Wild Turkey

(Meleagris gallopavo)

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Meleagris gallopavo
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Additional Information

Breeding Season: Late February to May.

Breeding Age:

Clutch Size: Average of 10-12 spotted eggs.

Incubation Period:: 27-28 days.

Description - Male:

Description - Female:

Status in Captivity: Not so much an "aviary" subject, turkeys (in their domestic form) are a common sight in the farmyard. The various races of Wild Turkeys are kept in fairly good numbers.

Misc Notes: Large birds and require a great deal of room in an aviary setting. Many keepers will allow turkeys free range, but keep in mind that Wild Turkeys can fly very well.

Females typically responsible for nesting on their own with no help from the tom. Wild Turkeys are polygamous and several hens can be kept with one tom. Chicks can fly quite well at a young age. No special diet requirements, although they are fond of acorns and other native foods if you can provide it. Keeping the individual subspecies pure would be an interesting avicultural challenge.

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Bibliography and Further Reading

  • Hayes, LB. 1995. Upland Game Birds: Their Breeding and Care. Leland Hayes, Valley Center, CA.
  • Johnsgard, P. 1975. North American Game Birds of Upland and Shoreland. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE.
  • Madge, S., McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

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