Do Turkeys Sleep In Trees?

Turkey is a tradition at Thanksgiving, and not much thought about them is considered besides that, but have you ever wondered where they sleep and did you know that wild turkeys sleep in trees? This article will go over a turkey’s fondness for sleeping in trees along with many other interesting facts like why they do so, which trees they prefer and dislike, and more. Keep reading to even see where domesticated turkeys sleep. 

Do Turkeys Sleep In Trees?

Yes, turkeys do, in fact, sleep in trees. During the day, they will spend their time on the ground. However, they will fly up at dusk, perch themselves on a branch, and sleep. They will then come down at dawn, beginning their daily customs. 

Do All Turkeys Sleep In Trees?

Not only do male turkeys sleep in trees, but female turkeys as well as poults (even that of a few weeks old) will sleep in trees.

Do Domesticated Turkeys Sleep In Trees?

While wild turkeys will sleep in trees at night, domesticated ones will sleep in brooders. A brooder in regards to poultry (in this case, turkeys) is a manufactured enclosure that provides heat and fencing by way of an infra-red lamp and wire mesh. 

Do Turkeys Sleep In The Same Tree?

Due to the fact that turkeys tend to move around during the day a lot while foraging (collecting food), they will not always sleep in the same tree. However, if a tree or a group of trees is located in an area with abundant water and food, they will tend to favor a tree or that specific group of trees.

Do Turkeys Fall Out Of Trees When They Sleep?

Turkeys are adept at perching on trees. This means that when they fly up into a tree at night, they will squat down ever so slightly. This will cause the three toes on each foot to strongly wrap around the tree branch, preventing them from falling over or out of a tree. 

Why Do Turkeys Sleep In Trees?

Since turkeys cannot see well in the dark, and their primary instinct is to protect themselves from predators that can, they have evolved and into conditioning themselves to do this. 

Moreover, they will also sleep (roost) in trees or just after dusk when the weather is cold or in winter. 

What Types Of Trees Do Turkeys Like To Sleep In?

Turkeys prefer to sleep in pine trees due to the fact that pine trees offer cover all year round. Pine trees also mean that the forest floor will be clean, meaning a turkey will have an easier time taking off and landing. 

In addition to pine trees, turkeys prefer bigger mature trees that offer thick branches to sleep in. Larger and thicker branches provide the chance to be sturdier and the opportunity for multiple turkeys to sleep at a time. 

Consider that turkeys can fly no higher than 52.4 feet (16 meters) and will choose taller trees over shorter ones to sleep in if this option is available. 

What Types Of Trees Do Turkeys Not Like To Sleep In?

Conversely, to preferring pine trees to sleep in, turkeys do not like cedar trees for this. This is because cedar trees are very dense, making the task of getting in and out of them somewhat difficult. 

Where Else Do Turkeys Sleep?

Wild turkeys will always choose to sleep in trees, but they also prefer to sleep in trees that are close to water or the edges of cliffs. This is due to the fact that they will choose to sleep in trees that are in an area that provides an abundance of food and water. 

Domesticated turkeys, found in residential areas, are commonly known to perch and sleep on roofs, railings, and even motor vehicles. 

Do Turkeys Sleep In Trees After Having Poults?

Although poults can be found sleeping in trees after a couple of weeks old when they are initially born, they will roost and sleep among their mother’s feathers. This will be in a nest not built in a tree but in a nest below a tree constructed of dead leaves. 

However, if predators are not prevalent, the mother may opt to nest and sleep in open fields where it is warmer. 

How Long Do Turkeys Sleep?

There is no set amount of hours in a day that a turkey will sleep. Turkeys will spend the night sleeping in trees from the period of dusk till dawn. This time frame will change as the seasons do, and turkeys will adjust accordingly.

The weather and habitat in which a turkey lives will also contribute to the number of hours in a day it sleeps for.


We discovered that wild turkeys do sleep in trees, and to some individuals, this might be a surprise, seeing that many of them are even oblivious to the fact that they can fly. 

Turkeys sleep in to protect themselves against predators and to keep themselves warm when the temperature is colder. Preferring pine trees over cedar due to them providing cover all year round, you can also find turkeys roosting in trees close to water holes and areas that supply an abundance of food.When it comes to domesticated turkeys, they will typically sleep in a brooder, and ones that do not you can find on railings, roofs, and even vehicles. Although all wild turkeys will sleep in trees (even poults of a few weeks old), female turkeys with newborns will sleep in nests located underneath trees and sometimes in open fields.