We've had several visits from a family of wild turkeys in the last few weeks (see photo). These turkeys (including chicks) wing their way up 40-50 feet into our oaks and walnuts near our house. Compare these to the fat white turkeys raised on most farms and you wouldn't recognize the species. Raising single-breasted (smaller) heritage birds are alot closer to their wild cousins than to the factory Toms pumped out for the commercial market.
This is both gratifying and frustrating to raise the heritage birds. On one hand, they are beautiful birds, full of life and personality, but on the other hand, the love to fly so much they can easily re-join their wild cousins if you are not careful. (and there is a story from another local farm where this happened). This is what I was thinking last week when i saw 10 of our turkeys escape their enclosure, mount our yard fence, and gaze wistfully into the leafy canopy of our majestic walnut. We needed to invent quickly, so we purchased some bird netting, pounded some t-posts into the ground, inserted 2" PVC pipe, with upturned buckets on end to hold up a makeshift outdoor enclosure (see photo).