What to consider when choosing housing for your turkeys
If you’re considering buying your first turkeys then there are a few things you’ll need to bear in mind when thinking about their housing.
Turkeys, unlike some other breeds of poultry, prefer to spend as much of their time as possible living outside. This means that a secure, good sized poultry pen, is a must have for any turkey keeper.
Turkeys also like to spend a considerable amount of time grazing, grass makes up around 50% of their diet, so the pen is best located on pasture. They’ll need a covered roosting area and it is best to purchase housing designed specifically for turkey keeping, rather than modifying chicken housing.
For up to 12 turkeys the pen should be at least 75ft x 75ft and provide adequate protection from predators such as foxes. Electric fence around the perimeter of the pen and pasture will help to deter predators.
Your turkeys will be able to live outside from around 8-12 weeks of age. If you already keep chickens then a single turkey should happily live with them. However, turkeys are always happiest when they have companions of the same species.
Ideally any turkey housing should be moveable, skids or wheels make moving housing easy, to prevent a build-up of manure and allow for thorough cleaning.
The roosts ought to be built all at the same height to prevent your turkeys fighting over the top spot. Lightweight metal or fibreglass roof panels will provide protection from the elements.
As we said above, turkeys love to graze, so they’ll need access to pasture outside of their pen. Remember that turkeys can, and will fly, meaning that fencing will need to be at least 4ft high.
You might also want to consider netting over your fence to provide extra protection and prevent your turkeys roosting in neighbouring trees!