Wild Turkey???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lostdog, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Lostdog

    Lostdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2008
    I am so new to the whole chicken scene.I don't even have my chicks yet but am wondering if I allow my chickens to free range when I am out with them do I need to be concerned at all about wild turkey?

    Will they peck at my birds?
    Do I have to be concerned with them transfering any illness to my birds?

    My DH says turkeys are not so smart so I thought they would be skittish but they sure seem a lot more curious than I thought they would be.

    BTW they are not very smart (or maybe they are).The school bus driver will sit and beep at them as they block the bus from moving. Then she usually has to get off the bus to shoo them out of the road.The kids think its hysterically funny.

    We frequently have turkey roaming around our yard despite our large (obviously NOT scary [​IMG] ) dog and I am just concerned.
     
  2. nautical_bouy

    nautical_bouy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Beaver PA
    Maybe the turkeys laugh at the bus driver getting off the bus???????
     
  3. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    [​IMG] That is funny. I am not sure about the wild turkeys being dumb or smart. I would think if you scared them off once or twice they might not bother your chickens. Good luck.

    Chickenman8
     
  4. poultrypal

    poultrypal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2007
    My domestic turkeys and chickens would free range together and no one seemed to pay any attention to the other. I would think internal/external parasites being passed to your chickens would be the biggest concern.
     
  5. Lostdog

    Lostdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:I think you are exactly right because after she tries to chase them they move to the side of the road and sqwauk a little then by the time she gets on the bus they are back in the road in front of the bus.Sometimes it looks like they are dancing.They are pretty funny.The kids love if they get to school late because of the excitement.
     
  6. Lostdog

    Lostdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:I never chase animals from my yard,well, 'cept that pesty coon-he's gonna have to go far away.But I guess a lil shoo wouldn't hurt the turkeys I don't want to jeapordize my babies.

    Poultrypal,thats what I was worried about maybe catching some sickness or parasite.
     
  7. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    Domesticated turkeys are generally dumb, but wild turkeys wouldn't last long if they were. If you have that many turkeys around and you have chicken or bird seed out they will probably come by. I doubt they will harbor any more parasites than any of the other countless wild birds that pass through your yard.

    In areas where they are hunted they are pretty shy. But in some suburban areas off limits to hunting they can quickly learn not to fear humans. They have my yard timed so that they only come around mon-fri when we are all out at work and school. Never see them on the weekends, just on the occasional weekday we are off. That is pretty smart.

    A tom turkey will weigh 25-30 lbs with 1-2" spurs. I doubt your rooster or hen will have much luck moving it away from feeders. If you don't have feed in the yard, I doubt they will hang around just to harass your flock.

    Wild turkeys cover a lot of ground each day, so even if the feed is there they won't camp out.
     
  8. Lostdog

    Lostdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:I live in a very rural area where they are hunted and they don't last too long but ususally I see them dead along the road(being hit) more so than hunted.The flocks usually start out fairly large but dwindle down fairly fast. My DH and kids keep a count each time we see them in the end its not unusual to see them down to 2 or 3. It's kinda sad.
     
  9. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    Wild turkeys gather in large mixed gender flocks over the winter. In Spring, the flocks break up and toms try to keep as many hens as possible but this leads to many smaller flocks centered around a tom and his brother(s). At this time, 1 yr old males (jakes) make there own flocks. Then in summer the hens ditch all males and most other hens and have their babies. In Fall, the flocks come back together, although males might maintain there own flock for awhile.

    So, mortality is probably not why you see dwindling numbers, just natural turkey behavior. Foods change during the year too, which moves the flocks to different locations.

    The only time I generally see turkeys as roadkill, is males during the Spring breeding. They were probably trying to follow a female without looking. [​IMG]
     
  10. purplebaby

    purplebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have lots of wild turkeys here. they are protected. my best friend and i both have chickens, and hers free range. we never had turkey problems yet. she has had them for 10+ yrs. i only got them last yr.
     

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