Any turkey tips

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Chick_in_Indiana, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Chick_in_Indiana

    Chick_in_Indiana Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    NE Indiana
    I have 6 turkey eggs in the bator (and 30 chicken) I wont be keeping all the turkies, just 2. How old do they need to be before you can sex them?
    Also does anyone have a turkey 101 site. I need to know if they will go in at night w/ my chickens, guineas, and ducks or if they need a coop of their own. And other useful info. Thanks, Krista
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I'm new at the turkey thing too! I heard that the males can start to strut as early as a few weeks! I'd venture to guess you'll have to watch for secondary sex characteristics which may take a few months.
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Personally I would coop seperately. Turkeys can kill chickens and ducks with ease and will often be very territorial.
  4. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    I keep my turkeys with the chickens. No problems but mine all do roam free during the day. Makes a difference in squabbles.

    Turkeys do want more perch room at night and will boot the chickens off to get the room they want.

    Both males and females strut when very young. It starts to fall off as the females get older. I have one hen that will still strut from time to time and she's 2 years old. A few others will puff up and give a quick strut if the boys are getting too annoying.

    You really can't tell them apart until secondary sex characteristics like caruncles start forming. By 3 months I have suspicions about what sex is who. By 4 months I'm getting pretty sure. By 6 months I've got it figured. Harder to tell than chickens by far.

    Yahoo groups Rare Heritage Turkey is the best info I've found so far.
  5. PearlD

    PearlD Songster

    Apr 15, 2007
    Northwest Alabama
    I have had the same experiences with my turkeys. Males and females do strut .....I had one hen strut when she was a couple of weeks old. Of course at the time I was convinced she was a he.

    Also, I have a group home for quirky poultry. I have one Giant hen who the other hens pick she packed up and moved in with the turkeys.[​IMG] They get on great....she actually sleeps under my broad breasted hen. Which, IMHO can be deadly:lol: (The kids call her Large Marge.)

    The sexing part is the most fun to me. One day your convinced its a tom......and the next, its a hen.....No Wait! Tom? Really, when you hear it gobble....I think you'll know for sure:p
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Oh great, so I can't see though strutting... Mine will be food in about 4 months... so hopefully someone gobbles by then!
  7. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I got my turkeys last year, they were I think 3 or 4 months old. The Tom had much thicker legs.
  8. poultrypal

    poultrypal In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2007
    Our turkeys were between 3 and 4 mo old when we could pick out the males. Our chickens and turkeys do fine together when free ranging. I think the biggest issue with housing them together is black head disease which chickens can carry(only fatal in small percentage). Tukeys are very susceptible to this and fatality is usually very high. This scared me at first but we have had everybody together for a long time and they are all doing great!
  9. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    My turkeys perfer to fly on top of the barn at night. They will sleep with the chickens if the weather is bad.
    I also had a hen that strutted. I didn't know it was that common. How funny. Right now my hens are broody. I am soooo exicited about it.
    I believe they do good together because they have enough space to move around. Not much fighting going on.
    They can be hard to sex until you hear the gooble. Then you know.
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    Actually, turkeys are pretty easy to sex as day-olds. Look at the little bump where the snood is (the worm like thing that hands when the male displays as an adult). It's a bigger bump on males, and a skinny little thing on females. Hard to describe, but you can tell when they are side by side. One thing about turkey eggs (and other larger birds such as peafowl and geese). They are more prone to legs problems if the egg is standing on end in the incubator. They do a lot better if they are laying on their side with the pointy end tilted down a little.

    Check with your ag department to see if blackhead is a problem in your area (of see if any neighbors have turkeys and if they have problems). It isn't a problem where I am, I keep turkeys in with the chickens during the winter (then only need one water heater). What kind of turkeys are they, and where did you get the eggs?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2008

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