I need a crash course in turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by bt03, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    My dad called me last night and told me that his girlfriend's sister was wanting to get rid of her turkey and that they didn't know much about it. Somehow when they bought a flock of day old chicks a year ago they also got a turkey in the mix [​IMG] It is a full grown male but no one has any idea what breed or the exact time that they got it they just say a year ago. I don't have any pictures yet but i will post some as soon as I get him tonight to know exactly what I am dealing with but I have a ton of questions about him. I currently have 25 chickens, LF Easter eggers, mutts and bantam mutts that live in the back yard with an eight foot tall sheet metal fence. They have free choice layer feed all day long plush fresh water with occasional ice (dang TX heat!) In the front yard we have 3 ducks, pekin-female, rouen-female & khaki campbell-male, that have a 5 ft tall fence. They eat DuMor finisher with free choice oyster shell all day (since the male can't eat layer that has been the perfect solution) and 2 pools that when we can afford it also is filled with ice to keep it cool.

    Where would be the best place to put him?
    What do I need to get to feed him?
    How much do I feed him?
    Would he know what to eat and what not to eat?
    Would he accidentally get hurt truing to get into a pool?
    Will he try to mate with any of the females (ducks or chickens)?
    Does he need a turkey friend to be happy like the ducks do?
    Do I need to make him a separate pen?
    Do I need to make him a coop?

    I'm going to read up as much as I can until I can go get him this afternoon. I'm just so excited that I'm getting a turkey!!! I have wanted one for years and now I get a free one and don't have to deal with baby stages either! [​IMG] Thank you everyone in advance for the help [​IMG]
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hi! I just got my first two turkeys this year, and I've raised them with my chickens with no problems at all. Now, I've heard that chickens can carry blackhead disease, and that's a turkey killing disease.

    I feed them free choice, as much as they want to eat (feeders are always full). They also get to free range. Unlike chickens, they can fly very well, and often fly to the top of the hen house.

    I think you'll really enjoy the turkey, but maybe check locally to see if blackhead disease has been a problem in your area.

    Sharon
     
  3. cielo

    cielo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Mattawa, Washington
    They aren't letting him go because he's a terror to their chickens are they? It's true turkeys and chickens can share diseases. Many people keep them together with few if any challenges however. My sister has a large mixed flock, the chickens just dodge around the turkeys. I'd put him with the chickens if there is enough room but watch him a while. Your chickens are likely to think you dropped BIRDZILLA on them. Male turkeys can be tough guys and they're big birds. They usually just get aggressive with other large male birds but sometimes they can try to dominate their handlers. I guess kind of like roosters. They're like bird bulls! Though he may be a total sweetie. Since he's a loner you might tame him up to be quite a pal to you. He'll eat chicken food happily though some extra protein would be nice. Toms are awesome birds, especially when they display and strut around. They make neat sounds too. Make sure you have strong roosts for those big feet. What a fun addition to your bird flock. Best of luck!
     
  4. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    Chickmom- I have no idea what blakhead is! [​IMG] I will be looking it up like crazy now because I have wanted a tom for such a long time and would hate for anything to happen to him. Our roof is all metal so I know he won't be able to stay up there if he tries but I will certainly be letting my neighbors know if the have a turkey in their cow pasture he is ours but I hope with good food and lots of space he won't fly over the fence.

    Cielo- He is not a terror they just don't know what to do with him in their small space. They gave me a rooster about 4 months ago that intergrated great with my flock after a dog broke into our other place and got my first rooster. I was told he LOVES girls which is great because me and my daughter will be the ones handling him the most but my dad also said he will follow them everywhere which may be bad as the back door is huge sliding glass and goes straight into the kitchen where I am most of the time. PS... I LOVE your name! That's my daughter's name and you are only the second person I know of that has it [​IMG]
     
