Turkey Update, 1st Youtube Video!


The turkeys are a great addition.  An earlier post described my movable pen and cattle trailer which I used to lock them up at night and avoid predation.  They quickly outgrew that idea.

So I put them in our old dairy barn and left them locked in for a couple of days to acclimate them to that space as home.  Then I opened the door and watched.


They are avid foragers of greens and insects, roaming now at nine weeks over approximately ten acres.  Oddly, they are attracted to humans and vehicles and really anything novel.

They started a bad habit of coming up on the back porch and lounging, especially if people were sitting there.  They weren’t bothersome, except for the prodigious quantities of excrement they produce.

So I made a hillbilly decision and put a fence around my back porch.  The turkeys are free-range, but the farmer is confined!


8 Responses to Turkey Update, 1st Youtube Video!

  1. Good video Matthew, turkeys and your pasture are looking good. You also have a beautiful farm and your singing is pretty good too. I do have a few questions. I noticed the turkeys were in the old dairy barn with chickens, how well do they get along? Also how do you get them back in the barn in the evening and about what time do you do that?

    • Thanks, Gordon! They seem to get along fine. They ignore each other for the most part.
      Getting them in is easy now. Anytime within an hour of dusk they are looking for home and protection, so it is easy to lead most and then get behind any stragglers and walk in. This would make a good video.
      At first it took a combination of confidence and creativity. Two qualities which are always in demand, especially on a pastured farm.
      How is your farm? I haven’t seen any updates in awhile. I bet you are out looking for another big buck.

      • Thanks for answering my questions, I was wondering how easy it was to get them to go in at night. I have been lazy when it has come to my blog, hopefully I will do a post soon. I haven’t got any animals yet, got a boat and Did a lot of fishing this summer. Also after taking a long break, we started working on our house again. We have been finishing the rec room in the basement and started building a new bar. It is turning out pretty cool and I plan to do a post about that some time.

  2. Sharon says:

    Cute comments about the farmer! Sweet farm.

  3. The plan is to build a chicken coop next year and then get our chickens and then we will see how that goes before we add other livestock.

  4. cathylee says:

    I had Bourbon Reds and chickens together for years. They did fine. I am down to one tom now as I plan to switch to Sweetgrass Turkeys this year or next. No problem with Bourbon Reds just love the Sweetgrass. I had a small Sweetgrass flock and gave them away to friends except for a single hen which was my best at setting eggs.

    Also liked the video.

  5. Thank you, Sharon and Cathylee!

  6. Dave Perozzi says:

    I enjoyed the video. We are laying out plans for raising turkeys next year. We haven’t had turkeys in a while, but I’m excited about the prospect. Our turkeys used to strip milkweed plants down to the skeletons, just like yours did with the rape leaves. Amazing foragers…

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