?? Turkeys & Garden

Anybody have experience dealing with the kind of wild turkey common to the southeastern U.S. relative to his garden? A trio has appeared in our little green place and I'm trying to determine whether it's a significant hazard to the veggie patch. If so, I'd like to take advance precautions.
--
Derald

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On 4/14/2011 3:24 PM, Derald wrote:

I got curious. This may help:
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/facts/birds/turkey/turkey_conflicts.htm
I imagine wild turkeys are much less destructive than deer who are usually found in the same type environment and things done to prevent deer damage would also deter turkeys.
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"controlling". Major attractants would by my vegetable garden and the shared bird/cat feeding stations, of which there are two, on the front porch. Half-inch netting comes to mind for the garden; Ruger 10-22, for the cat/bird food -- not really. Far more likely, I'd probably try to lure them into my homebrew havahart and foist them onto some willing do-gooders. Yard cats and redtail hawks pretty well keep squirrels and rabbits at bay -- relative to the garden, at least; autos and dogs control the deer efficiently. The turkeys are new to the 'hood. I'm accustomed to a bean tax to the titmouses and jays but I don't know how willing I'll be to share with something the size of turkey and I surely don't want to be dealing with "tame" turkeys.
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and

--


well versed in both and used the one with a bit of butter and honey to
baste the other... so if you can let loose with that 10-22 w/o
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Derald wrote:

we do not have feeders of any kind other than what is grown here as ornamentals. it would be raccoon/ possum/skunk/cat/etc food and we sure don't need to encourage those! :)
turkeys eat about anything they can grub up (omnivores).
i've never seen turkeys active at night. so if you are out and about in the yard during the day that seems to keep them away.
we usually have flocks of 30+ in the farm fields all around here, but in 14 years we've not ever seen them in the yard.
i've never actually tried to stalk them to see how close i can get, but normally they don't come closer than 100+ yards.
so unless you have tame turkeys that someone has been feeding you'll probably be ok if you are out in your yard once in a while.
songbird
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Last week, coming home from the store, a dozen turkeys crossed a main thoroughfare, the unique Tom of the bunch stopped in the middle of the highway, and spread-out his wings as if to say stop. His gesture was rewarded with a half dozen cars coming to a complete stop. The turkeys exited stage left, and traffic resumed. Turkeys aren't just commodities either.
The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we'll start thinking of doing something about it. - Jim Fowler
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-snip-
They are opportunists. I'm in the burbs, so they wander through my yard on occasion. I've even had one strut his stuff in front of the window by my computer. He could see his reflection & went back and forth showing off, 6 feet from the house for 1/2 hour.
I always thought Franklin was nuts for calling them magnificent. . . until that morning.
I've had another one sit on the bird feeder and try to figure out how he could get his head down to the feed without falling off. he finally hopped down with his 2 dozen buddies and scratched at all the hulls under the feeders.
If we go to the yard they keep a distance of 50 feet or so. If a person or dog moves fast towards them they take off-- but we've spent hours within a stones throw of each other.
My garden has an 18" fence on 2 sides and a 4' fence on the other two. Never saw a turnkey in there. And they've never harmed any of the vegetation in the flower beds. The turkeys and I get along. The local flock has gone from 5-20 [up and down from year to year] for 20 years. None has ever done any harm beyond giant turkey poop on the sidewalk.
Now-- squirrels, woodchucks and rabbits. . . nothing good to say about them.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

snip
Delicious, maybe?
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On Sun, 17 Apr 2011 09:20:26 -0500, Shawn Martin

Thought about that after I hit send.<g> I'd say delicious on the rabbit and chucks-- [young ones anyway]-- Squirrels are edible.
Jim
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surrounded by primo habitat. Just never noticed them in the "yard" 'til now. ...wonder if I could train them to the compost.

cats and dogs control the squirrels and bunnies; two of the cats dig moles quite effectively; not sure I ever have seen a woodchuck. The garden suffers the occasional bunny munch but nothing serious and the only nuisance "diggers" are armadillos but they can't seem to make it into my raised veggie beds.
--
Derald

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acres that have remained pretty much unmolested since last "cleared" for scrub cattle in the late '50s or early '60s. The "yard" is nominally 1 acre which gets mowed a couple of times annually, determined largely by wildflowers and rainfall. Truth is, I haven't paid much attention to turkeys' comings and goings; just notice them through a window from time to time and not even daily. They seem to spend time in the area where I handle firewood; dunno why. Beetles, maybe. This source, cited by another poster, indicates habituation to people is commonplace among turkeys; I'd like to avoid that, for sure: http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/facts/birds/turkey/turkey_conflicts.htm
--
Derald

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Derald wrote:

sounds like you got a nice location there. :) do you control burn any of it to keep the scrub down and encourage wildflowers?

that would be a good guess, along with the grubs/catepillars that can also be in bark. if it's after a wet period they could be going after the worms or slugs that can come up underneath the bark and hangout for a while making mischief (babies!).

if you want to avoid it that can be accomplished by some loud noises when they come around and perhaps raking up the bark/wood scraps and composting them or burying them deeper.
we have a regular hunting season here and that seems to keep them skittish.
when they are crossing the road and the procession is going too slowly you need to get out of the car. just be sure to be ready to duck *quack* back in if a tom decides to defend the flock (very big mischievious grin).
songbird
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these parts. None of us associated with the parcel is temperamentally suited to doing the permitting dance, particularly when chances of success are vanishingly small. That does not, however, preclude the occasional accidental fire or careless drive-by smoker, wink. Besides, this is peninsular Florida, USA: If I undermine the scrub, there's little else left! LOL
--
Derald

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