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Discussion Starter #1
I added 2 Narragansett turkeys (Hen/Tom) to my flock last weekend (already have 9 chickens, 2 Guineas, 4 Quail) and am trying to figure out the best way to accommodate them.

Here are my main questions. A longer description of my setup is below that:

- do they *need* to be in a coop/locked up every night like my chickens?
-- are they as vulnerable to typical predators such as raccoon, fox, weasel, and maybe coyotes?
-- does it make any sense to keep them with the chickens or should they really be separate?
-- could they be outside under a dry shelter with hay?
- do they general stay "home" or can I rely on them to free range with the other birds and still stick around?
- what's the best way to feed birds that have different nutritional needs if they're co-mingling? My chickens and Guineas get layers feed. Turkeys get meat bird feed.

--- more details ---
Everyone's in one big coop (converted a stall in my barn and cut windows/door for them to get out) with plenty of space... I added a low roost for the turkeys, although they huddle in a corner right now while everyone gets used to each other.

I kept the turkeys in a large dog cage for 1 week in the chicken coop and then let them out in the coop with the chickens.

My chicken door actually isn't large enough for the turkeys because my goats will get in and eat all the chicken feed. So I either need to make another coop or shelter for the turkeys, or build a run outside the coop that the goats can't get into and make the door big enough for the turkeys.

For now I have to guide the turkeys out the stall door and then barn, but they had no idea what to do in the evening and just found a comfortable spot in the yard. Letting them in and catching them to lock up isn't a good long-term strategy.

--- plan ---
For now my plan is to build a large overhang outside the coop and make an open turkey run-in of sorts under the overhang. I'd fence in an area to create a run, if needed. Then the turkeys would stay outside. I'm just wondering if they need more protection.
 

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As long as they are protected from the wind / rain (even a 2 sided shelter), and safe from predators (foxes mainly around here), they are fine. They are a tough outdoor bird that don't need a lot of coddling.

In your situation I would make the door larger and figure a way to keep the goats out...
 

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My hen crop is decimated every year at nesting time by coyotes. No problems any other time of the year with turkeys (chickens on free range is a different story). If you have coyotes, then I suggest keeping an eye on the hen and grabbing her to put her inside if you want to keep her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My hen crop is decimated every year at nesting time by coyotes. No problems any other time of the year with turkeys (chickens on free range is a different story). If you have coyotes, then I suggest keeping an eye on the hen and grabbing her to put her inside if you want to keep her.

I've never seen coyotes in the area, but they MUST be around. I'm in Central MD and surrounded by state park. For now they're still in the coop and I let them out of the bigger door.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As long as they are protected from the wind / rain (even a 2 sided shelter), and safe from predators (foxes mainly around here), they are fine. They are a tough outdoor bird that don't need a lot of coddling.

In your situation I would make the door larger and figure a way to keep the goats out...

Thanks! Yeah I think a bigger door is the best answer. Maybe a combo of a bigger door and a fenced in run. Just trying to avoid a bunch of building. Someone suggested getting bigger goats too, which is a great idea b/c my 3 are dwarfs. It's super easy for them to fit into most places they take an interest in - which is absolutely everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So an update and additional questions. I decided to make a run for the turkeys outside the coop. I used 4 pallets to make a big roost area and a broomstick for the roost. I grabbed some spare fencing to wrap around the run and bird netting to keep them in, and other things out. I've kept them confined to the run for a while so they don't disappear.

Here's the problem. They DONT want to be in the run. They've escaped twice: 1) I found them up in a tree late at night in really heavy rain/sleet. I grabbed the hen and caught the Tom and put them back in their run to stay dry at least. 2) They somehow broke the bird netting and I found them up in a tangle of vines on my fence above their run. I tried to grab them and spent 30 mins chasing them in the cow pasture next door at 11:30 at night and put them back. :) That would have been a sight to see.

If I remove the fencing I'm curious where they'll go. Also, how do I feed them if they're never going back to the same place? Maybe I'm overthinking this and need to let them free range and they'll stick around.

Thoughts?

Here it is, but picture a pallet "box" instead of the doghouse and netting over top.
ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1418100046.658781.jpg
 

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We keep turkeys and chickens in separate coops for disease reasons, namely Blackhead. Our Turkey coop also houses the guineas and the two refuse to be separated. The turkey coop is 25 ft long by 12 ft wide and on one end it is enclosed providing shelter. It looks like heck but sure works. We kept the turkeys penned in for 6 - 7 weeks and then let them out to free range during the day and keep then penned at night.
 

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BlackHead can be easily conquered with Copper Sulfate, so no worries there.
And they are escaping because they are not 'inside' and the roost is too low for them to feel secure.
They can either be inside or have a more secure roosting area.
They are going to harm themselves in their attempt to sleep safely higher up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
BlackHead can be easily conquered with Copper Sulfate, so no worries there.
And they are escaping because they are not 'inside' and the roost is too low for them to feel secure.
They can either be inside or have a more secure roosting area.
They are going to harm themselves in their attempt to sleep safely higher up.

Great thanks. I have some work to do to enclose their roost then, and make a little higher.

I did a little experiment today and let them out. They hopped the perimeter fence and foraged and couldn't figure out how to get back back in. I herded them and they went right back to the roost voluntarily. A good sign.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We keep turkeys and chickens in separate coops for disease reasons, namely Blackhead. Our Turkey coop also houses the guineas and the two refuse to be separated. The turkey coop is 25 ft long by 12 ft wide and on one end it is enclosed providing shelter. It looks like heck but sure works. We kept the turkeys penned in for 6 - 7 weeks and then let them out to free range during the day and keep then penned at night.

Thanks for the reply. My guineas keep the chickens in line. :) I'll have to work on a better enclosure for the turkeys.
 

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My heritage turkeys free range, they have access to a coop but prefer to roost in the trees.
The turkeys and the guinea hens all hang out together.
We have two LGD so we don't really have a problem with coyotes here
Our turkeys, guinea hens and chickens stay close to home, occasionally going down to the neighbors house.
All of our turkeys like to roost up high so maybe you could put a door up high for the turkeys and guinea hens to come in.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My heritage turkeys free range, they have access to a coop but prefer to roost in the trees.

The turkeys and the guinea hens all hang out together.

We have two LGD so we don't really have a problem with coyotes here

Our turkeys, guinea hens and chickens stay close to home, occasionally going down to the neighbors house.

All of our turkeys like to roost up high so maybe you could put a door up high for the turkeys and guinea hens to come in.

A high door going into my coop would actually allow them to get in and keep the goats out. I always thought Turkeys spent more time "lower" than chickens. Not sure why I thought that though. I put in lower roosts in the chicken coop when I first got the turkeys and they rarely used them. Preferred the ground or the hard top of my quail hutch in the coop.

I like the the additional access door idea. I'll have to think in that a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There's a variety of accommodations in these replies. Thanks for the input. I ended up securing the run so they can't get out... at least for a while.

It's super cold today, for MD anyway (16F... -4F w/ wind chill), and it's got me thinking about their run. Considering Turkeys would be roosting in trees or on the ground, they're probably fine. But I have a 3-sided pallet box with a plywood roof. So the wind can still blow through the pallet slats, although not as strong.

My question is whether they're too exposed. I can take a pic tomorrow but curious about initial thoughts.
 

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My turkey's use to sleep on the horse's backs.

Until 2 legged predators aka hunters.. decided they would be an easy kill.
(they do not look anything like wild turkeys)
So now the Turkeys are locked in the Hen house at night.
 
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