Turkeys are afraid of us

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by aprilcmast, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. aprilcmast

    aprilcmast Hatching

    Aug 20, 2013
    Hello! I have 3 Bourbon Reds as pets, so far they look female and they're about 3 months old. We've had them for about 2 months and they're still scared if us, they freak out when we try to pet them. Any suggestions on how to socialize them? We built them a nice coop, let them roam the yard all day, feed them well and have handled them since day one but no luck. It's also **** near impossible to get them in their coop at night, just started a few days ago. They went in no problem before. Thank you!!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Resist the urge to pet them for a while. Let them come to you.
  3. I raised the my Bourbon Reds from Poults so there use to me and the kids and will follow us around the yard if these Turkeys did not have a lot of human contact that's a iffy situation they may warm up to you in time treats are the best way in my opinion I make extra Biscuits and will hand feed them from the back porch if they hear that back door slam shut they come a running when they were younger there was almost a compation on who was to set on our laps of course that was before the hormones kicked in.

    There all still very friendly tho it like teen age rs O Mom or Dad my friends might see [​IMG]
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    If they imprint on humans immediately after hatch and are cared for by humans from then on, they are insufferable (stay right with you as you go about chores/work in garden/whatever) and way too curious (pick up and toss small tools around, etc.), only a few are `lap' turkeys, however. Almost all react instinctively to a hand on back as `claws' on back PRED ATTACK!!! Hens during breeding season are another matter altogether (presenting to any human who walks by) they are then as easy to pick up as a football, tuck under an arm and carry back to run/shed where the hen's anticipatory purring ends with a yelp and an unceremonious short flight to the always unexpected `imprisonment'. In order to expend the minimal amount of time and effort getting them into coop, take a couple of 4ft. long sticks (those garden bamboo stakes are very light wt. and easy to use), hold them at the ends of arms outstretched to sides (this will appear to turks as an ~12ft. long wall) and slowly herd them into coop. It helps to match this with the turk's schedule, i.e., as soon as you notice them flipping heads to one side and eyeing the trees/roof of house-car-etc around sundown - begin the `procedure'. Our first generation were hand raised and it took about a month of training - but they all, eventually, would form a line from wherever they were foraging and would march, single file back into the open run and then roost in shed. The hens then `taught' the succeeding three generations of their poults to do the same. Hens, looking to nest in unauthorized, predator rich zones (always), will fly out of run during the day and have to be hunted down and returned to a safe nesting location. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013

  5. Pasha838

    Pasha838 Songster

    Nov 30, 2013
    Moscow, Rusia
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  6. Chickenfan4life

    Chickenfan4life Crowing

    Aug 28, 2012
    Planet No
    I have no advice, but could they be superstitious, possibly avoiding you because they think they will be next Thanksgiving's dinner? [​IMG]
  7. Pasha838

    Pasha838 Songster

    Nov 30, 2013
    Moscow, Rusia

  8. Twinkkitten

    Twinkkitten Chirping

    Jan 27, 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    My turkey is very social and friendly but likes her humans at a comfortable distance. Lurkey doesn't like to be touched. She trusts I wont touch her, she fallows me around the yard cooing and talking to me. Maybe if you quit trying to pet them they will start to trust you.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by