Cue the drumroll… Announcing that we’ll be raising turkeys this summer! We hope to have turkeys available for Thanksgiving, and if all goes well, to also offer turkey breasts, legs, and ground turkey. We’ll be getting a slow start, just 200 turkeys (100 for us, 100 for another farm). The numbers are big enough to make it worth our time, but small enough that it should allow us to reuse a lot of our chicken equipment without requiring an entirely new set of brooders, intermediate field shelters, and feeders for the turkeys.
However one piece of equipment we’ll need is a big portable range coop suited to the turkeys after they are about eight weeks old. I’ve been watching Craigslist for a while for the right deal to come along, and this week I think I found it. We paid $100 for this nasty 35 foot camper trailer with a collapsed roof.
Thanks to an intrepid friend providing some roadside assistance and moral support (thanks Nate!), we were able to tug this trailer fifty miles back home. About five miles from the house one of the dry-rotted tires blew up, but we were able to limp the rest of the way home on three wheels. I’ll check with the tire shops in town for some bald used tires and a set of inner tubes to replace these.
The scrapyard value of the aluminum skin should offset the cost of the disposal fees for all the wet furniture, wood, and insulation we remove, but the primary value for us is in the frame. This will become a low-cost and relatively lightweight shelter for the turkeys. We’ll attach roosting poles every two feet along the frame and install some shade tarps over it. I’m thinking about welding a four foot extension to the rear so we can use a standard 40 foot recycled billboard tarp for shade.
The first task is to tear it down, and then we’ll build it back up. I’ll post more pictures of our progress when we actually start making some progress.