Before getting a turkey, you should know its age and the expected life expectancy, which brings about the question: how long do turkeys live?
If you’re looking to keep your pet over the long term, you will want an affectionate pet that gets along with people and lives long.
Turkeys are just like chickens but more affectionate. They seem to enjoy friendship, and they’re good at reciprocating the same. Turkeys are also relatively easy-going if you’re not attempting to steal some of their eggs.
And to the life expectancy, how long do turkeys live?
In this article, you will get an answer to the question of a turkey’s life expectancy, as well as how you can maximize your turkeys’ growth potentials.
How Long Do Turkeys Live?
The average lifespan of a turkey depends on several factors. Until we take each of these factors into account, we’ll be unable to determine the lifespan of a turkey with accuracy.
Taking these factors into account isn’t as easy as you think. A female turkey with access to good food and water will have a different life expectancy from a male with access to the same.
Instead of overcomplicating things by combining these factors, we will go with an average for now. Later on in the article, we will examine how the factors affect this average.
The average life expectancy of a turkey is 3-10 years.
A turkey that lived its entire lifespan in the wild will likely have a much shorter lifespan than a domestic turkey. Wild turkeys only live for around 3 to 5 years. In comparison, domestic turkeys can live for up to 10 years, depending on the expertise of the owners.
Some turkeys are also bred for slaughter; hence, having a much shorter lifespan. Turkeys bred for meat typically have a few months to live before they are the right weight and size for the abattoir.
This section doesn’t detail the factors leading to the low (or high) life expectancy of a turkey, as the next section is reserved for that.
Factors That Affect Turkeys’ Life Expectancy
There are a couple of reasons why some turkeys live for three years, while some live for as long as 10. In this section, we have listed the most crucial factors.
It’s easy to think that turkeys do not survive for a long time in the wild due to predators, but that idea ignores the bigger picture.
What contributes most to a turkey’s lifespan is its environment.
A turkey living in an environment with enough food and excellent living conditions will potentially live long. Can we say the same about turkeys that spend all of their lifespan escaping from predators?
Turkeys are not especially strong carnivores, so they are subject to predation.
Turkeys typically hang around trees to get away from predators, but this process isn’t foolproof. Female turkeys lay eggs, and they can’t stay up in the tree while nesting.
Staying down with the eggs exposes both the mother turkey and her eggs to predators, cutting down the average life expectancy of female turkeys in the wild by one year.
This problem is nonexistent for domestic turkeys, as they don’t have any predators in the first place!
- Food and water
Every turkey eats. Some just eat better than others. The lifespan of your turkeys depends heavily on what they eat and how they eat them.
Turkeys in the wild often travel far and wild to find food, exposing them to unfavorable weather and predators. Compare that to a home turkey that wakes to find food in its bowl, with lukewarm water.
And talking about lukewarm water, it is the only liquid that your turkeys can drink. Coldwater can kill a turkey!
Some turkey diseases can severely affect the lifespan of a turkey. While some kill the turkey gradually over time, others can lead to sudden death in turkeys.
Blackhead is a disease that kills turkeys in large numbers. It occurs when a turkey eats an infected worm egg. Blackhead doesn’t only kill one turkey; it kills in flocks, killing an average of 75% of an infected rafter.
Erysipelas is a less deadly disease that can potentially paralyze or kill a turkey. It spreads through a bacteria that lives in the soil, and it enters a victim turkey through wounds.
You might want to get a vet if you own a rafter of turkeys; trust me, it doesn’t feel good to see turkeys die.
How to Make Your Turkeys Live Longer
If you want to keep your turkey for reasons other than meat, then you want it to live long. Here are a few tips that can help you care for your turkey to increase its lifespan tremendously.
- Adequate food and lukewarm water
Turkeys eat fruits, seeds, nuts, vegetables, berries, insects, and pretty much every other thing you throw at them. However, the best practice is getting healthy feed for your turkeys’ maximum health.
One other thing: turkeys only drink lukewarm water. Unlike humans, cold water can kill a turkey.
- Good environmental conditions
Turkeys need a warm environment to thrive. It should be free of any predators and should allow space for all the turkeys’ activities.
- Health care
Fowls do get sick too, and they can recover if they get access to early and efficient medical care.
While medical care for poultry is rare in today’s society, it isn’t nonexistent. You can still get a few vets that will be willing to treat your turkey.
If you’re lucky enough to find medical care for your birds, ensure they get the very best of it.
Turkeys are practical animals. Not only are they useful for food, but they can also serve as great pets if you’re patient enough.
That said, it doesn’t hurt if you know the average lifespan of your pet. This article has everything you need to learn about this, as well as how you can help your turkeys live longer and healthier lives,