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help with first time turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by JanetfromDayton, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. JanetfromDayton

    JanetfromDayton Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2011
    I'm getting 4 turkeys in a couple weeks. I've had chickens for 3 years. I'm new with the turkeys and was wondering if I can keep them with the chickens? I have a 4' x 8' coop with a run attached. We live in a small town and just have 3 chickens at this time. I also have 2 new chicks to add. I have a small cage built in our garage to keep them with a heat lamp until they are big enough to put them out with the others.
    We have a summer place and take our chickens with us. I pack them in a rubbermade tub with holes drilled in it and wood shavings in the bottom. They free range all summer until we come home in October.
    I heard that when you let them out to free range, it's a good time to let the new chickens get used to the older ones. I was planning on keeping the new baby turkeys and chicks together in the garage until we leave for the summer place in May. Then let them out together to free range when we get up there. The turkeys will be butchered before we come home. We will have to build a small shelter for them up there. All we have for the chickens is a small chicken coop from tractor supply. They just go in it at night and roam free all day.
    The guy at Rural King, where we ordered them said we could feed them the organic chick starter. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Most employees at chain stores are clueless when it comes to giving turkeys proper nutrition. Turkeys need turkey or gamebird starter that is at least 26% protein or higher. I feed my poults a quality turkey starter that is 28% protein. I do brood chicks and poults together and feed all of them the turkey starter. I have never seen any indication of the higher protein harming the chicks.

    In the summer the turkeys need a place where they can get in the shade. I have a roofed area with a south wall that they spend time under when it is hot and sunny. For a roosting site, they need an area protected from the wind. I prefer the roosts to be of different heights so they can just hop from one roost to another. If there are predators in the area, they need to be inside an enclosure at night. The enclosure does not need to be a building but can be an area that is surrounded by predator proof fencing and covered with a good quality netting.

    If the areas that you intend to keep them do not have Blackhead in the area then chickens and turkeys can do fine together. If Blackhead is present it may not be worth the effort as the chickens can spread the disease to the turkeys.

    Good luck.
  3. JanetfromDayton

    JanetfromDayton Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2011
    Thank you. I will make sure I get the right food. We have a small woods behind us, so there is plenty of shade and the UP of Michigan isn't that hot anyway. We will have a place for them at night. The coyotes don't come around when our 2 golden retrievers are up there. Our neighbor has a few chickens too. He has problems before we get up there. I've been reading everything I can find on this site about turkeys before we get them. A little nervous because I've read they die easy. But, the more I learn before I get them, the better. I was just worried about putting them with the chicks since they will be bigger. Hope they aren't as mean as a chicken can be.

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