Can I add 8 week chicken pullets to a run with two 6 month old turkeys?

SqueakyRoseShalom

Songster
10 Years
Mar 17, 2011
131
15
161
Hello everyone!
I have four 8-week-old chicken pullets that are outgrowing the brooder. I released them into my chicken flock for 30 minutes and the hens attacked them viciously and constantly. I caught the pullets and put them back in the brooder, but I need to move them soon. Can I try to put them with my two 6 month old turkeys? Do turkeys peck and attack like chickens? I've always kept them separate because I don't know... THANKS for any advice!
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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Hello everyone!
I have four 8-week-old chicken pullets that are outgrowing the brooder. I released them into my chicken flock for 30 minutes and the hens attacked them viciously and constantly. I caught the pullets and put them back in the brooder, but I need to move them soon. Can I try to put them with my two 6 month old turkeys? Do turkeys peck and attack like chickens? I've always kept them separate because I don't know... THANKS for any advice!
I would not recommend it. Turkeys can be relentless when they get an idea in their head. If they decide to attack the pullets, they are capable of killing them.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
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832
California's Redwood Coast
Can I try to put them with my two 6 month old turkeys? Do turkeys peck and attack like chickens? I've always kept them separate because I don't know... THANKS for any advice!
Use a look but don't touch set up to introduce them to your chicken flock. We usually include a panic room type set up.. with a small enough hole for the juveniles to enter and escape the biggon's if needed. This allows the older birds to see them and work the pecking order out a LITTLE bit before full contact. When full contact is permitted.. add in extra feeders and plenty of escape routes they can't get cornered in. And may some extra enrichment for the ladies.. hanging corn on the cob or broccoli, also some added visual barriers that block the direct line of sight. Maybe let the little's explore the coop in the afternoon after the bigs are done laying and blocked out or out free ranging if possible.

Turkeys.. are much stronger than chickens and a chicken will NOT come out on the good side of a turkey battle. Turkey's are just as territorial as any chicken, but their confidence, and ability to gang up with relentless focus is off the hook and brutal.. they've even killed my friends mature Silkies and a chihuahua. My friend swears the turkeys MUST have known the other animals had worms. I call simple poultry brutality due to lack of proper management. :hmm

One thing the other posters didn't mention is the *possibility* of black head in turkeys that are housed with chickens. My friend keeps a flock of 30 chickens and 40 turkeys at last count on only one acre and hasn't YET faced black head problems, despite never removing bird waste from the pasture. Soil and weather conditions and many more things may be at play. So make sure you research this and pay attention to YOUR conditions.

Hope this helps give you some ideas! :fl
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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I have four 8-week-old chicken pullets that are outgrowing the brooder. I released them into my chicken flock for 30 minutes and the hens attacked them viciously and constantly. I caught the pullets and put them back in the brooder, but I need to move them soon.
For the future, brood the chicks in the coop for early integration.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/

For now, here's some tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

SqueakyRoseShalom

Songster
10 Years
Mar 17, 2011
131
15
161
Hi EggSighted4Life,
Thank you so much for the tip about setting up a panic room! What a genius idea! I can easily do this.
" We usually include a panic room type set up.. with a small enough hole for the juveniles to enter and escape the biggon's if needed. This allows the older birds to see them and work the pecking order out a LITTLE bit before full contact." Sorry for the delayed response, I teach high school and it's exams week, so I was very busy over the weekend getting prepped. Thanks again!!!
 

SqueakyRoseShalom

Songster
10 Years
Mar 17, 2011
131
15
161
Hi aart,
THANKS FOR THE MANY EXCELLENT IDEAS! I never thought aBout early integration, so this article was very helpful!
"For the future, brood the chicks in the coop for early integration.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/"

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.
THIS IS VERY GOOD TO REMEMBER, AS IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO WATCH THE YOUNG'UNS GET PECKED ON, BUT IT'S TRUE THAT I HAVE TO LET THEM PECK.

Multiple feed/water stations. I ALREADY HAVE THIS, SO GOOD HERE!

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run. I LIKE THE IDEA OF LEANING OLD WOOD AGAINST THE WALLS TO CREATE HIDING PLACES, WILL BE USING THIS IDEA FOR SURE! Thanks for writing so much brilliant information!!! Sorry for my delayed gratitude!
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,983
832
California's Redwood Coast
I teach high school
I'm sorry. :hugs

Mostly joking. :oops:

Though seriously.. teenagers of every species I've raised are just about the most hormonal raging idiots.. animals have really allowed me to appreciate people/humans in a softer light. :)

@aart always has good information. Most anything I share is either through extreme trial and error or learned and confirmed from this truly fantastic community.. but rarely ever of my own accord.. just placed under the excessive scrutiny of my over thinking brain and then expressed with WAY too many words! :p

Great replies.. to get anyone's attention.. use @ in front of their user name like @SqueakyRoseShalom or quote them using the button like (when you highlight small parts it *usually* offers a "quote" option)
Sorry for my delayed gratitude!
Thanks for replying. We all have to work within our real lives aside from the forum.. plus super distracted by other forum threads and participate in soo many it's hard to keep track or respond to them all sometimes. So no worries, participate when you can! We are all mostly just chicken friends doing our best and trying to help others do theirs as well. :highfive:

I probably NEED to go back to high school to get my grammar and punctuation correct! :smack

But hey, some days I'm just thankful I made it out of bed. :wee
 

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