9 Tips for Raising Turkeys as Pets


While turkeys are best known for the role they play as the main course in Thanksgiving dinners, they have been involved in human life in another way for centuries – as affectionate domestic pets. When Abraham Lincoln was president, his pet turkey was a familiar sight on the lawns of the White House.

A turkey is a great choice of pet. These are impressive looking birds with very interesting, regal-looking plumage. A male turkey strutting about your yard putting its plumage on full display can be a regal sight.

While a turkey hen may not have the plumage of the male, it gives something that you can use – eggs. Turkey eggs are an excellent substitute for chicken eggs. Perhaps the best reason to raise a turkey is that these intelligent birds tend to be very affectionate pets. What does raising turkeys as pets involve, though? Here are a few tips.

1. Garden

While you don’t need to live in the White House to raise a turkey, you do need a garden. Turkeys are large birds that aren’t happy indoors. They can be very unhappy when they are confined to small spaces.

You’ll need a yard (a patch of land that’s 10 feet on each side should be adequate) with fences that are at least 7 feet tall. Turkeys can easily jump over anything shorter. If you’re raising two turkeys, you’ll need about 50% more space.

While turkeys are outdoor birds, they need shelter from the rain or extreme weather, too. You need to build a small shelter, line the floor with wood shavings and bring in heat lamps for heat in winter. Wood shavings are better than wood because cleaning your turkey’s droppings up will merely involve sweeping up the wood shavings and scattering new shavings around.