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During winter, turkey breeders sometimes wonder if turkeys like cold weather. Like how we like to keep birds warm in cold seasons, we get concerned about turkeys’ survival when it’s cold. Turkeys are large birds that are believed to have better vision than humans.
Although domesticated turkeys can’t fly because of how much they eat and weigh, wild turkeys are known to fly between 40-60 miles per hour. Either way, turkeys are fascinating animals that deserve protection.
When it gets cold, turkeys begin to act quite usually and this can cause us to wonder if they like the cold weather.
Turkeys like most birds have no issues with cold weather as they are just quick to adjust to it. Turkeys, unlike some other birds, are cold hardy, they adapt so well to cold and this gives people the impression that they love cold.
Turkeys are remarkable birds, and you might be shocked that there are a ton of interesting facts you don’t know about them. However, if you are not quite confident about whether turkeys like cold weather or not, this is the right article for you. As you will be finding out answers to this question and tips to help them get through the cold seasons.
Do Turkeys Like Cold Weather?
For some people, it is quite confusing to discern whether turkeys are fine with cold weather. This is because of how turkeys seemingly go about their usual routine even when it is freezing.
Other birds like chickens are very susceptible to rain and cold but these weather conditions don’t seem to affect turkeys.
Turkeys are popular to be cold hardy, they are very aware of how to cope with cold seasons. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they like the weather, they are not just affected by it. Turkeys easily adapt to certain weather conditions.
However, just like humans, turkeys appreciate neutral temperatures as they find it more comforting than cold weather.
Behavioral Patterns Of Turkeys In Cold Weather
In the cold, they settle down on their feet and use their feathers to keep their feet warm. And at night they roost to make themselves noticeable to predators. Another way they adapt to the cold is that they try to stay more active. You may have noticed that they walk when it is cold.
This may cause you to assume that they are enjoying the weather, meanwhile, they walk a lot to keep their bodies warm and also to ensure that blood is circulating properly.
Turkeys naturally adapt to the cold by staying on trees and covering their feet with their wings. On cold nights turkeys prefer to huddle together; thus keeping each other warm.
In addition, turkeys love to graze when it rains. Unlike other birds that avoid rain, turkeys prefer it as the rain softens the soil and makes it easier to find worms, insects, and seeds.
How to Help Turkeys Cope During Winter
Before you can ensure that turkeys are safe during winter, you must have studied their nature and behavioral patterns. This will help you better understand how you can be of considerable help to them. That being said, the following are tips you can easily apply for keeping them safe;
1. Make Their Roosts Spacious Enough
In cold temperatures and even normal ones, do not assume that turkeys are better off in a smaller roost. A lot of people might think that smaller roosts will cluster them together and their body heat would keep them warm.
Turkeys should be kept in a spacious roost, this gives them access to more space to keep them active. While walking around and being active, they are warming up their bodies. They can decide to huddle together for body heat on their own if need be.
2. Focus More On Their Diet
As temperatures get cold, turkeys tend to use a lot more energy to stay active and keep their bodies warm. This means they’ll be needing a lot of carbohydrates in their meal to provide them with the energy they need.
Feeding them some dry and smashed corn as well as wheat 2-3 hours before nighttime can provide them with a balanced diet and also provide their bodies with something to burn to keep them warm.
3. Provide Turkeys With Fresh Water
It may be tough to provide turkeys with water during winter. Mostly the waters are usually frozen especially during extremely wintry days. However, it is still one of the ways you can help turkeys cope.
They require a fair amount of water to help them easily digest their foods. Ensure that they don’t have to drink very cold water, as this can cause them to be frostbitten.
4. Always Clean Out Their Pens
This doesn’t only apply to cold weather, but every other weather. Maintaining a clean environment for turkeys is just as important as other tips mentioned above.
Turkeys will be spending a lot of time in their pens and this means their pens would need to be cleaned regularly. A dirty pen could lead to respiratory problems so it’s best to always clean their pens.
5. Ventilation Is Crucial
In cold weather, breeders may think it’s best to keep turkeys in an enclosed area. However, turkeys would require adequate ventilation to keep them going.
Leaving room for air to pass through their roost will not hurt them, but restricting all air passage would.
Turkeys are remarkable birds indeed, domesticated or not, they know how to cope with cold conditions. Turkeys are known to have a mind of their own. Some of them would roost on trees even when it is snowing, this behavior, however, would make it seem like they love cold weather.
But the fact is they don’t have a problem with cold conditions. Their ability to adapt to such conditions makes them peculiar from other birds.
Furthermore, if you feel concerned for turkeys in cold seasons, this article recommends several helpful tips you can apply to keep them healthy.