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Do Turkeys Make Great Pets? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Turkeys can make excellent pets, but they are most commonly found as a part of a homestead. They are capable of a wide range of emotional attachments.

Many owners claim that their turkey acts more like a dog than their dogs do. What they mean is that their turkey is friendly and faithful, following people around the yard like a shadow.

It is always important to remember that all animals, even within the same species, are different. The same goes for turkeys. Toms, or male turkeys, can become quite territorial. However, more often than not, domesticated turkeys are quite docile.

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Turkeys Are a Valuable Part of a Homestead

Turkeys are often raised on homesteads and farms as a source of meat. Therefore, it is not common for them to be kept exclusively for their pet-like characteristics. However, it is still a possibility because turkeys tend to be quite friendly and lovable.

Turkeys are cleaner animals than chickens because they don’t commonly have the instinct to scratch all the time. Turkeys prefer to keep a clean environment around them. They often choose distinct places for going to the bathroom, eating, and sleeping.

Turkeys are also much larger than chickens and produce different types of meat. They contain both white and dark meat, with a distinctive taste compared to chicken. If you raise them yourself and give them plenty of space to live and a variety of healthy food, you will notice that they taste better than any store-bought turkey.

turkey in the grass
Image Credit: Pixabay

Turkeys as Pets for Children

You might decide to keep certain turkeys as pets for your kids. Since turkeys are so docile and loving, they make excellent pets for children. They like to play and are more resilient than smaller, delicate birds, like chickens.

Once your turkey has bonded with their family, they will enjoy spending time around you. That is why they tend to follow you around the yard while you do chores.

Difficulties of Owning Turkeys as Pets

Turkeys might be lovable and bond quickly with humans, but there are still cons that you should consider before adopting them as a pet.

One of the primary cons is that turkeys need a great deal of space because they are big birds. Even as pets, they don’t function the same way that an indoor dog does.

A turkey needs more than a coop and a little nesting box. Instead, you should house them in a large shed, a recycled dog house, or a small barn. The more space that you give them to roost and wander, the healthier and happier they will be.

The other major con of owning a turkey as a pet includes their feeding habits. They need to get plenty of higher-protein feed, like what you would feed game birds. If they don’t, they will not be able to maintain their weight.

If you are raising breeding pairs, though, you can feed them a lower-protein feed for maintenance while breeding.

Tom Turkey
Image Credit: MOHANN, Pixabay

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In Summary

As long as you have enough space and love to give them, keeping a turkey as a pet should be an all-around rewarding experience. They need plenty of food and attention, but they will give you plenty of love in return.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.