When I first got my Turkey I kept him in the coop with my chickens, and never noticed anything wrong (as far as illness goes)..however I have sinced moved him out. For a few reasons... 1) When his hen wasn't in the "mood" he would mount my chickens..that seems like all fun and games, but they were rather small hens..and he happened to crush two of them. 2) My New Hampshire roo wasn't about to give in, and accept being second to anyone. 3) The before mentioned Roo was loosing that battle 4) Where I live the temperatures can get quite toasty, and I like to run my birds 'lean' during the summer, it helps prevent heat stroke in my experience--keeping the birds seperate lets me monitor food intake 5) A LOT of people have advised against housing Turkeys and Chickens together for alot of good reasons..
Black Head being one of them--its a virus that is transmitted to the Turkeys through the chickens (chickens are often carriers, and carriers don't suffer from the illness its self). Also the Virus can remain in the soil for a very long time.. Black Head is to Turkeys like Parvo is to dogs.
You can house Turkeys and chickens together with ample amounts of space... the big guys need their space and will quickly assume their role at top of the pecking order. My grandparents, and many other people I know have let them free range together for years without any ill effects or disease..but just because someone has a good experience, and their Turkeys never got sick (as far as they could tell) doesn't mean everyon will have the same good fortune.
And from my personal experience with keeping these two types of birds together, I would say..keep them seperate if you can. Or seperate them when you can (if you have to make another seperate coop for the Trukeys) everyone will be alot happier in the long run. :)
Edited by ElizabethAz - 4/21/12 at 8:48pm