Are turkeys aggressive, or is this a phase?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by eminator, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. eminator

    eminator Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 6 mo old turkey that came from the animal shelter in with my flock of 8 chickens and 1 crested duck. This is not a question about whether or not they should be together (I'm not worried about blackhead currently, and everyone is tested and free of diseases/keep up on parasites) but if turkeys are aggressive. My crested duck's head was plucked bald and is bloody, and I'm guessing it was the turkey, but am not sure. He's been here for over a month, but this just started. Any advice from people who know turkey behavior? He has not bothered the chickens other than chasing them around.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  3. eminator

    eminator Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the response!
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Those at the animal shelter obviously don't do their homework. They should have told you chickens cannot be contained together with turkeys or waterfowl.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Some can, some can't... Temperament reasons aside, there is of course always the disease reasons, which still aren't a problem for all people...

    Until the animals are proven to be the sort to get along, there should be some sort of 'guilty until proven innocent' status hanging over them, in my opinion. Some people see them getting along with other species and just assume it works that way for all of their species, it's crazy how many people believe the breed reviews like gospel.

    It's roughly equivalent to watching a single dog get along with other animals and just assuming all dogs do, then getting a new dog without any idea of its past and expecting you can just bung that dog in a yard together with numerous other species without a massacre ensuing.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    It would be irresponsible and dishonest to lead amateur poultry raisers into believing turkeys, game birds, or waterfowl can be housed with or share range with chickens without compromising health. This OP merely proves that point as does every other responsible poultry keeper. It has nothing to do with "guilt" but with responsibility and understanding the differing nature of various poultry. This has nothing to do with breed reviews, just common sense that has been communicated for over a century
    .
    http://www.howtoraiseturkeys.com/raising-turkeys.html
    One of the cardinal rules of turkey growers is avoid the practice of keeping turkeys with chickens.

    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/2846/diseases-of-farmyard-poultry-part-5-respiratory-diseases
    Biosecurity in a Free-Range Flock

    • Keep feed under cover to minimize wild bird attraction.
    • Keep water fresh and free of droppings.
    • Keep waterfowl and chickens separate.
    • Control vermin...etc.

    With all the problems and differences between the two, why would any sensible person keep chickens and ducks together? They wouldn't:
    http://poultrykeeper.com/keeping-ducks-faq/can-you-keep-chickens-ducks-together

    Many reputable sources of poultry management will echo the same sentiment, and I'll agree with them based upon what I've witnessed, and what they say over some personal blog or a public forum.

    The viral mutations that continue to occur, are perpetuated by mixing species, and should be avoided only adds to reason why birds of different species should not be mixed together. There's an old saying,"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    The bit above is a statement I agree with, but I think it does depend on your setup, the amount of space you have, and the value of your lines. If I kept only rare heritage breeds or rare species e.g. some pheasants, I'd be a darn sight more careful. But I keep mongrels, and I mix them, as does the average poultry keeper around here. Works for some, not for others.

    As for the opinions of the other sites you listed, personally, I disagree with them. They're stating absolutes about more complex issues than can be covered in one sweeping declaration. Doesn't mean their opinion, or yours, are invalid opinions; certainly they're true for the majority at least, but my personal opinion is that they're not true for some cases.

    My stance is not based on 'something read on a blog' or whatever, but on personal experience with my own animals, as well as other first-hand experiences with other people's animals. The right animals are easy to keep together. The wrong ones, impossible. The issues can range from temperament to disease issues, the factors are many and variable.

    But I overall agree, it's certainly not for everyone. For probably the majority the cons outweigh the pros, and it's not feasible for the average person with the average setup. I wasn't trying to recommend newbies try it, in case you thought so.

    It's not correct to refer to only one method of poultry husbandry as being the right one and all others irresponsible; this forum is devoted to all kinds of poultry keepers with many differing schools of thought on the matter. When we cannot agree we must agree to disagree; you and I already know we don't see eye to eye on many things, as previous threads show.

