Tennessee’s Wild Turkey. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. Largest game bird in North America Excellent eyesight, 8 times more powerful than a humans Slight turn of the head gives a turkey a 360 degree field of vision Hearing is extremely acute!! Poor sense of smell. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS.
Mature forest needed for roosting and feeding. Need open understory.
Forest Openings needed for brood rearing and feeding
Wild turkey eggs are larger than chicken eggs, smaller than domestic turkey eggs (2.5 oz.)
Select area with knee-high brush that provides some cover. Most nest are located near a forest opening, logging road, pasture, etc…Nest often located at base of tree or shrub (overhead protection). Nesting habitat generally not a limiting factor.
7 to 10 days of age poults area able to fly up into low bushes. At two weeks of age they can fly up and roost in trees.
Insects are critical food for young poults
Don’t forget soft mast
Annual grains, such as millet, corn, and sunflower provides good fall and winter food.
Turkeys will feed on clover and other green plants frequently during the winter and early spring months
Turkeys will feed on chufa from fall into the spring months
Mixing of domestic turkeys with wild turkeys may result in:
Introduction of domestic poultry diseases that can negatively effect:
Reproduction ( Poult Production )
Survival of Adults and Poults
Genetic pollution of wild flocks
Hybrids poorly adapted for survival in the wild
Lower survival rates of poults produced
Legislation was passed creating a Tennessee Game and Fish Commission that was separate from the Department of Conservation
A new deer and turkey restoration project was initiated using live-trapped wild turkey and deer
45 years to open
most of the
Took ten years to gain 3,500 birds