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Chickens and Turkeys. Can They Range Together?

By Weehopper, Apr 30, 2015 | |
  1. Weehopper
    The rooster, an American Game breed, seemed ok with it at first. He had his two pretty hens, American Game also, and the ownership of two acres. He was a family man, and was working hard to get his two girls to go to setting. He would even get in the nest boxes and call to them. They complied.
    Maybe that's what triggered it. The war.
    The nice lady who fed the chickens decided to get a trio of Narragansett Turkeys. They were big. Quite imposing actually. It started at feeding time. After the turkeys had settled in the Tom (male), who was himself, a very proud guy, started trying to run the chickens off their food. He didn't want to stay with his own hens and eat turkey food. He wanted the chicken food too. This behavior was to be expected. Well, not expected by Slick, the rooster. And certainly not to be tolerated.
    He chased the Tom down and gave him a sound thumping all over his back. The turkey was not that brave. He ran. After a while, the roosted delighted in chasing the turkey all over the yard. This caused considerable stress for the Tom.
    Enter the Coyote. The lady had seen the coyote, and had had her dogs chase it away a few times, but it came in one afternoon and ambushed one of the hen turkeys. This caused more stress for the Tom turkey. And the rooster continued to chase him around. Not a good scenario for the turkey.
    He and the remaining hen turkey packed it up and left home. Down the road they went. The lady could hear gobbling off in the distance, but they did not come back.
    Two weeks pass. The lady looks out the window one day, and there are the turkeys. The hen flies right over the fence and comes in to be fed. She is hungry, but in good shape. The Tom, on the other hand, was sitting on the fence, but refusing to come in. He also appeared to be not feeling well.
    Here comes Slick, the rooster. Doesn't stop to look at the hen, having eyes only for the Tom. The Tom jumps down on the outside of the fence, and the lady thought, that's it. He will never come in now. The rooster flew over the fence, apparently determined to rid his property of this overgrown chicken, and the lady thought, now the rooster is gone too. But! Slick had always been good at flying over a fence, but always had seemed to be stumped as to how to get back over it again..go figure. Slick panics. Forgets the turkey. Starts running back and forth. "Let me in. Let me in". The Mallard duck sitting up on the house roof quacked his delight at the show that was infolding below him.
    So, Vin, the Tom turkey sees his chance and flies into the yard. Now the tables are turned. Turkeys on the inside, and rooster on the outside. Interesting turn, the lady thinks. She decides to leave the rooster out to see if he figures out how to get back inside. She feeds the turkeys, but the tom, who is walking very slowly, won't eat. There was no catching him though. Still too fast for that.
    After a few hours, it becomes apparent that Slick can't figure out how to fly back into the yard. The lady goes to the gate and opens it. In comes the rooster. Doesn't even look at the turkeys, and heads to the back to check on his newly hatched chicks the lady had in the dog kennel with their mother. So, the lady follows this great dad of a rooster, and opens the gate to the kennel, and in goes Slick. Door closes, and he starts chuckling and talking to his 3 offspring, calling them in to eat. The hen is fine with that. She takes a dust bath.
    That's the story. I may have to come back later to add to it, because once the grass is no longer wen at night, I plan to turn out the hen and the rooster, with their family.
    Vin is slowly recovering, and I hope he is back to 100%. By the time Slick comes into the yard again.
    The coyote..well, I filled in the hole under the fence where it was coming in, but I know it's only a matter of time...

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