    There are actually pros to cross contamination of various things, within reason of course, as alien as that may sound; particularly under a more natural method of animal husbandry wherein artificial/conventional aids are not employed, so natural immunity is gained instead; after all the global ecosystem is not naturally under biosecurity controls of even a minute fraction of the extreme extent many humans practice, and excessive biosecurity contributes to the virulence of viruses, bacteria etc... No species naturally lives in isolation. Animal species are continually mixing under natural circumstances. The main control there is population density, and of course natural selection which can't happen to many domestic animals. That said many people already practice some kind of stand-in artificial 'natural' selection that takes into account susceptible individuals and prevents them from breeding.

    Even from a disease perspective, there's two sides of the coin, each suited to a different husbandry method; there are pros for both chickens and turkeys when cohabiting, including greater disease resistance; for one example, chickens gain resistance against some types of Marek's Disease via exposure to turkeys carrying their type of it. Good for those practicing more natural husbandry methods including breeding for further resistance, but useless for those separating and vaccinating as a rule and culling all symptomatic birds. What's right for one situation is not right for all.

    It does depend on circumstances and it's probably not workable for most, many people do make it work and don't have problems.

    For crowded situations, separation is usually best because the pathogen and parasite load is heightened by high population density, obviously, and such animals are often lacking in other ways, weaker, and therefore more medicated, and in turn they're breeding tougher viruses/bacteria etc in weaker birds, which can spread like wildfire and eradicate whole flocks.

    For a large, sprawling farm, cohabitation-related pathogen/parasite adaption and overpopulation is nowhere near the same threat level, and behavioral issues are also far less likely to be a serious issue. These free range, cohabited animals may present a threat to non-cohabited caged animals, but the same is true in reverse, and you don't cull the stronger to protect the weaker. We're directly responsible for much of the virulence of modern diseases and bacteria, not cohabitation.

    Quote: I think you've misunderstood my statement there, I'm referring to whether or not a given animal is able to be trusted to live with others without attacking them. Until proven innocent, guilty, at least in my estimation. It basically just means that I assume they're dangerous with other animals until proven otherwise.

    Best wishes.
     
  8. jgoldy2

    jgoldy2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chickens can be with waterfowl as long as they don't breed but i dont think that you should mix anyother things together
     
  9. PaigeBundy

    PaigeBundy Out Of The Brooder

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    So.... I grew up with chickens and a Tom turkey living together in harmony when I was a kid. So, when a friend offered up their 2.5 year old (georgous) male turkey because they were moving I said "sure!!".. they let him free range during the day and cooped him at night. They also had chickens who didn't free range but at one more they all cooped together.. Tom just out grew that coop and got to free range instead all day and had his own coop at night. So when we adopted him, we took his old coop so it would be familiar. He roams our 10 acre place with our chickens all day and put himself up in his coop at night while the girls go to their coop. At first everything was great, he was very friendly. He really seems to love our 6 chickens.

    But after about 2 weeks of being here our young nephews came over and he attacked one of them! to be honest, they are pretty aggrivating so I couldn't blame him... I'd kind of like to attack them myself sometimes and probably would if i was a turkey... But now he has become VERY aggressive to us! He doesn't seem to mind the dogs or the cat. And he still loves the girls- they just roam and eat all day. But he literally chases me around the house... literally all the way around.. I ran and he ran after me gobbling and hissing 360 around the house!! As long as i have a stick to keep his distance i can go about my buisness but he circles me constantly trying to spur me.. I really love my chickens and i miss spending time with them because Tom is such a nuisance.

    I really didn't expect this at all because our Tom turkey when I was a kid was so sweet. And he cooped with the chickens and life was grand.

    The people we adopted him from seemed to really loved him. And he was really pleasant at first until the first attack... but now he is a terror!

    Its been about 2 weeks and he still is really ******!!

    I am really embarrassed... my husband keeps saying "I thought you said turkeys were great pets!!"... honestly I thought they were!!! We loved ours when we were kids!!!!

    And I am afraid to ask the people that we got him from because I don't want to stress them out, I know they thought he was going to a good home (which really its a fowl paradise here) so I don't know what to do!! i'm really dissappointed to read the above, was hoping it was just a hormonal phase that would pass, i guess i didnt even realize chickens and turkeys could/would breed. Maybe it was a bad idea to adopt him... but again, never was a problem for us growing up and we had ours for years.... Really saddened that we may need to find him a new home.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  10. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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