Turkey Questions

JoePa

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2011
285
78
176
Lehigh County Pa.
Well I decided to try raising some turkeys - looks like the small midget white ones are my best choice for me - I have a lot of questions about raising them - would greatly appreciate any help you can give me - here are some of my questions-

Do you need to clip their wings so they don't fly out of run - or do you need to put screening over top of run -
How big of a coop and run do you need for about 6 turkeys-
When is the best time to buy small turkeys-
Where do you generally get small turkeys from -
I have a couple chickens - can I keep them together
Do you eat turkey eggs or do you just let the hen sit on them when ready -
Is it good to let them free roam or won't they come back to the coop at night
Any other bits of information you may have would be appreciated -

Thank you - Joe
 

red horse ranch

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 24, 2014
2,206
2,456
372
Buffalo Wyoming
Hi Joe,

I can answer some of your questions but not all.

How well can they fly? - I just saw my 4 month old turkey on the roof of the henhouse (10') So if you want to keep them in a pen it will have to be covered.

How big a coop - I would figure at least 10 square feet per bird, but bigger would be better. Chicken math happens with turkeys too.

I don't know where to find them.

My turkeys live in the same henhouse with guineas and chickens.

I'd say the eggs would be delicious!

My turkeys free range and always go back to the henhouse in the evening.

Turkeys like high perches. I've seen mine jump from the floor to the 5' perch which is my highest perch.

Turkeys seem to like mirrors just like my other poultry does. I have a lot of mirrors where they can perch at night and admire themselves before going to sleep!
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Hope this helps some
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Book Em Danno25

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 12, 2014
10,859
912
341
I can help with a couple of questions.

I think the best time to get turkeys is during or at the start of spring at a local Tractors Supply Co or Campbells Supply. They usually have an annual event for the chicks, including turkeys, chickens, geese, and ducks. If you cant find any there, go to www.welphatchery.com and you can order them. They are shipped from Bancroft, Iowa. I think the minimum is 6 turkeys, im not for sure on that, so check it out!

Good Luck and I wish you Well!

Thanks for joining the Backyard Chickens Community!
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Turkenstein25

If you have any Questions, PM me or just ask!
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hendricks115

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 20, 2014
182
9
53
Schuylkill County, PA
Well I decided to try raising some turkeys - looks like the small midget white ones are my best choice for me - I have a lot of questions about raising them - would greatly appreciate any help you can give me - here are some of my questions-

Do you need to clip their wings so they don't fly out of run - or do you need to put screening over top of run -
We do not clip our wings. Our coop is very large (2 car garage large), with a metal roof, screened in front and a 5-6 foot run which is also screened all around. We've had turkeys on the roof and in trees but they always come down when it's time to go in.

We also make sure we have a special treat that if needed will entice them if they are being stubborn. For our group it is popcorn. I buy big bags of kernels and use my hot air popper. When they see us coming with the bucket full of popcorn they will follow us anywhere!

How big of a coop and run do you need for about 6 turkeys-
Right now, between turkeys, chickens and ducks we have about 50 birds and I think we are at full capacity. We also made sure we have some roosting boxes fastened about 3-4 foot off the floor. The turkeys love being off the ground. Our big tom sits on top of our compost tumbler with our 2 original females every single night to watch over the whole coop. It's probably 7 foot off the ground.

When is the best time to buy small turkeys-
We got ours in spring. This year is our first year we hatched our own eggs and had an amazing success rate.

Where do you generally get small turkeys from -
Our first one came from a farm auction my uncle attended. The next 5 (only 2 survived) came from a very large farm that we traded quails for the slate blue turkeys babies. We had a lot of trouble finding slate blues.

I have a couple chickens - can I keep them together
We keep our turkeys, chickens and muscovy ducks together. Our duck thinks he's a turkey because he was hatched and caged with them since cracking out of their eggs!

Do you eat turkey eggs or do you just let the hen sit on them when ready -
Our first year with the female turkey we ate the eggs because we only had her and knew they were not fertile. She was also young and we got less than a dozen. This year, we incubated 30 eggs, left the 2 girls sit on about 6 which the female duck then stole and we ate less than a dozen.

Is it good to let them free roam or won't they come back to the coop at night
We let everyone out to free range and everyone goes back to the coop as dusk in starting. Our big daddy turkey makes this strange noise and it seems to signal to all, his girls and kids, the ducks and chickens that it's time to head in for the night. Very seldom do we have to round them up. As a matter of fact, he makes the same noise when a hawk flies over head in the middle of the day and they all run for the coop.

Any other bits of information you may have would be appreciated -

Thank you - Joe

I can answer some of these too. We have blue slates. Started off with one 2 years ago. She was a gift to our daughter from her great uncle who had no idea what kind of turkey she was (she was going to be Thanksgiving dinner but got a pardon after we researched and found out she was a heritage breed and had a threatened status on the endangered list). We worked last spring to get her companions. Started with 5, 3 didn't make it, of the 2 that did we got another female and a tom. We have 17 or 18 from this years hatch.

To build on letting them free roam. We have to chase ours off the front porch and out of the garage. They are very tame, they eat out my daughters hand, try to sit on my lap when I'm on the front porch and will follow all of us across 3 acres of property.

We started with chickens and I enjoy them but I absolutely love my turkeys. They are so fascinating to be around and watch how the "pecking" order works. The young males are now challenging each other and one of the first born males was foolish enough to try and challenge Big Daddy Turkey.
 

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