a few questions about turkeys


8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
north central KY
Don't have any yet, but I'm dying to get some. Right now its ducks and chickens so I want to know in comparison to them how is raising turkeys different? Can turkeys and chickens share the same space (run, coop)? My neighbor insists turkeys are mean and crazy, keeps telling me I don't want them and they get strange diseases that they are prone to and will then pass them on to my other birds? Are they easy to care for? Do they require anything special?

I don't plan on getting any for a little while yet, but I don't jump into anything without extensive research. I don't like things hitting me unprepared, so any and all advise or stories are great.

Google "Blackhead" and read up on some of the effects you can have raising chickens and turkeys together.

All my Turkeys are friendly. If I fall asleep in my chair outside, I usually wake up covered in turkeys!
This is the very beginning of my research, haven't started reading books or googling things yet. I figured my best net was to start by asking all my friends at byc and going from there.
No doubt. I raise mine together and so far havent had any issues. I do free range mainly and my runs are usually clean by anyones standards, but it is a risk. Start with just a few, they are fun to raise!
Nickie, It is not easy to raise turkeys from day old chicks. There is so much that could go wrong. First, find out if your area has the blackhead problem. I was suprised to find out some areas do not have the problem. If the problem is there never raise chickens with your turkeys. Keep them far away. The chicken carries the blackhead germs but are not effected by it. Starting with the feed, I always use MEDICATED TURKEY STARTED for the first six weeks and go on to non-medicated turkey grower. Getting close to harvest time I give course scratch too. Give them good clean water and clean the waterers as often as you can. As for housing I start them out in a large toilet paper box with 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth on the bottom. I do this because turkeys do not know the difference between their dropping and their food. I give them no chance to eat their droppings, because they can get used to it and from there on thats all they well eat. The blackhead virus is transmitted through contact with droppings. As soon as they are ready to go out to their housing I use saw dust on the floor. I like the broad breasted bronze from Hoffman Hatchery. I had a tom from Hoffman get up to 80 pounds in seven months. Good Luck... JOHN
our bbb turkeys are with our chickens and no sign of blackshead. Our tom is about 40 lbs and our hen is 35lbs.couple more months til thanksgiving.

They are the sweatest babies.I might not eat em, the tom might be eaten,but not the hen.The tom seems a bit inbred with angel wings and a turned in leg joint.Might do him good to put down if he gets bigger.
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Thank you so much for that reply. Informative. I don't expect starting anything from day old to be a cakewalk, but the info about dropping is something I never would have thought of.

Anything else you can think of, pkease, share.
So far I have just chickens but really getting the fever for some turkeys. I want to grow out turkeys to eat and also some to just keep. This site is awesome. So much information in one place. Thanks everyone. What breed of turkey is best to start for meat production?
I have two turkey toms, that I bought as day old poults at a swap meet this year. I absolutely love them! They're very interesting, and they will answer me if I call to them. (I sort of imitate their sounds.) They are housed with my chickens and doing very well, althought I've found that blackhead disease is not an issue in my area.

I raised them with chicks, because the breeder told me to do that. He said that baby turkeys (poults) really benefit from the stimulation that they get from being raised with chicks. The chicks are much faster and busier than the poults. Poults almost look exactly like chicks, except they kind of seem like they're slower moving.

My turkeys are shy. They will come around me, and like to be near me, but they are a tiny bit shy. Strangers make them "puff up" and they will display for a stranger because they get worried.......They're just so pretty when they display.

Well, take care and I think you would enjoy turkeys,

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