last question, at least for now [​IMG], can you sex three month old turkeys? Again, the owner said no, but I thought there was a notiable differene. Thanks, guys, in advance for all your help and any other advice you have for a possible (depends on the answers I get here) newbie turkey owner would be greatly appreciated.
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Hmmmm, lets see if I can help ease your mind a little. I have never heard of the " wite palms" But I have Royal Palms. And yes...they can fly over a 6 ft fence no problem! I keep mine penned...with netting over the top of the yard. They are fairly easy to keep, and somewhat social. Mine are not lap turkeys...but they dont run squaking away either! LOL
    At 3 months old....the Tom should have a larger snood...floppy thing on top of the beak..and thicker legs. Hope this helps some.
  3. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I have Royal Palm and Bourbon Reds along with one Narragnasett. Had a couple meat turks but have already butchered them.

    Turkeys like to be up high when roosting and can get ontop of my house. I have a covered pen and if they have been out free ranging they do NOT like to be locked out of the pen and unable to access their favorite roosting spot come night time...lol.

    My Royal palms are very gentle tempered compared to my B Reds, have no clue why but personally I would take the palms over the reds anyday.

    I know someone on another forum that calls her palms white palms.... her pics look to me to be royal palms but she bought them as "white palm". She is in a southern state I believe.... I had thought maybe it was just a "local" thing.

  4. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    The reason your husband may think that turkeys can't fly too well is because he may have meat turkeys in mind. There are two kinds of domestic turkey--broad breasted (meat) turkeys, and "heritage breed" turkeys. The broad breasted ones are the ones that are too heavy to fly. Heritage turkeys are still very close to the wild-types, being able to fly a considerable distance, and like to roost high. Mine easily jump from the ground to the top of my house, which is about 15 ft. I've had them glide across the yard to catch up with the group when left behind. They aren't as muscular as the meat turkeys, but supposedly taste better. (I have yet to find out, since I've only had my turkeys for a year now.)
  5. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    We have a royal palm tom He is 3 1/2 months old I know hes a tom because he already struts around with his tail fanned out. Our broad breasted turkey is a hen. We keep them in a pen as they would fly. I got bird netting at Walmarts for the garden and its working out just fine. We knew we had a tom when he was very young as he always struted around with his tail fanned out and the others did not. hope this helps
  6. Sherriekim

    Sherriekim Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    Southwest Idaho
    I never even thought about a turkey on the roof. I don't think that would go over to well around here. [​IMG] Justusnak and micki, thanks for the info about the netting. I have some left over from our standard chicken coop so maybe I'll get busy and put together a temporary pen for them now that I know that is strong enough to keep them in. Blisschick, I think you right, my husband was probably thinking of meat turkeys, his family had chickens and turkeys when he was young, but I don¬ít think he paid attention to the details based on some of the things he comes up with. [​IMG] jab91864, thanks for the info regarding the bourbon red vs. the palm, the b red was my other choice, but now I will definitely go with the palm. Thanks for all the info! Now, if she just has a pair left when I get done with the pen! At only $10 each, I think they will go fast. [​IMG]
  7. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I have palm turkeys also and they were raised with the chickens and they get along just fine with them. Mine fly alot but when the sun starts going down they are the first into the hen house and on the roost. I love my guys and they are very friendly too. I have 2 toms and have had them since they were a few days old, They stayed in with my guinnea keets till time to go outside and they think in a way they are guinneas...I love it when they fly down to the feed room in the evenings to have some scratch, kinda reminds me of white buzzards...lol...but they are my boys and I love all my different chickens , ducks, guinneas, and Turkeys. Also mine dont get in trees they go roost in the soop with all the others.
  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Turkeys can fly well (with the exception of meat turkeys -broad breasted varieties). Our wild eastern tom is removed from the breeding pens in fall and flies up onto our roof (2 stories) and then up into his favorite tree. Our flight pens have heavy gauge netting to keep them in and is set at about 6-8 feet high (depending on where you are inside the pen). Their roost is at least 4 feet off of the ground, which is a requirement of our permit. We get our flight pen netting from Cutler's supply. It is not cheap, but withstands the elements of our northeastern weather and keeps our birds in.

    Here is a distant shot of our flight pens from last fall.


    It is a bit difficult to tell the difference in turkeys at that age. The person is being honest if they say they are really not sure. While there is a chance of noticeable differences, some toms do not mature as fast as others, making them look more like a hen for quite some time.

  9. southernsibe

    southernsibe Songster

    Jun 15, 2007
    kensington, maryland
    I am new to keeping turkeys and chickens, but I will add what I can and hope it helps.

    I have Royal Palm Turkeys. At least according to the feed store lady. I got them at a day or so old and have had them since. They don't necessarily like to be cuddled or picked up, but they love to be around me.

    They fly very well. I was standing with my mouth hanging open when my tom flew to the top of the house. I had NO idea that they could do that. They haven't really done more then glide across the yard, and they like to hop/fly onto my porch and back deck. In fact the turkeys love to hang out on my porch, in fact they like to sit in the wicker sofa. Odd, but true.

    I could tell my tom from hen very quickly. He grew much faster and had a very boy look about him. I know that sounds odd, but again, true. They are about 6 months now, and it is very obvious. Don't assume because the bird puffs up it is a tom, my hen does that too.

    Chatychick, I grinned at your post with the turkeys thinking they are guineas. I have white silkies that think they are turkeys! They trail behind the two RP's like a little flock, it's a riot.

    Hope I added something useful.
  10. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Personally I let mine free range... and they sleep ontop of the chicken coop at night, they also like to sleep in the trees occasionally. I have had a few problems lately with the turkeys being bullies... but nothing major... I have 2 Royal Palms and 2 Blue Slates. Oh goodness yes, they do fly very well! Mine also like to get on top of my house and fly down... I think they do it just for fun LOL... Some turkeys I have found can be sexed by their color such as my blue slates... and my Royal Palms were a little easy too... because before I lost the female I could see the black more than in the Toms than I could in the hens. Good Luck....Tes

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