I have placed an order for baby turkeys, that will be arriving tomorrow/Weds. I was reading my fantastic book last night...and it says that turkeys are delicate birds, and cannot be housed with chickens, because they will get the fatal disease "black head." After the turkeys reached a size where they were no longer compatible with my chickens, I planned to seperate them anyways... I do not want turkeys beating up on chickens. But I planned to house them in a pen adjacent to the hens. Does anyone have experience with this? Will my turkeys contract black head from living next to the chickens?
Black Head in turkeys? Advice needed
- Staff PhD
I spoke with a person in poultry sci at OSU and he said in the seattle WA area, blackhead is not really an issue so I shouldn't worry. For where you are I am not sure, although keeping them on places where adult birds were at one time is probably a risk factor if you chose to take it. My chickens and turkeys were together for the first few weeks, but they were all meat birds so all grew fast. At 5.5 weeks old, the turkeys now would easily step on and decimate any of my standard chicks... they are almost the same size as my standard hens! My turkeys are BB bronze though so will grow faster than heritage breeds.
So maybe I need to research black head in my area? The turkeys I ordered are BB Bronze and BB White, so I expect them to need their own coop fairly quickly.. I'm just worried that I'll have to build and entirely seperate run/coop, since the one they will be in is right next to the one the hens will be in. Ack! Thanks for the advice silkiechicken
- Will Barter For Coffee
I'm planning on putting my turkey in our duck pen (almost time for them to go heavenward) and hope he'll sleep in the big dog house coop within the pen. Unrealistic for a turkey, I'm sure, but still hoping. I'm just going to disinfect the coop first.
BTW, by using the dog house as the coop, it only took two hours to build the pen. Just used metal fence posts, left over chicken run wire, and rip ties. Not hard work at all.
I'm not sure if you were asking me, lol, but my pen is covered. It used to be a pheasent run... years and years ago. No chickens have been in it yet, so I'm hoping it won't be a problem. I will definately check with the ag people around me.
Anyone know how long it takes for BB Bronze/ whites to mature? Am I incorrect in assuming that they will be ready around thanksgiving? Or will it be sooner? Lol....and then.... if it's sooner....do you freeze them!?
Ah, adventures in turkeys.