Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Turkeys' Excellent Outdoor Adventure

We moved the turkeys outside the very day we finished the duck house. They were still living inside a brooder in my bathroom. When you see the pictures below, you will realize just how inappropriate that was!

They grew quickly from cute little fuzzballs

They were approximately 1 week old here

into loud, demanding escape artists.

Just about a month old here. They foul up their water like nobody's business.

And for the record, turkeys are messier than chickens. This will be the first and last time we raise turkeys unless we can figure out a way to get them out of the house sooner. I don't mind baby poultry indoors for the first two weeks, but after that it becomes pretty miserable. The whole "turkeys are so delicate they can't possibly touch dirt until they are 10 weeks old or they'll die" thing is hard to deal with. 

The duck house is a temporary solution to our turkey housing problem. We knew we would have a few weeks between the time we finished the duck house and when we would  need it for ducklings, so we decided to move the turkeys out there to acclimate them to the outdoors and their chicken neighbors.

How would you like to have this crew living your bathroom? 

We were in the midst of a record-breaking heat wave with no end in sight, but it couldn't be helped. The turkeys had to go. We moved them out in the cool of the evening (well, as cool as it gets when the high is 108 for back-to-back days) and placed a tarp over one end of the run to give them some shade.

And they loved it. No signs of them croaking yet despite the fact that they've been out there a week and they are only seven weeks old. Shhhh! Don't tell them they are supposed to be weaklings or they might start getting ideas. No way was I going to keep these behemoths inside for another month. 

The turkeys want the chickens to come and play

The turkeys seem to be pretty curious about the chickens. They peep loudly to get their attention but for the most part the chickens ignore them. 

We've already installed the gate for the addition to the moat 

We hope to get the area around the duck house fenced in this week. Our ducks are due to hatch this week, too, so once again I'll set up the brooder in the bathroom. Who needs a clean bathroom anyway? ;) 


  1. They're huge! I've never raised turkeys before (I have chickens) but I keep wondering about 'babying' them for so long. How do they stay alive in the wild when they 'hit the dirt' much younger?

    1. Good question. I assume that wild turkeys are hardier than the domesticated varieties. I just know that with all the research and reading I've done, everyone emphasizes that young turkeys are extremely delicate. Some people never allow their turkeys outdoors but raise them on a porch-type building.