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Turkeys on deep litter

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Costa Rica Art, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Costa Rica Art

    Costa Rica Art Chillin' With My Peeps

    One thing I haven't seen discussed is turkeys on deep litter in the coop. [​IMG] I have looked online [​IMG] but haven't found any info on this subject. Also, my turkeys share the coop with our chickens. [​IMG] I know there are great benefits for chickens in the deep litter I use but don't know what effects it has with the turkeys. So far we rob some of the deep litter before it is broken down completely for our compost so I am adding some new shavings every week. The hens and turkeys do a lot of scratching in the litter so there is very little manure on top of the litter. I toss cracked corn around the coop to encourage scratching which helps keep the wood shaving turning over to help with the breakdown. Between the flock and ourselves walking around in the coop it tends to compact the shavings so I use a garden folk to fluff up the litter. It is very interesting that the soil under the litter is not dry (not wet) even tho there has been little rain in the last few weeks and the concrete footings reach more than 2' into the ground. [​IMG] I'm guessing that is a result of the deep litter and is beneficial to the breakdown of the litter and for the healthy bacterial growth in the litter. [​IMG] Oh yeah, both the turkeys and chickens have the run of our backyard everyday. [​IMG] The 7 hens are full grown while the 6 turkeys are about 8 weeks if that makes any difference.
     
  2. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2010
    im using deep litter also. my turkeys are being kept in right now so i dont have to egg hunt all season, but i will be free rangeing once the season is over. the only thing im wondering is since they dont use a nest box, are they going to be covering over eggs and i wont be able to find them or see them in there unless i sift thru daily? i know no one has started laying but im hoping i dont have trouble with this. yours free range all day, but do they lay in the coop area in the shavings?
     
  3. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I have one of those big square garbage cans laid on it's side that I use for a nesting box with my turkeys. They like dark, secretive places, and they love using it. It's the perfect size for a hen to get into and move around.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Soaring Chicks

    Soaring Chicks Soaring Hawks Farm

    Jan 3, 2010
    Henderson,NC
    That's a neat idea for a nest box. Have to remember that one.
    Hope you don't mind.[​IMG]
     
  5. Costa Rica Art

    Costa Rica Art Chillin' With My Peeps

    My turkeys, I call them turkeys as last week the tom started to gooble, are only 8 weeks old, no where near laying age. The lady where I got the turkeys had what I would call medium size dog houses for her hens. Her nest box is outside as it is warmer where her home is. All her turkeys stay outdoors all the time. When it rains her turkeys stay either in an old machine shed or under an arbor. [​IMG] As we plan on only having one laying hen I plan on a similar nest box in the chicken coop. I will attach the nest box to the wall up off the litter as we get a lot of mice moving in all the time. I have live traps that I put a little grain in, some times as many as 6 mice in the trap. I take the trap outside and call the hens, dump the mice out and in seconds they are gone, the chickens love em'. [​IMG] When I redo the coop for the turkey side I will post photos for comments and advice. The silkie hen just finds her a spot in the litter and lays her eggs, we just put a parrot cage over her. Won't be able to do that with the turkey hen she will need the nest mounted so I can keep the litter fluffed up. I may have to enlarge the coop for the turkeys. So much to do, so little time! [​IMG]
     
  6. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Quote:No, not at all. It's a great $30 dollar investment. It never rots, and you can clean it out with a water hose. Any kind of can will do, actually, but the square ones don't roll when on their side.
     
  7. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    I've got turkeys and chickens (in separate coops) on deep litter. Like you, I turn it with a pitchfork, and I throw scratch on it to entice the birds to turn it over. I keep having to replace the litter because I'm in the process of treating a persistent problem with mites, which means lots of cleaning and scrubbing of the coop.

    The funny thing I've noticed with deep litter in the two side-by-side coops is that the chickens are much more industrious when it comes to tilling through the litter looking for grains. The turkeys will pick the scratch grains off the top, but they've never really gotten into the habit of rooting through the litter. The result is that the chickens have a better looking coop than the turkeys do, because the little in the turkey coop gets matted-down, while the chickens are constantly turning it over and reintegrating it.

    Also, I love that garbage can nest!
     

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