I know you have heard a lot of stories about turkeys and rain and how stupid turkeys become when it is raining.
But I’m here to tell you those stories are not true.
Do turkeys drown in the rain? No, turkeys do not drown in the rain. Turkeys are not as stupid as some people may think and will not just stand there, looking up at the sky when it is raining, until they drown.
No they are way smarter than that.
Baby turkeys may drown in the rain, because obviously they are young and can’t take care of themselves.
Baby humans would drown in the rain too. It has nothing to do with turkeys being stupid.
This leads us to the next question.
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What do turkeys do when it rains.
We now know that turkeys do not drown when it is raining, because they can care for themselves.
So what do they do?
If it’s a light rain, your turkeys wouldn’t mind and continue their daily routine as they don’t feel cold much.
If however the rain becomes heavy and the turkeys are in the rain, the wild turkeys will run to their roosts for shelter or any available shelter that is good enough to protect them from the downpour.
Your domestic birds will however run to the shelter you have provided for them.
If the rain starts before their morning has begun, they won’t leave their roosts even when the day breaks.
They will wait the rain out and just enjoy the extra time to rest.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on “can turkeys live with chickens?”
Why does a turkey’s face turn blue?
Turkeys’ faces change to reflect its mood most times.
When a turkey’s face is blue, it could mean that it is happy or excited.
It could also mean it is cold or has eaten to its fill.
The skin of their heads can change from red to blue or white and back to red in a matter of seconds or minutes.
Most times, the skin around the head of a turkey is red.
This is because there are blood vessels lying under the skin of the wattle.
These blood vessels are surrounded by tissues called collagen.
When the turkey is flustered or happy, more collagen is exposed and incoming light reflects off its skin to cause it to appear blue.
Want to rear turkeys? Check out this comprehensive guide I wrote on how to raise turkeys?
Can turkeys swim?
We know that turkeys will run for shelter when it is raining and will not just wait around to drown.
But what it falls into a river or finds itself in a pool of water?
Will it swim or drown?
No, it won’t. Because turkeys can swim.
When a turkey finds itself in a pool of water or river, it can swim out by spreading its tails, tucking in its wings and kicking its legs.
It is easier for wild turkeys to swim than domestic ones however.
Domestic turkeys have been bred to be large, and this may make swimming difficult for them.
So do not be careless in your duties as their owner.
How do turkeys stay warm when it rains?
When it is raining and it’s extremely cold, turkeys know how to keep themselves warm.
They do this by what is called roosting.
They stay in the roost you have provided for them and settle on their legs while using their feathers to cover their legs and toes.
This helps them to keep warm and avoid getting frostbitten.
To allow them roost comfortably, ensure you provide roosters that are big enough to accommodate them so that their feathers can cover their legs and toes properly while roosting.
Can rain kill turkeys?
Yes, rain can kill turkeys.
If you don’t provide a shelter for your turkeys to run into when it rains, the heavy downpour could kill them.
Inadequate roost or shelter can also be a problem when it’s raining.
If the shelter can’t keep them protected from rain adequately, you may soon have dead turkeys on your hands.
Your turkeys may not die from being beaten by the rain immediately, but resultant illnesses can lose to loss of her.
They may develop cold a day or two after the cold which could eventually kill them if adequate care isn’t taken.
Turkeys do not drown in the rain, contrary to popular belief.
They are smart animals when it comes to taking care of themselves.
Before they were domesticated, they lived in the wild for centuries and survived even the harshest of weather conditions.
Domestic baby turkeys can be killed by rain because they would still be weak and fragile but I don’t think you would let your baby turkeys go out in the rain.
When it rains, turkeys run to a nearby shelter and stay there until the rain stops.
If the rain started before Dawn, your turkeys would probably sleep in.
They will stay in their coops and wait till the rain stops before starting their usual routine for the day.
A turkey’s face changes colour to reflect its moods.
Its face could change from red to blue to white in a matter of seconds or minutes. A turkey’s face changes to blue when it is excited or happy.
Turkeys can swim if they find themselves in a situation that requires it.
They do this by spreading their tails, tucking in their wings and kicking their legs.
You should however not allow your domestic turkeys go near a river or pond as their big sizes may not make swimming easy for them.
Turkeys keep themselves warm when it rains by roosting.
A large coop where they could roost comfortably is recommended as rain can kill them if exposed for a long time.