Turkey training

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
34
231
Pennsylvania
OK, so I figured out that turkeys can be trained (somewhat). I have trained my Bourbon Reds to be let out of their pens at various times to free-range, and then to go back in.... well, with a little herding. Turns out they are MUCH easier to herd than chickens or guinea fowl!
Their eyesight is super, and so I use two sticks (one in each hand) to guide them where I want them to go. Yes, I look like a dork, but after a few days of this, they all seem to get the hang of it, and I can take them to where I want them. It has come in very useful on many occasions. I am able to let the birds out (even if they have poults) for an hour or two, to eat grass, grit, and dust-bathe, before putting them back in their pen. They know the routine so well, that when they see me coming, they head right on off to their pens.
I use 3-4 foot long sticks and make a "V" shape (I am the bottom 'point' of the V). I've also noticed it helps to stay back a few feet and to go slowly if I have a large group -- say 5 to 9 turkeys. By the way, don't try this with chickens... It doesn't work at all! Just thought I'd share, in case anyone else wanted to be a turkey-training dork with me!!
 

chickenzoo

Emu Hugger
11 Years
Mar 10, 2008
9,359
172
341
a bumpy dirt road in Florida
Yep, My Bourbans & Buffs know when it's feeding time and head straight for the coop. The peafowl use to be the same way until the turkeys took over their coop. My husband normally chases them with the horse whip all over the yard until they finally give up and go in their new coop.
 

Frosty

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 30, 2008
2,935
109
256
ND
I have BBW turkeys, about 3 months old. Occassionally they wander off a bit (like to the neighbors yard - neighbor doesn't mind because they eat grasshoppers). I go down and call them, they start in my direction and I turn around and head for home with a string of turkeys following. Have to stop now and then to wait for one that gets sidetracked, but they follow me everywhere. Kinda funny, the neighbor thought that they were ducks!
 

monarc23

Coturnix Obsessed
11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
8,671
113
301
Indiana, Pennsylvania
I used to do that with my chickens (and my moms turkeys) actually so ya can do it with chickens too however they have to not be terrified, just like "okay..okay ma...im goin im goin jeeze!" LOL!

I herd everything though, the great thing you learn raising goats, sheeps, and horses over the years
 

the1much

Currently Birdless Hippy
11 Years
Jul 20, 2008
5,351
49
251
with maurice, the original space-cowboy
my guineas and chickens run to the coop at night when i walk out of the house,,haha,,,i have the "fishing net of death" hehe,,i had to go around ( after moving them to a new coop) and herd them with the net for about a week,,,now,, i come out and ,,RUN,,,haha

my peafowl dont seem so "worried" about it,,,i still have to walk behind them and threaten im gonna touch em,,hehe

i plan on getting turkeys soon,,,good to know they'll just "fall in" hehe
 
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chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
34
231
Pennsylvania
this is kindof a funny thread, hearing about how everyone herds their birds. I never thought of a net, but yeah, that would work with some obstinate ones. I'd hate for them to get tangled up though. My turkeys are very cool -- i hate to see people who treat turkeys like they're idiots and dumb animals -- they are actually fairly intelligent. I have one henmom and her baby and I feed them a hard-boiled egg every morning. They are so much fun. Once when another turkey chick came around, the tiny little poult (in the pic) puffed up her tiny feathers and tail just like momma and bravely charged at her little intruder. She was so cute and so courageous! Here's a pic of them cozying up together in their nest in the mint patch:
 
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