Originally Posted by tha5150
Very cool setup! Thanks for sharing
as for raising Turkeys with the Chickens... Do you do anything different? Can they all live together? Do they perch at night? Eat same food? Can drink same water?
Basically, can I just toss a Turkey in the flock and have no issues and just count on a nice meal in 8 months or so? How long do they need to be, prior to that time??
Turkeys eat different feed, and drink a ton of water. We noticed they like running or open water. We leave a hose that leaks over a low barrel and they drink from it constantly. It never overflows unless it rains. We make sure there is drainage from the barrel so it doesn't puddle and get muddy in that area.
Turkeys perch at night and depending on the breed, if they get too heavy can't jump more than 12 - 16 inches, so the roosting bar needs to be low.
Chickens and Turkeys MUST be kept separate. Chickens carry Blackhead that is deadly to Turkeys. Letting them live together in the same space is very risky. There are a folks on here that do and will tell you that cleanliness is the key. I will tell you, our birds live together and I live in fear every day of Blackhead. I wish I had 25 acres with one coop on one side and the other coop on the other side. Our chickens eat the Turkey feed and the Turkeys eat the chicken feed. They drink each other's water. The chickens roost with the turkeys at night and occasionally a turkey will sneak into the chicken coop and sleep in there. We clean out the coops and runs routinely, put cayenne in all the feed and apple cider vinegar in the water and use Food Grade DE in the coops, runs, nests, and in the scratch areas. We make sure there is good drainage especially in the spring and fall when it's wet. We check for pastybutt, even as adults! We supplement with plenty of veggies and the birds are out in the grass every day. In the three years we've raised turkeys with our chickens, we've been lucky. I don't expect to always be this lucky.
Turkey Toms will fight and can kill your rooster. They outweigh him by 30+ lbs by the time they hit 4 or 5 mos depending on the breed. We raise BB Whites. We get them Mid-June, move them to the coop July 4th weekend and butcher the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Our smallest hen was 30 lbs and our largest Tom was 60 lbs. That's on the table. Our turkeys have always been friendly, cozying up to me, especially when I was pregnant with our youngest; they followed me around the yard, rubbing up against me and would lay in the garden next to me while I picked carrots and turnips. We butcher our females first because they freak out to see the males get butchered and we don't want them panicking. We only raise four turkeys each year and if we have two females, we butcher both at the same time. We make every effort to be as humane as possible. We love our animals and are grateful to have them provide so much food for us.
Here is some information about Blackhead. You can contact your local Dept. of Agriculture for information as well.