What age do turkeys roost outside?

SarahGfa

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I keep seeing threads about turkeys refusing to go inside at night... well my poults are 3 months old and still insist on cramming into the chicken coop. They are almost too big to fit in the pop door.

I want them roost outside. They have multiple oak trees inside an electric fence. The lowest tree branch is 6-7 feet off the ground. Right now 3 poults sleep in the tree (I believe they are all males). The 5 other poults sleep in the chicken coop. Will they eventually roost outside, or do I need to build them something else? They can't stay in the chicken coop. it is too crowded and gross.
 

R2elk

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I keep seeing threads about turkeys refusing to go inside at night... well my poults are 3 months old and still insist on cramming into the chicken coop. They are almost too big to fit in the pop door.

I want them roost outside. They have multiple oak trees inside an electric fence. The lowest tree branch is 6-7 feet off the ground. Right now 3 poults sleep in the tree (I believe they are all males). The 5 other poults sleep in the chicken coop. Will they eventually roost outside, or do I need to build them something else? They can't stay in the chicken coop. it is too crowded and gross.
I have poults that are 2 months old that have been trying to roost outside for the past month. I will not allow my poults to roost outside until they are at least 5 months old. The young poults are too vulnerable to owls and raccoons.

I also do not allow my turkeys to roost in the trees or on top of the buildings. I have roosts built that are staggered in height from 3' to 6'.

Inside the roosts are staggered from1' to 4'. The poults usually start using them once they are 2 to 3 weeks old but don't spend the nights on the roosts until they are acclimated to the nighttime temperatures.
 

SarahGfa

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Can all heritage turkeys eventually make it onto a 6 foot roost? Some of my poults can't understand how to use wing assist when jumping. They squat down like they're gearing up for a long jump, then hop up about six inches off the ground.
 

SarahGfa

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The Electric fence keeps climbing critters (raccoons) out. I think the oak trees are good protection from owls because they are dense, and the turkeys can hop branches until they are 30 feet high or more.

I would love to build something like these
d479e5dba5eaf734-photo-1020x1024.jpg

12.TempleRanch_ArtificialRoosts_01.jpg
 

R2elk

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The Electric fence keeps climbing critters (raccoons) out. I think the oak trees are good protection from owls because they are dense, and the turkeys can hop branches until they are 30 feet high or more.
Owls can get at any turkeys in trees. They sit on a branch and walk the branch until they are next to a sleeping bird. One click of their beak and the head is removed.
 

SarahGfa

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Owls can get at any turkeys in trees. They sit on a branch and walk the branch until they are next to a sleeping bird. One click of their beak and the head is removed.
OK. I don't know anything about owls, but something does not make sense. Why would any owl bother hunting mice when they can just walk around in trees and bite the heads off of sleeping birds? It would be like walking through an all-you-can-eat buffet.
 

R2elk

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OK. I don't know anything about owls, but something does not make sense. Why would any owl bother hunting mice when they can just walk around in trees and bite the heads off of sleeping birds? It would be like walking through an all-you-can-eat buffet.
They do both. I lost my whole first flock of guineas to Great Horned Owls along with a flock of Bantam chickens that were allowed to free roam. I regularly find remnants of owl taken bunnies and Collared Doves.
 
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SarahGfa

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Owls can get at any turkeys in trees. They sit on a branch and walk the branch until they are next to a sleeping bird. One click of their beak and the head is removed.
Are they safe from owls after ~5 months old? I have removed the head of an adult male before....I would not describe it as "click". Owls must have superhuman jaw strength.

Trying to figure out what to make for turkey nighttime house...I take it they don't like walls. Mabye a chain link dog kennel with a roost?
 

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