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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    16,684

    Default Falling in Love with Turkeys!

    No one warned me how dang cute turkey poults are....nor how friendly they are! I have 51 (had 60, lost 9) Bourbon Reds and Midget Whites. They are about a week old now. These are the first I've raised and I'm really enjoying them.

    I can hardly help myself to not play with them. They are for Thanksgiving sales so I know better than to make pets of them...but dang...they are adorable! I love their bold little personalities too. They come right up to you and look you over and peck at your fingers. They will perch on yoru arm and visit. Chicks usually run or stay away. I'm surprised at how different they are from chickens.

    I may end up keeping a couple perhaps for "public relations" or something.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2010
    Location
    somewhere
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    418

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    The little baby turkeys are always adorable! I'm afraid of fully grown ones, but my grandmother's used to chase me when I was only about 4 feet tall.

    Why not keep a couple? They would be a nice addition to the farm!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,287

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    I agree! We had four little ones that would follow us everywhere we went. If they lost track of where you were they would peep and peep and when they finally sighted you they would run full speed in that wobbly turkey chick way peeping their heads off until they got to you! It was kind of sad how much they would want in the house though... sitting there peering in through the glass doors...
    Tame grown-up turkeys are nice to have around too (not as cute) so I would definitely vote 'yes' to keeping some around for 'public relations'



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Posts
    3,192

    Default

    Our neighbor had a pet tom turkey that spent ALL! of his time at our house waiting for the kids to come out to play. He'd show up early in the morning and didn't go back home until dinner. He loved to follow after them when they rode their big wheels. He was particularly happy and proud when they would ride circles around him and he could put on his display.

    He also liked to sit down out in the middle of the county road in front and irritated motorists would pull into the drive and yell at us. I finally put a sign out that said that it was not our fricking bird. They are comical and full of personality. I bet those chicks are really adorable.
    The truth is what you can get other people to believe.

    -- Tommy Smothers



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,635

    Default

    I have no experience with tame, domesticated turkeys... but we have a group of about 13 wild turkeys that live on the farm. (I googled and apparently a group of turkeys is called a "rafter"? Never heard that...)

    They are so fun to watch, and while they aren't tame, they have become accustom to the people and horses around. And there is no funnier sight than 13 turkeys lined up on a fence, or even better, in a tree!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    Daydream.... I am about to get 20 wild turkey chicks. They are Rio Grandes, and should arrive any day. I am wondering what I have go myself into. I live on a creek that has native wild turkeys, but they are not doing well, and my thought was to let them go wild. But I will have to raise them big enough to learn to sleep in trees and be safe from predators. I have a great chicken coop for that, and they can learn to roost there at night while they are young. If they end up hanging around the house and barn, that's fine, I will keep them fed and watered.

    I am going to put them in a bathtub size container in the house until they are old enough to go into a coop.

    Can you answer some questions? I have been meaning to do some research, but would love your personal experience. How warm do the chicks need to be? Can they eat chick starter? Any other tips for when they are tiny?
    friend of bar.ka



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,187

    Default

    This guy has been strutting and puffing around my yard for the last month and a half, showing off for the hens.

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL147.../396872994.jpg

    They're wild, and I'm encouraging them to stay that way, so that it's harder for the hunters to get them. Besides, I get a kick out of the way that they look like miniature velociraptors when they are running away.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2003
    Location
    itty bitty town, GA
    Posts
    3,003

    Default

    We raised turkeys for a short while when I was a kid. Don't remember what kind they were but they were adorable as chicks. Unfortunately, the male turned mean as a snake and would attack my legs and my mother's legs when he matured. It was very painful and we ended up getting rid of them pretty quickly once that started happening.
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ToTheNines View Post
    Daydream.... I am about to get 20 wild turkey chicks. They are Rio Grandes, and should arrive any day. I am wondering what I have go myself into. I live on a creek that has native wild turkeys, but they are not doing well, and my thought was to let them go wild. But I will have to raise them big enough to learn to sleep in trees and be safe from predators. I have a great chicken coop for that, and they can learn to roost there at night while they are young. If they end up hanging around the house and barn, that's fine, I will keep them fed and watered.

    I am going to put them in a bathtub size container in the house until they are old enough to go into a coop.

    Can you answer some questions? I have been meaning to do some research, but would love your personal experience. How warm do the chicks need to be? Can they eat chick starter? Any other tips for when they are tiny?
    Sounds like you will have your hands full.

