As some of you know, last season we had an issue with skunk predation on our poultry. We lost a number of chickens but it was the turkeys that suffered the most. This season, we have taken steps to ensure that this will not happen again.
The first thing we did was to change the pen from a low, flat Joel Salatin-style house where the birds were on the ground, to a taller hoop-style house. Once we did that it only seemed logical to capitalize on the turkeys’ natural instincts to protect themselves by roosting high off the ground, so we installed lateral boards as roosts three feet off the ground. It’s amazing how effective this small change has been, made easier by the fact that once we showed the turkeys how to roost they have done it on their own ever since (maybe some of our chickens can learn
The second change is that we got a portable electric net that we place all the way around the turkeys’ house and electrify it. This has had the great unforeseen benefit that we have been able to create a larger secure area, which allows the turkeys to free-range and also gives them access to more bugs and grasses each day.