All kinds of Turkey questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by noitulover, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    Central Virginia
    We have a good amount of experience in chickens, but none in turkeys! We have a ton of wild turkeys here in VA and I've always loved them! I'd love to have some tame ones!

    1. Can I keep them with my chickens? (Mostly what I want to know is if there would be any fighting... we have zero issues with our chicken flock fighting and wouldn't want to mess up the chicken zen!) We have an extremely large coop (actually a barn) for our chickens. Square footage would not be an issue. We also live on a farm, and our birds could free range hundreds of acres if they wanted to, but stay around a 3-5 acre area (the front and back yard and a side field).

    2. We have an abundance of wild turkeys. At any given time there could be 10 wild turkeys in a field a few hundred yards away. Would our "tame" turkeys fly the coop to be with their wild brethren?

    3. What do you feed adult turkeys? If I could keep them with the chickens, would the available layer feed hurt them?

    4. What kind of turkey do you recommend? These will be pets, with the added bonus that they could be bred for production if times got hard.

    5. How many would you recommend? I would like to start off with 2-3, preferably female, and then add 2 more females and a tom.
  2. daniel rainey

    daniel rainey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2013
    ok well firstly i do keep chickens and turkeys together, this is not a problem and they all get on the very best. the only thing is there is a threat of black head disease . (an apparent threat tho i have never had a problem!)

    i think the best thing you could do would be to wait until you have a broody hen, then replace her eggs with turkey eggs. this would mean there would defo be no threat of bullying and also the turkeys would not attempt to fly to the wild guys as they would be more chicken than turkey. BUT having them very close to the resident wilds can have problems, like all wild turkeys will at some point in their life have fowl pox. this can be transmitted to domestic turks as far as i know and that can get fatal! but you could vaccinate them?

    you do need to feed them special feed all through there lives, you start on chick feed then move to growers then breeders. breeders is the one for adult turkeys (these are all specific turkey mixes) this is as turkeys need much more protein than chickens. I would recommend bronze as these are what i have and there very tame and are good eaters and layers!!!!!!

    well maybe 4ish eggs but then who knows what your hen to stag ratio would be but i think over all the hen hatching plan is the best for you.
  3. turkey lover

    turkey lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    will the turkey hen hatch her own eggs and be a good mom,her self,
  4. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    1. Check with your local AG agent or Farmer's Assoc. to see if Black Head is prevalent in your area. If it is not, go for it!
    2. If they are well fed and Hand raised, they will imprint on you and stay close to home! If a hen raises them, they will not be as people friendly, but be better forages. So if you want then as pets and maybe as livestock, raise the young poults yourself.
    3. Turkeys, to grow properly, should have a higher protein feed. I would recommend a Flock raiser feed for all your flocks, if they will be fed together. I have over 200 chickens, 26 turkeys and close to 100 ducks at any time and it is not practical to feed them separate feeds, so I feed the highest protein feed I can afford and feed it to them all. The higher protein will not hurt your chickens and give you larger and more eggs!
    4. All Heritage Domestic breeds are the same, IMO, as far as tame, people friendly traits go. There will always be that one individual that is a contradiction, just like chickens. If you just want a pretty pet, the Royal Palms is said to be the EYE CANDY of the turkey breeds, but,I am told by people that raise them, they are not as tasty as other breeds. I raise the Holland Whites, because a white feathered bird dresses out better and has no dark pinfeathers. They are the largest domestic heritage breed and give you the most meat. I am also adding the Midget Whites, this year, since we are empty nesters, now and have need for a smaller breed for everyday meals. Everybody will lean toward the breed they raise, for whatever the reason is that they decided on that breed in the first place! I suggest you look up all the domestic, heritage breeds and see which fits your needs and likes best!
    5. As far as number, Turkeys are sold as straight run poults and if you buy 4 you have a really good chance of getting a pair. If you get a tom and 3 females, even better. Any more than 2 toms can be processed for your table. With a pair or a trio, you can hatch out and raise as many more, as you wish, when they start laying at 9 months or so, depending on what climate you live in! Then, I would suggest, IMHO, you keep a spare tom, just in case, and when they hit their full potential, around 18 months, process your extras.
  5. stillstoked

    stillstoked Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2011
    I had to separate my Spanish Black turkeys from the chickens. They never hurt them but they did fight a lot. I started them both together feeding them the higher protein game food. now i feed them all the same layer feed. I plan on hatching as many as I can this spring.
  6. turkey lover

    turkey lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    i dont hvave an incubator,for my eggs,so im a little nervas,when my turkey does start to lay her eggs,i dont want them to go bad an die,im not to sure what im doing,just yet cause im new at this,i only have one tom an one hen
  7. RASS

    RASS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2013
    Noitulover started this thread , I hope you don't mind if I ask a question also(?)

    am I correct that you need Heritage turkeys in order to reproduce? If I get turkeys from a commercial hatchery like McMurry & Murry will they reproduce?

    Thank you

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