    Yes, you will need a brooder lamp. You should keep them at least 90F the first few days and you can decrease it by one degree a day. Better yet, just watch how they look..all huddled together and they are too cold, running around, they are fine.

    Turkey babies need Game Bird Starter feed. Also plan to keep them in the brooder or safely contained until they are 7-8 weeks old. It takes them longer than chicks.

    Glad to hear there are so many other turkey lovers on here. They are charming little birds. I think I will have to keep a pair for ambiance around the farm!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2002
    Location
    Prospect, ME
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    4,565

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    Aren't they a hoot?! I've got my first (small) batch of poults also - mine are... ohh... maybe a month old now? They are just too funny - wait 'till yours grow wings and start to fly
    -Jessica



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,414

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise View Post

    They're wild, and I'm encouraging them to stay that way, so that it's harder for the hunters to get them. Besides, I get a kick out of the way that they look like miniature velociraptors when they are running away.
    You are not doing them any favors if your intent is for their numbers to increase.

    The reason there is a spring gobbler season is only to increase populations. The older a Tom is, the less fertile he is. He will have a lot of hens and a few young. When an old or older Tom is taken (if you can hit him), younger more virile Toms move in and break up the hens into smaller harems. Then they make babies.

    The result is that the population increases dramatically.

    Domesticated Turkey make be dumb as a box of rocks, but Wild Turkey are incredibly difficult to hunt, and they are too crafty to be tamed.

    Anyway, I just wanted to dispel the stereotype of the big bad hunter. Hunters are not responsible for low numbers of Wild Turkey. Habitat fragmentation, lack of mast species, and bad public policy is. As is misinformation about hunting as a wildlife management tool.

    Right now I've got 40 chicks in a brooder and I'd love to raise a few turkey... But I haven't figured how to set things up to avoid Blackhead. Anyone have any suggestions?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2002
    Location
    Prospect, ME
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    Right now I've got 40 chicks in a brooder and I'd love to raise a few turkey... But I haven't figured how to set things up to avoid Blackhead. Anyone have any suggestions?
    I asked the breeder I got mine from, and he said as long as they aren't all locked up together (ranging), they should be fine... I'm still early in the process, so I don't know if this is true or not.


    I have a good friend who is a Registered Maine Guide who has been out hunting turkeys quite a bit this spring - he had the most he's ever heard called in and gobbling like crazy last week, until the first Tom stepped out into the clearing...looked up towards the road, saw Joe's truck, and promptly went back into the woods... at which point every Tom that had been gobbling went silent, and Joe had to call it quits for the day He did get one later on in the week, but I loved the story. Even he got a chuckle out of it. Smartest dumb birds around!
    -Jessica



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
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    6,201

    Default

    For anyone who's interested, the National Wild Turkey Federation is a good source of information on conservation, habitat enhancement, -- and recipes.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,414

    Default

    AppJumper - that's my problem, I think. My chicken free range.

    I've got to think on it a while longer and maybe plan better for next year.

    DB - did you get yours from McMurray or Strombergs?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2002
    Location
    Prospect, ME
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    AppJumper - that's my problem, I think. My chicken free range.

    I've got to think on it a while longer and maybe plan better for next year.

    DB - did you get yours from McMurray or Strombergs?

    He said as long as they *are* free ranging and not locked in a coop together, they should be ok. Sorry, I worded it oddly
    -Jessica



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2010
    Location
    On The Farm In New England
    Posts
    870

    Default

    The babies are adorable but they always pecked at ms when they got older.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2003
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    6,637

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    Do they eat lots of bugs?
    Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
    Now apparently completely invisible!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2008
    Location
    North Georgia
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    2,086

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    No one warned me how dang cute turkey poults are....nor how friendly they are!
    Just wait until you have a Tom fall in love with you I had a bronze Tom follow me all over the darn farm where I used to live, would flush red, get all puffed up, fan his tail, and strut everywhere I went. It was slightly embarrassing, but it was humorous when he would chase off my ex-husband
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    AppJumper - that's my problem, I think. My chicken free range.

    I've got to think on it a while longer and maybe plan better for next year.

    DB - did you get yours from McMurray or Strombergs?
    Got mine from McMurray Hatchery. They have a nice guarantee and covered the nine I lost in the first few days.



  20. #20
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydroPHILE View Post
    Just wait until you have a Tom fall in love with you I had a bronze Tom follow me all over the darn farm where I used to live, would flush red, get all puffed up, fan his tail, and strut everywhere I went. It was slightly embarrassing, but it was humorous when he would chase off my ex-husband
    Too funny!



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