Turkeys to the coop at night

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by protodon, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any tricks to getting my turkeys to go to the coop at night? I think from what I read turkeys generally refuse to do this and from what I've experienced it's true. Although I have some free-range and some penned turkeys and the free-range ones still like to stay near their penned buddies which is pretty far from the coop.
     
  2. SandyC

    SandyC Chillin' With My Peeps

    I get mine in at night by feeding them all a snack once inside. Works everytime...except for the ones that go off nesting. Sadly, I just lost two that way. I have learned my lesson and once they start looking nesty, I am going to grab them and into a locked area they go.

    Good luck!
     
  3. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine go in my barn at night. When I first let my young ones out, they first spend a few night in a cage in the barn. If I don't do this they will want to come in my house at night or roost right outside my door. My house is where they where brooded so to them that is home and I am Momma. After a few nights they always go to the barn at night.

    I also train mine to come when I whistle. I whistle to them when they are in the brooder. They get to know that I am calling them just like a hen would call to its young. Right now many spend the day outside but are to young to spend the night outside. I call them, they let me pick them up and I put them in the house.
     
  4. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The willingness of ours to return to the coop at night seems to depend on where they came from. The ones that we brought up from poults and a pair that had been cooped and penned permanently have been no trouble. Two females who had never been indoors before coming to us often wander in a different direction and the others sometimes follow.

    Our co-operative ones will go to the coop on their own if we leave them until it's just about dark but we prefer to get them in a little earlier. We shepherd them slowly. Sometimes one of us can manage them alone and other occasions we share the job in order to widen the push from the rear and cover the flank if necessary. It really is like that! A long stick helps. Hold it horizontally to the side in one direction and they will turn the other way. Holding the stick over them or walking too quickly will scatter them. We give them time to graze their way to the coop. They know that their food and water have already been moved back into the coop so the last few feet are usually easy as they remember what's in store.

    I hope that helps. Your technique will depend on the character of your birds and the geography of your land. Moving one group away from another must add to the complications. Slow and patient works for us - and not too soon before nightfall if you can avoid it.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    They can be trained, but it has to be done consistently (took about three months). You'll know it is time to march them off when you notice that they are starting to eyeball trees and chimneys (about 15min. before sundown). Ours return to their run/shed, a little before the chooks go to roost, with no intervention. We know that breeding season is nigh when the hens start lollygagging.
     
  6. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it's pretty much impossible for me to corral them all to the coop because they just end up running into the brush where I can't get them, then they go back with their buddies. So then I have to wait til it's dark and catch them and carry them down there which also isn't isn't because unlike chickens, apparently turkeys can see in the dark and carrying 5 turkeys isn't a lot of fun. Also I know they won't learn to go there by themselves if I carry them there in pitch black. I suspect that some of this problem would be fixed if I moved the penned turkeys near the coop somehow...
     
  7. ziggywiggy

    ziggywiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is where scratch grains come in handy. Feed them in. Mine love scratch mainly because they hardly get any so when it's available they run for it.
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    You can also herd them by holding a long stick in either hand and, with arms outspread, slowly move them where you want them to go.
     
  9. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Quote:This is the method we used to train them to go to their pen. Then I added scratch only when penned. They learned quickly.
    By the way, my guines decided they wanted to roost with the turkeys when they saw scratch at night. LOL
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  10. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Four or Five years ago I had some turkeys that thought my patio cover and roof was there night time spot. Even with 4 feet of snow on their backs, they would not go in my barn. They did take me the longest to break but I know what went wrong. When they were young I kept them on my patio thinking it was wind free and warm. That was my big mistake.
     

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