  5. cielo

    cielo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's your daughters name? That's cool. It's an unusual name for sure and rare. It's extra rare as a name for boys. Sometimes Spanish speakers think it's odd that I'm named Cielo because it's gendered female in Spanish. My dad is from Mexico so they named me in Spanish. My brother named one of his daughters after me but they "gave the O a tail" I like to say and named her Ciela because it's more feminine, at least in English. I've met 2 other Cielos, both girls. I've never met a boy named Cielo. I may be the only one! I really like it though, sky, heaven, few things more beautiful than that![​IMG]

    How is the turkey settling in? I really like turkeys, i'll start raising some in the spring, I'm excited.
    -C
     
  6. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a tom turkey that lives with all my birds. I have two 4 month old Sebastapol geese that think the tom turkey is Dad. He is great with all the young chicks, ducks and even my horses. He is afraid of the dogs but one thing he isn't afraid of is people. He will intimidate anyone that comes over and if they flinch he's got you. I have to put him in a pen. He sleeps on top of a chicken pen with 2 turkey hens. Strangely turkeys don't roost together like chickens. They seem to like there own space. They stay no closer then 2 feet apart. You will like having a turkey. He eats whatever he wants. I have layer pellets in some feeders and flock raiser mixed with layer pellets in another feeder. He really likes the grass the most. Oyster shell is mixed in as well. The feeders are always full. He is 3 yrs old and I got him last Nov. This picture was taken about 5 months ago. He is a bronze turkey.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    Quote:It is a beautiful name and I get so many compliments on it because no one ever hears it. Even among the Spanish speaking community around here I get a few confused looks until I say heaven or sky then they know what I am talking about, lol. I named her because I knew she would be my little piece of heaven on earth [​IMG]

    Gabe is settling in great! He is having a gobble/crow competition with my roosters but they have a happy little stay on your side and I'll stay on mine for now. When we brought him home, after I finally let him out one of the roosters had to walk up to him like he was a big man. It didn't work out for my rooster and he is the only one that hangs out close with him. Just like boys to push eachother around like enemies then be best friends [​IMG] [​IMG] He loves to strut for me and my daughter but he kind of looks at my husband funny [​IMG] Now I just have to find out why his face gets so pale sometimes?
     
  8. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    crj, he is beautiful! Gabe is in the middle of a molt right now and his tail still looks rough where his new feathers are coming in. Would you happen to know why his face and neck get so pale? i have been looking everywhere I can think but I can't find an answer. This afternoon he was really pale and I was worried there was something terribly wrong but I just went to check on him and he has eaten almost all of food (I fill it every morning plus treats) and he had drank plenty of water. He was a nice bright red and was fin and dandy gobbling at me. Dang turkey is going to give me heart palpatations just like the ducks and the chickens do. It's a conspiracy!
     
  9. Lucysmom002

    Lucysmom002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a tommy turkey, he's 15 months old. He's noisy and gobbles a lot. Any noise sparks his gobbling. He walks around our yard all day and sits on our deck and poos on it. He will roost at night on the deck railing or in the barn. He also hangs out with the chickens and they get along just fine. He eats the chick starter/grower, scratch feed, cat food, grass and he likes bird seed and sunflower seeds. He gets bread for a treat and loves that. I'm told turkeys love fruit and veggies but he doesn't show any interest in that stuff like my chickens do.

    I had a tom last year that was pretty nice, we got him a hen and he turned into a MEANIE! So, you might want to think about that one.

    OH and CRJ, your turkey is gorgeous!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  10. Delaney Birds

    Delaney Birds Out Of The Brooder

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    We just got poults this spring also. A mixed flock of Black, Eastern, and Nagaraset. They are in with the chickens and guineas at night and have the run of the back yard during the day. Last night my daughter and I were working with the birds and decided to catch a few of the turkeys, to hold them and make sure they are used to us. We caught 3 of the 7 turkeys and they were very gentle after they settled down and new they were safe in our arms. [​IMG] I'll ty to post some pics.

    Anyone use a wire cattle panel hoop coop/run for turkey's year round? I am thinking of building one this fall to move our turkeys into. There are alot of good ideas on this website in other forums. I'm thinking of enclosing one end as the coop with a tarp covering.

    thanks all
     

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