How are chickens with other animals in their run?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tiny529, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. tiny529

    tiny529 Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Specifically, turtles. There is a remote chance that I might end up with a box turtle sometime soon. I rescued it from the road after it was hit by a car yesterday. The wildlife rescue place I took it to believes it will survive, but it will lose a leg due to its injuries. They asked that I take it back to where I found it if and when it fully recovers. I'm not sure if that's the best idea, judging by where I found it and it now being a 3-legged turtle, so I've considered keeping it on my own property. I've read that a box turtle ideally needs a 10'x10' enclosure. My chicken run is 12'x16' and will only have 5 chickens in it.

    So my question is this... IF I end up with this turtle and IF I put it in with my chickens, will they hurt it or make it miserable? Or will they go "What's that?" and then ignore it?

  2. They could hurt it, but even if they don't you should think about what you're getting into. All I'm saying is turtle poo stinks and the cleanup neccessary to keep a turtle healthy is a pain. I had a small musk turtle as a pet years ago and I can still remember what it was like to clean that tank today.*shudder* I love animals, and usually don't mind cleaning up after them, but the turtle was the WORST.

    Maybe you could find a nice area near where you found it that is farther from the road. Or find someone with ducks who has a pond and is already used to messy poo who would take it.

    Best of luck, whatever you decide. That turtle is lucky to have found you.
  3. cobrien

    cobrien Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I think they will peck the poor turtle to death. Mine killed a rat and I think they'd kill a turtle, too. I think a sick and recovering turtle could do fine with much less than 10'x10' but I'm no expert. Maybe you could create a separate space within your run out of cheap materials like chicken wire and get the benefit of (hopefully) security from predators by it being enclosed by your run.
  4. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Yeah, they will harass the poor turtle to death. And forget about feedin it! They'll steal every scrap you put in there!! Also, even with only 3 legs, it can still dig out quicker than you can imagine. Odds are, it will do fine in the wild with only 3 legs. We've found 3 legged box turtles in the woods before.

    However, I have to say that they make awesome pets, and can live for decades. They're omnivores so they'll eat leftovers of whatever you eat.


  5. tiny529

    tiny529 Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Quote:10'x10' is the recommended size for them, but the minimum is 6'x6'.

    I was considering that if you guys said that the chickens would pester the turtle. My coop/run isn't 100% done and the chickens haven't moved in yet. It will have a 12'Lx4'Dx4'H space underneath the coop itself that I could seal off from the rest of the run, I'd suppose. Less than the recommended space but more than the minimum.

    Ugh... I can't say that I really WANT a turtle, but I feel kind of responsible for it now. Especially since they already told me that they will call me to come get it if it recovers. Apparently they won't survive if they go back into the wild far from where they are used to living. I found it just down the street from my house. I could just put it in my yard (we are in a rural area) and let nature take its course, but knowing that it only has 3 legs now... Argh! I'm such a softie. [​IMG]
  6. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I don't think I would chance putting it with the chickens. Maybe turn it loose in one of your flower beds or something? I found a teeny tiny box turtle this summer, about the size of a quarter. I kept him for a couple of weeks but got to feeling guilty, then didn't know what to do with him. I turned him loose in a big flower bed with a landscape timber border. He will get more moisture, shade and bugs there than out in the yard where I found him.

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