Can I use a chicken to raise turkey poults?

Solanacae

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I’m wanting to get 2-3 turkey poults next year. I routinely get a couple of chicken hens that will go broody each spring. I still need to check my county extension office to find out if blackhead is an issue around here, but could I use a broody chicken to graft the poults onto and save myself the hassle/mess of managing a brooder? I’m not concerned about my broody, she’s a great mama and has accepted week old chicks before. If one of my two hens aren’t broody when I get the poults, then I’m prepared to use a brooder, but having a hen do the work is so nice.
 

R2elk

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I’m wanting to get 2-3 turkey poults next year. I routinely get a couple of chicken hens that will go broody each spring. I still need to check my county extension office to find out if blackhead is an issue around here, but could I use a broody chicken to graft the poults onto and save myself the hassle/mess of managing a brooder? I’m not concerned about my broody, she’s a great mama and has accepted week old chicks before. If one of my two hens aren’t broody when I get the poults, then I’m prepared to use a brooder, but having a hen do the work is so nice.
I don't recommend it because of the problems that can be caused by imprinting. When I was first starting with turkeys I let a banty hen hatch and raise a Bourbon Red poult. It can be done. Provide the poults and the hen the same high protein feed that poults need.
 

Solanacae

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I don't recommend it because of the problems that can be caused by imprinting. When I was first starting with turkeys I let a banty hen hatch and raise a Bourbon Red poult. It can be done. Provide the poults and the hen the same high protein feed that poults need.
What sorts of problems with imprinting?
 

Fluffy Lambs

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I’m wanting to get 2-3 turkey poults next year. I routinely get a couple of chicken hens that will go broody each spring. I still need to check my county extension office to find out if blackhead is an issue around here, but could I use a broody chicken to graft the poults onto and save myself the hassle/mess of managing a brooder? I’m not concerned about my broody, she’s a great mama and has accepted week old chicks before. If one of my two hens aren’t broody when I get the poults, then I’m prepared to use a brooder, but having a hen do the work is so nice.
I've never done it but @JustBabyMargo did.
 

R2elk

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What sorts of problems with imprinting?
Poults imprint very easily. Once they are grown up they have lost the ability to understand that whatever they were imprinted by is not the same as them. Because of this they will treat in this case, chickens the same as they would other turkeys. Because of the size difference and their tenacity, this can end up badly for the chickens.

Once a turkey gets an idea in its mind, it will not stop until it completes what it is trying to do.
 

Solanacae

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Mar 10, 2021
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Cache Valley, UT
Poults imprint very easily. Once they are grown up they have lost the ability to understand that whatever they were imprinted by is not the same as them. Because of this they will treat in this case, chickens the same as they would other turkeys. Because of the size difference and their tenacity, this can end up badly for the chickens.

Once a turkey gets an idea in its mind, it will not stop until it completes what it is trying to do.
Would it be better to have them imprint on a human then? Since a person is larger, the turkey is less likely to try bullying them? Would that create problems for the little humans I have running around here?
 

R2elk

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Would it be better to have them imprint on a human then? Since a person is larger, the turkey is less likely to try bullying them? Would that create problems for the little humans I have running around here?
I go out of my way to make sure my poults do not imprint on me. Human imprinted turkeys have caused serious problems once the turkeys are adults. An adult tom has no respect for a person that is bigger than him if he thinks that person is just a strange looking turkey that he has to defeat in order to move up in the pecking order.

My turkeys that are not imprinted will not even approach people.
 

JustBabyMargo

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I’ve done it-
4DFD0102-BA30-46C2-849D-9ACDDBD3887F.jpeg
805144A7-EB78-48D6-AEBD-FA7D438C74F7.jpeg
 

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