Brush turkey

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donella62's picture
Brush turkey

Hi, we live on acreage in a rural/residential area.

We have a young brush turkey that started wandering around with our chooks yesterday, they free range all day, we've not seen them here before.

It is even entering the chook yard and hen house eating their food.

As cute and lovely and as much as I want it to stay I'm not encouraging it and have been trying to chase it away as we have two large dogs and one small one that are contained in our house yard, and we confined to a small area overnight, this morning it was in our house yard and the little dog hunted it and it managed to fly out before she got there, we hadn't seen it there.

Im hoping someone can tell me it will go away and not stay as I don't want it to come to grief with the dogs.

Woko's picture

I understand that there is a southwards expansion of the Brush Turkey's range currently underway. The individual hanging out around your house seems to find the environment there satisfactory. If you keep your dogs confined I suspect the Brush Turkey will learn where to encroach & where not to encroach. Whether or not it will move on remains to be seen. If another Brush Turkey happens to wander past your individual might join it in expanding its range southwards. 

From what I've read I get the impression that the Brush Turkey is adapting to environments where humans are more prevelant as its natural habitat is being destroyed by development. If you could retain or have restored nearby areas of natural habitat your Brush Turkey might be attracted away from your modified habitat to more natural areas. That process will require, time, patience, &, probably, cooperation from local landowners & your local council.

In the meantime it will be interesting to observe how the Brush Turkey responds to its new, modified habitat - & your dogs, of course. It could be an interesting exercise.

donella62's picture

Thanks for replying, The little turkey is still here and has made itself quite at home going into the henhouse during the day to eat their laying mash, I don't think it's going to leave until it seeks out a mate when it's older.

Every afternoon I call the girls in with a "chook, chook" and give them some sunflower treats or just mash so I can lock  them safely away for the night, we hadn't seen  the little turkey since morning so I thought it may have moved on but it came out of the bushes next door into the henhouse to try and eat with the girls, they are not too nasty towards it.

My heart loves it but my head is telling me differently I hope it's able to survive if and when it moves on admittedly we are pleased it's decided to hang around.

We do have five acres of dense bush/ scrub beside us that it can go into whenever it wants.

We have already made adjustments by covering our veges to stop damage.

Woko's picture

Hey donella. It seems you've made some good accommodations & that you've established living with nature rather than against it. Good work. Have you discussed what you & the Brush Turkey are doing with your neighbours so that they might be encouraged to do likewise?

Should the Brush Turkey move on your responsibillity for its preservation will be at an end. It'll then be up to others to do similar things to what you've done to give it the best chance of survival. 

Thanks so much for setting such an excellent example for wildlife preservation.

Lightuningbird's picture

I own chickens, they scratch like brush turkeys, so I know what that’s like. We worked with it, fencing of yong bushes/trees as they began to grow, then letting the chooks in when they plants were bigger.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

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