Turkeys flew the coop

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Chickenhugger2, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Chickenhugger2

    Chickenhugger2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    A friend gave me a surplus pair of Turkeys. I kept them penned up for 5 days feeding and watering them inside my barn. When I let them out, they flew to the back of my pasture and over the barbed wire fence. Should I expect to ever see them again? They probably thought is was heaven its a green field of winter wheat! LOL
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    What variety? Other than listening for them early in morning/evening, leaving some scratch out and passing along info. to neighbors there isn't much to be done. Hope you get lucky before the local preds do. If they are VERY imprinted on home location, they can find their way back through over ten acres of heavily wooded land without any problem at all (our neighbor's turks used to come over daily to `visit' with ours and then march back every evening).

    Might well show up at any neighbor's place where there are turkeys or, not so good, wander off with a wild flock.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  3. Chickenhugger2

    Chickenhugger2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Thanks for responding. They are wild rio grande turkeys. I took a walk down at the edge of our property just before dark and I could hear the tom calling. I suspect they will roost in the trees there tonight. They were not well imprinted in hind sight, I should have kept them penned longer. Still not sure they would stick around even if I had kept them penned longer. We weren't too attached and I can always get some more from my friend who is overloaded. I will give it some more thought. Not sure if they will be more work than pleasure.
     
  4. blake w

    blake w Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Union Grove, AL
    imo, the best option would have been to release the gobbler only after a few days of being cooped..allow him to get a bit used to the area prior to releasing the hen..in most cases he wouldnt have left her..good luck on getting them back home
     
  5. Chickenhugger2

    Chickenhugger2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Thank you.... I have seen them in the neighbors yard... at least they are together. Maybe they will make their way back to my yard. What do they eat in wild?
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    They are pretty much omnivorous bugs/frogs/all sorts of acorns, grasses, etc.

    They fact that they are still nearby is a hopeful sign. However, without at least a 6 foot fence (with netting to be sure) the chances of escape are pretty great (as was mentioned, larger toms tend to stay on the ground more than the hens - one behind the fence tends to keep the others congregated nearby).

    You could try to capture them using serious equipment (don't know you can get the rockets at the local rental :lol: ) http://www.ranches.org/rio_grande_turkey_project.htm . However, two people with 5-6ft. sticks held out from their sides, moving towards turks - slowly - is more than enough to `herd' the birds to where you want them (in the old days a couple of kids, outfitted so, would herd up to three hundred turkeys, over several miles, to market using the stick method). If you get them back, keep them inside except in the evenings when you are there to herd them back inside at dusk (when they start eyeballing your roof you'll know it is time...) Once trained they'll return to coop/shed/barn every evening (exception being hens when in nesting phase).

    Keep feed/sunflower seeds out and available - will probably show up to eat.
     
  7. Chickenhugger2

    Chickenhugger2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Just a little update on the gobblers. My neighbors have spotted them and I have also seen them. Too Funny. They seem very content to be roaming free. Glad I can still enjoy them even though I have to share them with the whole neighborhood.

    And for all you Turkey lovers out there... On a trip to New york two summers ago... We saw a turkey that live in the parking lot where you catch the ferry to the statue of liberty. It is said the the homeless people look out for him and that he has been in the city for 25 year!
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    I'd still suggest you lure them in (unless the pred load `round OKC has been eliminated by cars and trucks on 35/40/44) for survival's sake.

    There is a video floating around, from a few years back, of a flock of Wild Easterns hanging out on a train platform in New Jersey. I think most folks ignore them if they're not damaging the finish on their cars when the toms attack their reflections.
     
  9. urban escapee

    urban escapee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alvin, TX
    We kept our penned up for about 3 weeks before we attempted to free range them. They stay pretty close to their pen, and they like to take breakfast with our goats. The farthest they have wondered was towards our house. A trail of scratch got them back to their "assigned" area LOL. Our reason for keeping them penned for so long was not only to make sure they were imprinted, but to get a bit of size on them to deter the hawks from going for them. However, I think the goats kind of make sure that doesnt happen either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  10. judsenn

    judsenn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mine ran off the first day getting them! :) (3 hens and 1 tom) They came back that evening, we saw them further down on the land. Me and B/f came up from behind them and coralled them back into their pen. Since then we have clipped their wings so they can't fly up high distances. We left them free range o a few times a week and they just stay in the yard and walk back to their pen when they've "had enough". I guess we got lucky that way.
     

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