Advice before I jump in and make a ton of mistakes.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by HeatherLynn, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok I have chickens, i have geese. I want some turkeys. I have no idea what issues this will cause. Is it ok to house them together. Do they have any special requirements other than maybe different feed? I would really like heritage breeds like I have with chickens. I am probably going to do no more than 6 to 12 of these little buggers. Would it be better to house them serperate. The geese will be in private housing come spring so it would just be turkeys and chickens.

    What illnesses can turkeys bring in to my flock? Any way to avoid these?

    I will take any and all advise on this one. My husband said let him know what they will need and he will have everything ready by early spring before chickies start arriving.
  2. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Bennington, NE
    Heather - just get the turkeys - you will be in love by day two - none of the rest of it will matter [​IMG] My chickens didn't like my bourbon reds when they were babies - now that the turkeys are big they are large and in charge [​IMG] Now that it has turned colder some of the hens have discovered that turkeys are warm, good snugglers, and good wind blocks. It's kind of sweet. The turkeys are highly insulted by rooster activities of any kind and make a lot of racket about it and occasionally there is a rooster butt whooping which is more entertaining than tragic.

    I think the disease transfer people worry about is chickens to turkeys - a disease called blackhead. You might call your local extension office and see if it is in your area. If it is - it would be better to house them separately as turkeys generally don't survive blackhead from what I understand.

    If you aren't going to eat them - six to twelve turkeys is a lot of big birds - are you going to free range them or pen them?

    Good Luck!
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    Quote:Actually, it's pretty much the other way around. Chickens can carry an illness called Blackhead and not show symptoms, but it can be fatal to turkeys. A lot of folks (myself included) have both chickens and turkeys with no problems. Check with folks in your local area and see if any of them have both chickens and turkeys, and if they do are there any problems? Or you can check with the local ag extension and see if they know if it's a problem there.

    Make sure that you have LOTS of room for the turkeys, they are addictive! [​IMG] I try not to house waterfowl with any other poultry just because they are slobs with the water and can make a real mess. I also keep a wading pool of water for the geese and ducks, young poultry that fly in can drown.

    I know you will love turkeys, they have really wonderful personalities!
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    Quote:Honestly, I won't disagree that it's highly unlikely that your turkeys would hurt your chickens. I have never personally witnessed aggression from my turkeys at all. They're not bothered by rooster activities, don't mind sharing the feeders and waterers with all the other species in the mixed flock, will cuddle up with the smaller birds during the day, etc. That said, I did come outside one day to find my tom standing on top of a half-dead rooster pecking at him. So bad things can happen, even with very calm and docile turkeys. The rooster in question was VERY VERY low on the totem pole of a large flock, but got missed when we processed excess roos a couple days prior to the incident. When all the other roos disappeared he started getting a LOT more attitude with the hens and my best guess is that he went after one of the turkey hens in all his "Yahooo! There's not 60 other roos ahead of me in line excitement." and THAT my tom probably took offense at. I just shoo'd the tom away, finished the job and disposed of the rooster, not a big deal and the tom has never been aggressive towards any other bird -- that little roo was getting mighty too big for his britches and probably deserved every bit of the whooping I'm sure he received. BUT, but, if you're the type that every bird is a pet and you'd be crushed to have anything happen, even to those that are much too big for their britches, you may want to consider housing your turkeys separately.
  5. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    We tried having a mixed flock. We had a bronzed breasted tom who hatched with my light brahmas and grew up with them. When he became mature, he tried to breed with them and killed two of them. He was very tasty.

    We had ducks, too. The only issue there was we had two pullets drown in the baby pool and a third one almost drown, so we gave away the ducks and the baby pool.

    Now we have just chickens and are very happy to keep it that way!
  6. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    We had geese when we got our turkeys. I loved my buff geese and they were the most docile, friendly birds I'd ever had up to that point but come breeding season they turned into monsters and attacked my turkeys until I almost lost a couple of turkeys. The geese had to go. The other problem was that having waterfowl who are very, very messy is not a good idea with young poults. They get wet and cold and they get sick. So we now have chickens and turkeys but no waterfowl. We even have several turkeys who were raised by chickens and now they have a bit of an identity crisis.
  7. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    When I hatch poults I raise them in the brooders with the chicks until the turkeys get too big and start flying out. By the time this is happening they all are usually big enough to go to the outside heated brooders, turkeys in one chicks in the other. The only time I have HAD to house chickens and turkeys together, the toms DID kill some of my chickens. Once my turkeys are about 12 weeks old they are put in the 5 acre pasture where they free range. I have had geese, guineas, ducks, turkeys, chickens and peacocks and I have to say that the turkeys are THE best of all of those. They are pretty smart, inquisative, and are funny to watch. They will interact with you more than other poultry.
  8. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I have had turks & chooks together for years, roosting & freeranging together. The only problem is an occasional turk hen chases a roo, but not fast enough to catch him, but just fast enough to let him know who the boss is.
  9. Louise's Country Closet

    Louise's Country Closet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Garrison, MN
    I have my turkeys in with the ducks so I'm sure having them with the geese would be okay too. Everyone does everything different so it's up to you how you want to go about housing them. As for getting turkeys.... DO IT!!! We have chickens and ducks too and we ALL prefer the turkeys over everything else!! They're so friendly and they have such big personalities! Even when we decided that we didn't want to raise any for food (going with the broad breasted next year) that we still wanted to keep around some of the bourbon reds just because we love them so much.
  10. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok so far it sounds like I may not have any issues. I do have a pool up right now but that was only because the pond was being redug to make it deeper. Breeding season for the geese we plan on having a separate fenced in area and eventually daddy's will be locked out once the gals start sitting. The last ones we had pestered the girls even while sitting so I had to incubate them the rest of the way.

    We do have a smallish fenced in run. Its probably only 50 x50. There is a garden area that is also fenced in that they get free run of for the winter months but ours have taken to free ranging during the day anyway so as long as they like the horse field or the fenced in area around the pond they have TONS of room. I don't plan on getting many. My hope out of this is maybe to get a breeding pair and some for the freezer. At some point soon I would like to be raising the majority of our own meat. If I can get away with just having to buy fish and the occasional roast or steak I will be happy.

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