|Written by Shirley Billingsley|
Turkeys seem to have developed a very bad name, for running after people. I recently heard a story, about a mother and daughter who had to run from a stomping turkey. This turkey was really not playing around, and when they ran inside the house, forgetting to shut the door behind them, in came the turkey too.
Now, that is one of the funnier stories involving turkeys. But, turkeys can be trained up, to be quite gentle.
Get turkeys while they are in the chick stage. Usually when they are first born up to a couple of weeks old, is the best time to buy turkeys. They are normally very calm and quiet at that age, and much easier to handle.
Start out with going inside the pen, everyday, to feed and water. If you have the automatic feeders and waterers, then you still want to try to make that extra effort to go inside the pen. Don't run the turkey(s). Let them get adjusted to you coming in there on a daily basis. If you can, get a hand full of grain, and hand feed the tukeys. That is the best way to make friends.
Don't do anything to frighten the turkeys, since they are extremely clumsy at this age, and will hurt themselves by running into things. Do give the turkeys plenty of protection. They do not introduce well to new things, like shavings for instance. They would die in the open air, rather than tackle those shavings, since they don't know what they are.
Try to make an effort to pet the turkeys, when they will let you, and in their own time. More than likely, you will notice one or more, that has taken up with you, and those are the ones, that you can make pets out of.
Never hit a turkey. If one acts like it want to bite, or peck you, push it back at the breast with your foot, but do not kick it. You'll never make a friend out of a turkey after kicking it. They are very timid, and have a long memory.
When to move: when they stomp, thump, dance, and do a full spread of their feathers...it's time to move, quickly.
Have fun. In the photo, is my Baby