Turkeys as pets?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kari_dawn, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone here keep turkeys for ornamental or pet reasons rather than to butcher?

    When free ranging, do they stick close to home like chickens? Do they do okay as singles, or better in groups?
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    **I've never owned a turkey.

    I know of some people that do keep turkeys as pets. I'm not sure about free ranging but depending on the breed you may have to clip their wings. Also I believe turkeys should be kept in a group rather than by itself.
     
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We raised turkeys for years. We have a 5 acre fenced in pasture and the toms stayed in because they were too heavy to fly, but the females flew in and out as they pleased. They didn't roam as far as the chickens. I would at least get two. Turkeys get very attached to you if you spend a lot of time with them and they will follow you around the yard. They are the best bird ever.
     
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  4. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine is a pet. He prefers to act asa guardian and he likes being alone. Other males figh
    t and females only interest him during mating season. He's a great flock protector
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  5. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So what breeds make better pets than meat birds? I am allowed roosters, but they are too loud for my taste...I don't expect a turkey to be quite, but maybe not as loud as a rooster....I was kinda hoping a turkey may act as a guardian as well...I am in a suburban area, so I don't want them to jump the fence (I have a six foot privacy fence), and at the most, I would probably only get two.

    Can they be housed with chickens, or do I need to build a separate place for them to live?

    I am still in the research phase, and may or may not end up getting turkeys. I just want to know more about them at the moment.
     
  6. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Alot of people keep turkeys and chickens together but there is a possibility of black head being spread to the turkeys which could kill them. Also some toms can be aggressive to other birds. As for breeds though I've never had a turkey I've heard good things about Royal Palms.
     
  7. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most heritage birds will go right over a 6' fence. I tried clipping one wing, two wings, etc. no luck. I ended up having to completely enclose them. They are only allowed out on the weekends so they don't quite have the nerve to go too far/venture over the fence.

    The girls only make a soft sound. The boys only gobble when they are alarmed or hear a loud noise. The gobble is quite loud but not near as frequent as a rooster crowing.

    I called my local agriculture dept to ask for the frequency of black head reports, it was very low so I have always housed my chickens and turkeys in close proximity and they free range together on the weekends.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  8. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Harry is a blue slate, very mild mannered, only gobbles when you whistle to him or run power tools - Best flock protector I could ask for, he won't fly over a fence, but he does chase cars!
     
  9. Turkey Trot

    Turkey Trot Out Of The Brooder

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    I was recently gifted with a Royal Palm tom and a slate cross female that is probably his daughter. Three weeks in I can say they're great pets. We built a "turkey palace" for them and they'll be sharing their digs with three Americauna laying hens soon. The tom has become very attached to me and follows me around like a dog. He's not particularly noisy, but will respond to conversation at times. I'm looking for another hen to keep this one company as the tom pretty much ignores her and she's so lonely she sometimes hangs out on the back porch and talks to herself in her reflection on the back door. Anyone around Gainesville, FL have a hen they'd be willing to part with? Love these guys as pets thus far. I let them out in the morning for a few hours while doing chores. They easily herd back into their home. The border collie tries to gently herd them, the aussie could care less. The ponies feel pretty much the same way. I'm giving them game bird pellets and they seem to like the occasional plum or corn on the cob to pick at. Any other suggestions for turkey treats? Should I worry about the close relationship between the tom and hen? Hope this helps with the turkey as pet decision. [​IMG]
     
  10. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have one Standard Bronze tom. He is a happy guy, tends to stick closer to the house than the chickens. He is definitely entertaining to watch. He spends most of his time strutting his stuff, and gobbles often now. My sister named him "Twirkey", don't ask. [​IMG] Unfortunately, his buddy passed away the day after they were shipped, so he is a lone turkey. We probably does get lonely, I wouldn't be too surprised if he had a few friends by next year. [​IMG]

    That said, they do have their down sides. For one, he eats a ton, and poops just as much. He is also not the brightest and has cut up his head up pretty bad trying to stick his head through the fence to get some food. [​IMG] I also witnessed him trying to eat a chicken's toes once (he didn't mean too, it looked like food), and he once stepped on a broody's eggs that were pretty far along while trying to eat some layena in the nest, not all made it, despite our best efforts. [​IMG] Did I mention he is very food motivated, he will love you forever if you feed him. He also tends to do some stupid things, all in the name of food. But in the end, I can't help but love him. [​IMG]
     
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