turkey roosts in cold weather?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by chickenannie, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    I have 6 red bourbon turkeys and they free range around my farm, but now that the weather is getting freezing at night and its snowing today, I'm concerned that they're going to freeze to death outside. Normally they just sit on the fence or a stone wall to sleep. I tried to pen them inside for a few days and feed them in there but they won't go in there on their own at night, and gosh it's a tough job to catch them and put them in there every day!!

    My question is: will they survive living outdoors all winter? I live in Pennsylvania, and I feed them every day. They hang with my chickens and guineas in the day.
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    We're in Cent. MO. (occasional two wk. spells around 0F - but windchill is the killer). Our guys stay in their shed (predation concerns rather worries about weather). Our neighbor had a big Bourbon tom that stayed outside throughout the year. We'd drive past and see this huge, snow covered. misshapen gargoyle of a bird perched up on their deck railing. He never appeared worse for wear because of it (human predators stole him!).

    On EZBYC I remember reading about someone who had to get up into a tree, where their turkeys roosted, after an ice storm, to chip them loose. Guess it would be worth chasing them down if that was in the forecast...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Ivan. wow, I wonder if the turkeys in the ice storm were still alive?

    I heard from one guy that Turkeys can stay outside in the winter, but it just goes against the grain to think that they would survive when it gets bad, like this week it's been raining, sleeting, and 30 F and they're just sitting out on the fence in the middle of it all. My chickens would never survive that weather!

    It took so much work and nurturing to get these turkeys to this size (they're 5 months old now, but 4 died when they were young); I would hate to be stupid and not keep them healthy over the winter. (By the way, I'm keeping all 6 of mine off the carving table this Thanksgiving -- I lucked out in getting 5 hens and 1 tom from a mix, and I hope to use them to breed more this Spring).

    Anyone else?
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Chickenannie, hey, sorry for not saying welcome to the site!

    Yes, the `iced' turkeys were alive.

    There are other folks here who, if I'm not mistaken, let the turks roost where they like during the winter (I don't want ours killed and scarfed up by predators so they stay in their run or shed). Just finished putting up the tarps on the west fencing today for windbreak. The only time the turks seem to suffer is when the air temp is below ten degrees and the wind is pushing 30mph.

    If they have an area to get out of the wind they should be fine.
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    Hi Ivan,
    It's been a cold two weeks since I last posted... my turkeys have suddenly taken to flying up to the top of a huge tree in my yard to roost. They fly to the bottom branch, then hop hop hop up until they are about 40 feet up. They seem to like it up there! The tom always sleeps near the tree on a washline post, so i think he may be too heavy to fly up high with the hens, or else he's their protector...

    So other than wanting to eat more, they seem to be fine in this freezing rainy weather. I'll watch them carefully if they start acting differently. Seems they'll ignore the shelter of the barn, and roost outside my front door on my porch if it's too windy. (Big problem with the mess, as you might guess, and I don't want them to do it, but I think it must provide them with a wind/rain break). My red bourbons are very people interactive and seem to have imprinted on us humans.

    Thanks again for your responses. (and thanks for the web welcome!)
     

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