Baby Turkeys

My friend and fellow homesteader, Kelly, raises turkeys, peacocks, chickens and ducks so when I learned she was hatching turkeys I definitely wanted some. I’ve visited her house and checked out her coops and thought the turkeys were cool plus I love turkey eggs and have always thought raising my own for Thanksgiving would be nice.

Here are some turkey eggs she gave me today in fact…

Two weeks later 5 little baby turkeys hatched and I picked them up when they were 4-5 days old.

Baby turkeys are quite a bit bigger than chicks and they start trying to fly at two weeks old. They also want a higher roost earlier and they eat NON STOP! We feed a game bird starter to them right now. Next week, if I feel confident that they can’t squeeze through the fencing, they are moving to the coop. They need space and it’s warmer now. I will leave a heat lamp at night for a couple of weeks.

Here they are now at three weeks old. We don’t know their sexes yet but I plan to keep the females for laying and butchering the males in the fall.

Initially, the turkeys will share coop space with the chickens (on the other side of the yellow makeshift door). We need to fence off the middle space of the barn between the hay and the chicken coop…basically the wall with the yellow lid being used as a door to the bales in the corners in the very front of the picture. That will be turkey coop space but basically all the birds will access that while 2/3 of this side of the barn. We will install higher roosts for the turkeys so they will naturally go to “their” side.

I’ll definitely post an update on when they move out. It will be fun to see them outside!

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