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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my chickens and turkeys used to be free range, but the chicken world as we know it has ended. Our neighbors used to have a really chill dog who wouldn鈥檛 blink twice at my birds. But he died, so they now have two young bird hunting dogs.

馃槕馃槕馃槕馃槕馃槕馃槕馃槕馃槕

The first one was invisible fence trained before the snow, but the younger one is not. I have been trying to be fair by penning my birds in the evenings and weekends when the dogs are most likely to be out. I put a little wire fence around part of my coop for an extended run. But I am even terrified to have my chickens in that, because it would be nothing for a dog like that to go over a fence like that, especially with how much snow is around it.

Not long ago, the kids were home early from school and weren鈥檛 watching their dog when they let her out, and it nearly got one of my turkeys. All she got was a few mouthfuls of feathers, thankfully. Had a bugger of a time getting my poor, scared tom out of the woods.

Any advice? I just don鈥檛 know what to do. I didn鈥檛 get birds to have them locked in a pen their whole lives, but I can鈥檛 afford a decent fence either. Even when the dogs are both invisible fence trained, I won鈥檛 be able to free range because my birds could cross into their yard. They wouldn鈥檛 right now because of the extreme snow barrier, and they stay on the shoveled paths.

馃槥
 

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It's a difficult situation that is never easy to resolve.

I see two issues, the pups on your property and the birds on theirs. Unless you can find a way to restrict your birds to stay on your property I'm not even sure you can approach them about the dogs coming on yours.

A hotwire would keep the dogs off but it wouldn't keep the birds on your property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a difficult situation that is never easy to resolve.

I see two issues, the pups on your property and the birds on theirs. Unless you can find a way to restrict your birds to stay on your property I'm not even sure you can approach them about the dogs coming on yours.

A hotwire would keep the dogs off but it wouldn't keep the birds on your property.
That is one reason I have been hesitant. My birds have not been on their property all winter because of the oppressive amount of snow, but once that is gone, the turkeys will wander. My little fence keeps the chickens contained except for the two Icelandic ones that will fly out now and then, but they don鈥檛 go far.

And the way my pens are situated make it really awkward to try to make a larger run/pen type area. So many trees and obstacles. I could probably get another 10 feet on the turkey side before I would be blocking a field gate

I have an old metal greenhouse frame I may try to turn into some sort of chicken tractor this spring, but turkeys are a different problem.

I just don鈥檛 know鈥.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would definitely try to have a conversation with the neighbors now. There will be more issues in the Spring.
I really don鈥檛 like the idea that the dog is getting used to being in my yard. It used to be every now and then, now it is multiple times a day. She pushed inside my house the other day when I was bringing in groceries. 馃槚
 

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You really are stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I'm not even sure the dogs can be trained to that the birds are part of the pack and are to be left alone. Maybe you and the dogs' owners can put your heads together to try to come up with a resolution.

Maisey's hunting drive is massive. I imagine the hunting drive in those young dogs is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You really are stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I'm not even sure the dogs can be trained to that the birds are part of the pack and are to be left alone. Maybe you and the dogs' owners can put your heads together to try to come up with a resolution.

Maisey's hunting drive is massive. I imagine the hunting drive in those young dogs is the same.
I have no idea about how effective training would be. Not sure that I would even want to test that one. I know last fall they were trying to leash her, but every time she slipped away and would come chase my chickens. Thankfully we were always there to step in, but after a few rounds of that, I started keeping them put up when I knew the dog would be out.

Did Maisy鈥檚 drive lesson any as she got out of the puppy stage? This one is still rather young.

Summer is going to be worse, because the kids will be out of school and there will be no safer time to let them out. So I have about 3 months to figure something out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maisey is only nine months old. I already know that it would take more than me to train her to leave my birds alone. I was able to do it with one of my others but his demeanor was totally different from hers. She's a lunatic. Trying to get her under control when she loses it is almost impossible.
Nine months already? Sounds like it is time for new pictures! 馃槉
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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I wonder if a stretch of this stuff without a bar on top would deter the turkeys once the dog is invisible fence trained. The boy turkeys don鈥檛 typically do a lot of flying, although they 鈥渃an鈥 make it into a tree if they so desire. I couldn鈥檛 put a top on because of the trees.

I have never seen them fly over a fence/barrier directly鈥-they typically fly to a target like a branch or something. It would most certainly work for the chickens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The only way to know is to try it. I don't have and never have had turkeys so I'm not the best for guiding you.

