Turkey Tractor

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by DahlsChickens, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. DahlsChickens

    DahlsChickens Hatching

    Jul 10, 2010

    I am expecting 5 Narragansett poults in about 2 weeks, and this is our first time raising turkeys. I've been reading as much as I can but there doesn't seem to be much information out there on turkey tractors. I don't have the space or a safe area to let my birds free range, so that's why we're doing tractors.

    I looked at the tractors on the forums here and it seems that most people are just using a tarp as their protection. Is this because you live in nice warm places? I live in (don't laugh) North Pole AK, which is in the interior. I work with a lady that calls this American Siberia. I can expect maybe 3 months where the weather will be above freezing at night. It will be warm enough by the time my birds go out, but what about in October when it starts snowing? I don't really start heating my chicken coop until it is -10, but it's insulated at least.

  2. Lurkeygirl2011

    Lurkeygirl2011 Chirping

    Apr 22, 2011
    I am not really a turkey expert, and I too have found that there is not a lot of information about raising them. But, I wonder if people use tarps because they are light and inexpensive compared to other construction materials.

    I showed my husband lots of pictures with turkeys shelters and tarps. He said there was no way he was going to waste his time building a shelter with a tarp, it can get pretty windy where we live and the tarp would get blown/ripped.

    He opted to build our turkey tractor as an a-frame with sheet metal covering it. It has a vent in the ceiling, so hopefully condensation will not be a problem. We live in Wisconsin, so it gets cold in the winter, but not as cold as Alaska...I don't know if this shelter will be warm enough for them in the winter, I was thinking about making him make a house for them in the winter.
  3. GJ_Kate

    GJ_Kate Songster

    Feb 27, 2011
    Grand Junction
    Are you planning on butchering all 5 around Thanksgiving time? If so, then a tractor with tarp or plastic/metal sheeting would likely be enough (unless you're talking about feet of snow. If you're going to keep them through the whole winter, then up there I'd only feel comfortable with them having access to a hard sided shelter and a roost up really high. But if you're going to keep them in a tractor 24/7, it needs to have some kind of a roost built in that would be perferably sheltered. They really like to roost as high as possible, so I'm not sure how they'll do in there. We just built a chicken tractor that is 8x8 and 2 feet high. It would definetely not be tall enough for our turkeys. I'm thinking it would have to be at least 4 feet tall, but then that doesn't account for a roost... I'd really like to see the experts say on the turkey tractor!
  4. BigPeep

    BigPeep Songster

    May 27, 2009
    Iv'e actually been to North Pole AK. It's a great place to get those Christmas supplies.

    I am in Northern Illinois where it gets cold but nothing like AK. I don't know that you can overwinter turkeys at all in that climate unless you bring them inside. They can tolerate below freezing weather but not minus 50 F!

    I overwintered mine in the turkey tractor by putting a couple of layers of tarps over the North and West ends and taking the wheels off so the snow loads didn't bend them out of shape. I am putting them back on as we speak. It held up to our record snow in Feb, but again, that is probably nothing compared to what you get.

    During the Summer you only need a tarp at the end where the perches are located. I would also put a shade cloth up on the South and maybe West ends. I used left over hoops for a 15 foot wide hoop house for overwintering potted plants. I put one inch by two inch wire over the hoops. Small predators aren't a problem for the turkeys so it just needs to keep the racoons out.

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