Will free range turkeys fly away?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Quailer21, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Quailer21

    Quailer21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2011
    Jupiter, Florida
    I have been seeing all this talk about free range turkeys. Wont they just fly away or up in a tree and get out of your yard? How do you get them back in the run? I want to get some for pets but I don't want them flying away??
  2. retlaw

    retlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sure they could.
    They like to hang out in a flock.
    Social animals.

    The biggest issue I have is predators.

    I use fish netting over the yard to stop them flying out and stop the big predator birds from coming in.
    There is a pair of ravens that like to hang around the turkey zone and I even heard the ravens trying to copy the turkey calls.
    The mature birds would not have an issue but poults could be lunch for the ravens.

    Last year I lost two to coyotes and four to a bear.
    They came back after their free lunch like I knew they would.
    It was their last lunch.

    I knew a man who bought one hundred wild turkeys and let them go out on his farm.
    It seems that a bunch of hens made it but their was no toms in sight.

    The hens can fly easier, faster and higher.
    So it looks like ground predators must have gotten the toms.

    If you live in an area with no wild animals then dogs are the biggest threat.
  3. Quailer21

    Quailer21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2011
    Jupiter, Florida
    But won't they just fly away for good?
  4. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 25, 2012
    My turkeys fly but they don't roost in trees or anything (evidently my truck is the pinnacle of nighttime comfort). Well, I say they fly, the hens fly well the tom not so much.

    Anyway to your question:

    Yes and no.

    If you get them as adults, you will need to pen them in a small enough pen that they can't get a good start to flying (they often need a bit of a run up to get over a fence) for 3-4 weeks so they realize that this is the place where some nice tall thing brings them food. Once they get the point on that they'll generally stick around.

    HOWEVER - if you don't provide them with enough food, they will wander off in search of greener pastures. As long as they're getting enough food either from your land itself and/or supplemented feed by you, they're not going anywhere.

    And, as I said, mine generally don't fly but they will totally walk up the driveway and down the road. A looooooooong way down the road. My turkeys don't have a run, don't have a coop, and my yard isn't fenced. They're outside and uncontained 24/7. The only time I have to go look for them is if they feel there's not enough food around. Once I supplement feed in those situations (like when we had that drought last summer) they stop wandering.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  5. Quailer21

    Quailer21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2011
    Jupiter, Florida
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    THese are domestic turkeys. THey depend on you for food and water. Mine follow me around the yard like a dog.

    Mine roost in the trees sometimes; I prefer to put them in a coop, so near to sunset when I see them thinking about going to roost we round them up and they walk into their safety zone.

    The wild turkeys come to visit here, I was within 20 feet of them, and when they left, my turkeys didn't care. They stayed home.
  7. Calebs Farm

    Calebs Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2013
    San Antonio, TX
    My Rio Grande tom stays around the house, we've raised him from an egg. As for some of our Rio hens as soon as breeding season comes along if there not pent up they nest in the field and are never seen again.
  8. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    If the hens do not like the nesting places you give them, they will go on a walk-about every day and find a place they like and lay there everyday. When turkeys are young and light weight(up to 10 months) they fly a lot and like places like the roof or on top people's vehicles, but not so much after they get old and fat. If your hens are well fed and happy, they will stay close to home, without a fence and the toms will go anywhere the hens are. If you feed them right before dark, in the barn, they will keep with the routine and put themselves to roost every night around dark and all I have to do is close the barn doors. If you have very close neighbors, you may have trouble. Turkeys are very curious and need acrage to be kept well, without causing trouble! [​IMG]

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