Maybe @Poultry Judge can toss some ideas at you.
I remembered I got a few of those heavy duty street sign posts from the city, and may be getting some more in the spring when they finish changing signs. I hope! Those have some decent height to them, but I would have to measure for sure.

I couldn鈥檛 do the whole yard they are used to, but at least something.
 

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They are very old and some were bent. I saved the very best ones. I would go look at them, but they are probably under 鈥3 of snow right now. 馃槀
If your turkeys are of calm and domestic demeanor, then the netting may work. I never had any success with it, The turkeys and peafowl destroyed about 800 border feet of it. I tried both the light and heavy netting. There is also the risk of them becoming entangled in it, mostly their feet. Maybe try a section of netting and monitor it. In your situation, it's probably necessary to try it and it may work. My issue is that all of the turkeys and peafowl want to roost in the same Maple 20 through 40 feet up based on the pecking order and regardless of the weather. The cold has been my big worry this year. Good luck with your turkeys and please keep us posted.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Talk about great and cheap fence posts. Do you cut them off or leave them that long. And if you don't cut them, how the heck do you drive them in the ground?
I haven鈥檛 really thought that far ahead yet鈥ol. I just quickly grabbed some from my husband鈥檚 scrap pile before he hauled it away. Some had a bit of a bend in them, but I think if I put that end in the ground far enough, the rest would stand straight. Just have to dig holes with our post hole digger, I suppose. Otherwise I would have to use a ladder to get to the top to use the post driver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If your turkeys are of calm and domestic demeanor, then the netting may work. I never had any success with it, The turkeys and peafowl destroyed about 800 border feet of it. I tried both the light and heavy netting. There is also the risk of them becoming entangled in it, mostly their feet. Maybe try a section of netting and monitor it. In your situation, it's probably necessary to try it and it may work. My issue is that all of the turkeys and peafowl want to roost in the same Maple 20 through 40 feet up based on the pecking order and regardless of the weather. The cold has been my big worry this year. Good luck with your turkeys and please keep us posted.
What do you use for fencing then?

As far as birds go, they are very well trained and behaved. They get penned after 3pm weekdays and all weekend. Mostly they like to be where people are, so if I am outside, they want to see what I am doing. In the summer the only time they would go next door was when the neighbors were outside. They would waddle over like, whatchya doin鈥?

The cold had been bothering me too, although it seems those darn turkeys are made of steel. I went through so much work to convert my greenhouse into a shelter for them and they won鈥檛 use it unless I force them in there. It is no fun trying to get huge turkeys off their roost and into their house. I have given up except for nights that will be -20f or more.

I will definitely try something this spring when the ground thaws.
 

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What do you use for fencing then?

As far as birds go, they are very well trained and behaved. They get penned after 3pm weekdays and all weekend. Mostly they like to be where people are, so if I am outside, they want to see what I am doing. In the summer the only time they would go next door was when the neighbors were outside. They would waddle over like, whatchya doin鈥?

The cold had been bothering me too, although it seems those darn turkeys are made of steel. I went through so much work to convert my greenhouse into a shelter for them and they won鈥檛 use it unless I force them in there. It is no fun trying to get huge turkeys off their roost and into their house. I have given up except for nights that will be -20f or more.

I will definitely try something this spring when the ground thaws.
Here at the sanctuary we use the old emu fenced run which is six foot chain link fencing with some areas near the coops having an additional five feet of welded wire fence. Some of the emus used to take a run at the fence and get over the six foot sections. While the six foot fencing does an overall good job in keeping predators out to protect the chickens and ducks, it does not affect turkeys or peafowl, which are going to fly where they want. We do not clip wings as we want them to always be able to get away from a predator and I enjoy watching them fly. I was talking to our county ODNR wildlife officer a few weeks ago about turkey behavior during the cold spells of this winter. The wild flocks tend to hunker down in deadfalls during extreme cold with a few sentinels in the trees. Anything above zero and they seem to be in the trees. They are not crazy about deep snow. We had a day last week with freezing rain during the day which dropped to 11 overnight. There were nine peafowl and turkeys in the Maple tree with open coops and shelter areas directly below. Their outer feathers were covered in ice and they had icicles hanging from them. I have also tried to put them in the coop before but they won't stay there. While they are very durable, I worry about the young ones and the old ones in extreme weather. This coming week the weather is supposed to be in the 30s during the day and teens in the night, so they will all be in the trees. Spring is right around the corner and then all the crazy turkey and peafowl behavior begins.
 
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