Turkeys drowning in the rain?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Beth K., Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Beth K.

    Beth K. Chirping

    Nov 22, 2011
    The Funny Farm
    I think most people have heard that "turkeys are so dumb that when it rains they look up and drown." Is that true? Are turkeys actually stupid or just misunderstood? People also say chickens are stupid, but since having my own I know that's not true and I'm wondering if it's the same with turkeys.

  2. ImpulsiveFarmer

    ImpulsiveFarmer Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    Chautauqua County, NY
    I don't think the drowning in the rain part is true, but I've had a farmer who raises turkey say you have to put something shiny in the hatchling's water dish to get them to drink or they will die of dehydration. That's just the poults though, I don't think it applies to full grown turkeys.
  3. Celie

    Celie Songster 6 Years

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    I agree, turkeys are very smart and personable. IMO, they are much smarter than chickens, but if hand raised, do need to be shown where the water is, sometimes, so I do hatch a few chicks to do the job for me. Poults are more fragile than chicks and chicks more than ducklings!
  4. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    I think the turkeys are better at finding food and water than most give them credit for as well. I show them where the food is once, dip their bills once, and they do just fine. No Marbles, no shiny things, no baby chickens. I do put in a few rocks so they can't fall in the water and get wet, but I take them out after a few days.

    I think the drowning myth is from very young birds getting hypothermic in the rain.

    Turkeys are definitely more curious and personable than chickens.

  5. Jennsbirds

    Jennsbirds Chirping

    Feb 24, 2013
    Bay Area
    I thought it wasonly true of factory super domsticated (and thus very poorly raise and probably inbred) turkeys.
  6. wolfie115

    wolfie115 In the Brooder

    Oct 12, 2011
    We've had turkeys for two years and our birds will stay out in the rain, sometimes they will hide under things but our toms especially don't mind the rain like the chickens do. They hold their heads high because they are very proud birds. We haven't lost any because they were out in the rain, lol. They are very intelligent birds. They even have an array of different sounds they make with different meanings and once you get to know turkeys you hear it. I've heard a lot of people say that turkeys were stupid but in reality they are far from. :) Turkeys are my favorite kind of bird.
  7. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    What happens is people put them out to early before they are fully feathered and they get wet, chilled, and die. Once they get older the weather doesn't seem to bother them at all.

  8. poults needs gr8 care but mine after 3 months out in the weather
  9. Beth K.

    Beth K. Chirping

    Nov 22, 2011
    The Funny Farm
    Thanks for all the great responses! I had a sneaking suspicion that the "turkeys are stupid" mantra was merely an urban legend.

  10. Jesz

    Jesz In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2012
    Scott La
    They are several feed stores in my area and almost everytime I go in to check out a new one and their prices, someone there will say that. [​IMG] And then in the same breathe ask "do you have any for sell?" I'm sure my facial expression says it all. [​IMG]

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