Winter time turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by barryj, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. barryj

    barryj New Egg

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    Dec 22, 2015
    Hello again everyone! I have pet turkey for the first time in my life. One bronze hen and one bronze tom (jake) and the other 4 toms are bronze/spanish mix. All are 7 months and weigh roughly 30 lbs. Here in PA, winter has hit hard recently. It is 5 degrees today and the wind chill takes it into the negatives. In my coop i have down a thick bed of hay and 2 heat lamps. The door is a full sized man-door and I have it about 1/4 open. I also have a hay bail blocking excess wind from blowing in to the coop. My birds have been staying mostly outside even at night. I see them shiver at times but have no clue what is normal and what temperatures they can endure. I am still putting down some hay outside since they insist on staying out there. At this point, they are almost like dogs the way they follow me around so, I would really hate to lose any of them.
    Any suggestions or advice on what I should be doing would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Barry
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
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    Get rid of the heat lamps, they are probably too hot to stay inside so they are sleeping outside to avoid the heat. Turkeys are extremely hardy, a place where the wind is blocked and a roof over their heads with 2x4 roosts, 4 up. You will make your turkeys sick with that extra heat at that age. Last night it was -38 below wind chills here.
     
  3. barryj

    barryj New Egg

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    Dec 22, 2015
    Ok, that's a lot more simple than I expected. Thank you very much Oldhen!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You're welcome, I also put out some hay or straw for them to stand on, mine are out most everyday.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO


    Heat lamps, even well secured heat lamps with mesh guards, and turkeys would give me ulcers worrying about their being startled into banging around and starting a fire. oldenlikesdogs is spot on. Most importantly, if they are in a run, put up tarps over W/N fencing. Ours do just fine so long as the wind is cut, and when the sun is out there is good Southern exposure.

    If you are seeing them pick up one leg at a time and appearing to "tremble" - it's a lot like shaking one's hands to return the circulation to the fingers.

    What do they roost on, outside?
     
  6. barryj

    barryj New Egg

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    Dec 22, 2015
    Ivan, I built them a roost with a 4" log and 2x4 outside and inside they have a 2x4 roost with the 4" side up. They don't use either one, however. I keep a fairly thick bed of hay in both areas.
     
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Bales and beds of hay it is :) Our current three toms have 2"x"2's at 4 ft. and 2"x"4"'s in shed, at about 4 feet. We did have a huge Slate Tom that liked to stay bedded down on straw in shed, but all the other turks have roosted. But, then, most of those started out very early... [​IMG]
     

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