About Turkey Pens

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About Turkey Pens
About Turkey Pens (Image: Made available by www.plamondon.com.)

The wild turkey is native to North America and it's meat is a traditional main course for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey pens are similar to chicken coops, because they provide protection and shelter for birds.

History

European immigrants were the first to discover wild turkeys in America. During the colonization of North America, wild turkeys were displaced so the species' numbers dwindled. However, in the 1960s, projects were begun to restore the species' population. A trapping method used by the Native Americans was used to capture the birds and raise them in captivity. Because the birds developed diseases while being in captivity, it was more effective to increase their numbers by trapping them and transplanting them to a more natural habitat. By 1991, turkey hunting season was restored.

Function

When a proper turkey pen is constructed, it provides the bird with food, water and shelter. Wire fencing as well as the pen can provide protection from predators and a clean, humane setting can also prevent them from become ill. Turkey pens also provide an environment where the bird can reproduce.

Features

Since turkeys can catch disease and illness from other birds, like chickens, it's best if turkeys are housed in a separate pen. Separation reduces the risk of becoming infected with a deadly virus. Woven wire fencing and a simple wooden construction similar to a chicken coop is commonly used to create a turkey pen. Six square feet per bird should be planned out into the creation of the pen. Since turkeys should be bred indoors, it's important to provide them with heat and a comfortable flooring, such as wood shavings.

Considerations

Turkeys have the ability to fly, so it's essential to keep a roof on top of the pen if you don't want them to fly out. It takes time and money in order to properly care for these creatures, so you should research the costs of food, water, shelter and other accommodations such as heat before going into breeding. However, if you have a farm, they can make your job easier by eating nettles, chicory, dock and other pest weeds.

Warning

Adult turkeys are aggressive, so it's best to keep baby turkeys (poults) away from the males until they are able to handle themselves. In general, their immune systems don't develop as fast as others, so it's crucial to provide them with a balanced diet of grass and other plants as well as separate them from other bird species.

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