Shelter is an essential element of well-being for all individuals, and this same requirement holds true for animals too. As such, it is important to consider the needs of a turkey in providing a safe and secure refuge. There are a lot of similarities between turkey shelter and housing and for your chicken, like making sure it is draft free.
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Turkey Shelter and Housing
There are some important considerations when it comes to the design and maintenance of a proper turkey shelter.
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Provide A Dry, Draft-Free, Secure Shelter
Locate the shelter in a shaded area that won't get too much sun through the summer and cook your turkeys.
Ensure Adequate Ventilation – ensure you make vents at the top of the house but don’t allow the coop to have drafts. This is how you keep them warm through winter weather.
Turkeys require elevated roosting spots to spend the overnight hours, ideally with a sheltering roof to protect them from the elements. It is possible to build a single roost pen with space for several birds. A sturdy perch around 5cms (3 to 4 inches) in diameter placed a meter (3 feet) off the ground is ideal for them.
Provide Adequate Space for the Birds to Move Around
As your turkeys grow they are going to need more room. When birds are crowded you start getting birds that are pecking at each other.
- 0-8 weeks: 2-2.5 square feet per turkey
- 8-16 weeks: 3-4 square feet per turkey
- 16-20 weeks: 5-8 square feet per turkey
- 20 weeks to market weight: 6-10 square feet per turkey
Utilize Predator-Proof Fencing to Protect the Birds
Your turkeys will be happiest when they have the freedom to roam in a range pasture, but if they have to be confined to a pen area, make sure that the fencing is at least four feet high! Turkeys can and will fly, so this is important for their well-being.
While it can be great to have free-ranging birds to reduce your feed costs some and to help take care of bugs you do have to take preditors into consideration. It can be safer for them, and your investment, to keep them confided.
Turkeys are not that hard to care for. When you provide them with everything they need, they are easy to care for and keep safe.