Do Turkeys Migrate? (All You Need to Know)

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Turkeys are a kind of wild bird that lives in the forest. However, at present, many of them are domesticated. In today’s article, we will discuss turkeys.

Do Turkeys Migrate?

It is common for wild turkeys to not migrate. They prefer to live in dense forest vegetation in the winter where it is relatively cold. 

They do not like to travel very much during this time. In harsh conditions, such as cold and snow, they are often able to survive for up to two weeks without food.

In terms of characteristics or habits, turkeys are not migratory, and the reason why they don’t migrate in winter is that they cannot fly very far and are confined to their territory.

In spite of adverse effects of nature, they adapt to changing environments by choosing forested areas and living in large trees where the cold is relatively mild.

In such an environment, if food is scarce, they spend their days without eating, not leaving their homes in search of food or a suitable environment.

As their fins are very thin, they are not very effective at protecting them from the cold.

Usually, before winter comes, they accumulate a lot of food and fat, which helps keep them warm.

They live on the branches of tall trees to escape predators on land during the winter evenings. Although they can’t fly very far, they can fly just as high as climbing a tree branch.

In the winter:

It is difficult for turkeys to fly because they are heavy. In winter, birds usually travel thousands of miles to other areas to survive, but turkeys cannot, so they have to fight for survival.

In order to keep warm in winter, they accumulate body fat by eating a lot of food towards the end of summer.

Do Turkeys Hibernate?

Roosting is the process by which turkeys hibernate. They choose a specific branch of a tree to live in during winter and keep roosting for the next two weeks.

Since they have gained a lot of fat in their bodies, they try to use the fat to stay warm. 

As well as trapping air pockets in their bodies, they also utilise them to keep the air out. This leads them to go without food for the next two weeks.

By not eating, they will be able to tolerate the excessive cold as well as reduce the excessively gained fat.

Can Turkeys Move In The Cold Or Stay In The Same Area?

Snow covers everything during the winter. Since turkeys can’t fly long distances, they try to find a better place or shelter where it will be less cold.

As a result, they choose trees covered with leaves, which will protect them from snow and the coldest parts of winter. 

They can resist extreme cold by gaining excess fat during the end of summer by eating so that the fat will keep them warm.

Around two weeks after the winter and snowfall begin, the turkeys start roosting. During this time, they usually starve to death. Because of this, they manage to lose excess fat while still living.

How Do Turkeys Survive In The Winter?

For Turkeys, winter is one of the hardest times to survive, because they suffer from malnutrition, cannot travel, get sick from the effects of intense cold, and lose weight.

As turkeys are heavy and their feathers are soft, they cannot fly long distances. Therefore, they must go beyond their tolerance in this cold weather and fight nature to survive.

It is inevitable that most turkeys will succumb to this cruelty of nature, but by adapting to the hostile environment in their habitat, they are still able to survive.

To survive the winter, they prepare themselves by gaining weight and building shelters in special places before winter arrives.

A detailed discussion of how to survive Turkey’s cold and unfavorable weather follows:

They go on a roost:

To survive the winter, turkeys use this technique. Prior to winter, they prepare themselves by climbing a tree branch.

As soon as they find the right place, they roost there for one to two weeks. Roosting is equivalent to sleeping or standing still for a long time.

In times of snowfall or severe cold, they roost and eat very little during the day.

They fatten themselves up:

During the preparation for winter, turkeys consume a lot of food and gain a lot of fat.

They are therefore protected from excessive cold by their fat. The thin feathers of their bodies make them ineffective at protecting themselves against the cold.

How Cold Can Turkeys Tolerate?

The turkey is a common animal and is capable of surviving in normal temperatures. In spite of their thin wings, their body is abundant with them, giving them the ability to survive harsh conditions.

Normally, turkeys can survive in temperatures between 40 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, because they can regulate their body temperature through breathing.

Their cold tolerance is described below. They do not leave their shelter during the winter.

Domestic turkeys:

During the winter, domestic turkeys stay in their natural habitat inside the farm. They are strong and can withstand extreme cold temperatures.

The best way to keep them warm is to feed them well during the winter so that they can grow some excess fat.

Wild turkeys:

As wild turkeys are heavy and have thin feathers, they cannot fly to another region to avoid cold, so they remain where they are and adapt to the conditions.

During the winter, they hide under tree branches and use their body fat to keep warm.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Turkeys? Can They Freeze?

Turkeys can tolerate temperatures between 40 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is room temperature. They use their body fat to keep themselves warm during winter.

However, turkeys cannot tolerate temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

During winter, turkeys do not freeze when roosting, but if the temperature drops for a long time, they may freeze.

If they get enough food or resources to eat, they can survive up to two weeks without eating.

Do Turkeys Move In The Rain And Wind?

Turkeys prefer to roost in an open field when it is raining. They avoid staying inside the branches of trees when it is raining.

During rain, turkeys try to remain calm and still because rain reduces their hearing.

As for the wind, the relatively moderate wind doesn’t bother the turkeys that much. However, gusts of wind force them to fly from one place to another.

In an open field or surface, it will approach them and convince them to leave their natural habitat.

Do Turkeys Move At Night?

During the daytime, turkeys spend most of their time roaming around in the ground, but they will move at night in order to avoid predators.

They spend the rest of the night in this spot. In winter, they find the best place in the daylight, which is a branch of a tree.

As the sun sets, they fly up into the branches of leaves to cover themselves from the cold and heavy snow as well as hide from predators.


Lower temperatures and harsh colds can be tolerated indefinitely by turkeys. 

Because these birds cannot fly to another place due to their heavyweight and thin feathers, they use their body fat to fly higher to the tree branches, where they can use as shelter.


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