If You Have Turkeys....

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by skunknchatter, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    I was wondering if they are mean. I've heard that geese are mean (and have had some personal experiance with that) but I haven't heard much about turkeys. I would like to maybe get one tom for a pet. Does he need to be housed seperate from my chickens? I only have hens. Will they breed? Are there breeds that are more mellow than others? I don't think I want a white turkey but any other color will do. Thanks bunches!
  2. arllcountrygirl

    arllcountrygirl lavender nutt

    Mine are super friendly - pests at times [​IMG]
    Mine free range and roost in the trees. They will pick at the chickens and steal their feed if not careful. [​IMG]
    Turkeys can also get blackhead so they suggest not to let your turkeys and chickens run together. [​IMG]

    Mine are Calico, Narrangansett, and Standard Bronze.
  3. chicken farmer meigs

    chicken farmer meigs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2008
    Florence Mt.
    I have a Bourbon Red hen. She is very sweet and friendly,she lives with my hens. She lays 5 eggs a week for 4 weeks strait so far. Had one Rio Grande tom he was not very nice. Chased me aroud the yard every time he could. Thanksgiving could not come fast enough.
  4. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    Are turkeys "safe" from small predators? Like raccoons and birds of prey? We have a raccoons around but they haven't bothered my hens...yet. I think it has something to do with the lady next door having 20+ feral cats and leaving HUGE amounts of cat food out. I guess it's easier to eat cat food than break into my chicken house.

    Sorry for the ignorance but what is "blackhead"?
  5. arllcountrygirl

    arllcountrygirl lavender nutt

    Quote:We all have to learn somewhere [​IMG]

    Blackhead is one of the critical diseases of growing turkeys and game birds
    It is carried by an intestinal parasite and the symptoms are:- loss of condition, drowsy appearance, ruffled feathers, and diarrhoea, sometimes mixed with blood.
    It may cause stunted growth, poor feed utilization and death.

    It is of lesser economic importance in chickens since they are more resistant, but the incidence in chickens apparently is increasing

    Occasionally the caruncles of the turkey may become dark blue or purple (hence the name black head)

    If you have an outbreak, dead birds and their droppings must be burned
    All utensils should be disinfected daily and, where possible, quick lime should be applied to the run

    To prevent an outbreak, Turkeys should not be run with fowls, and young turkeys should not be run in contact with adult birds

    If this is not possible, then chicks and hens should be kept on clean dry, well-drained pasture and move about frequently
  6. arllcountrygirl

    arllcountrygirl lavender nutt

    We are having opossum problems majorly right now. They don't bother the turkeys and neither do the coons. I even have a hen that sleeps on the ground [​IMG] and nothing bothers her.

    Turkeys are large and can hurt very badly with their wings. Therefor the smaller critters usually leave them be. Now a dog would be your main problem.
  7. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Blackhead can be present in other fowl, so isolating turkeys is not a 100% method of preventing
    the dieses.

    The dieses travels through the excrement of the fowl to earth worms, which is then eaten.
    Since the dieses can be present in common birds, and these can travel some distance. Black head can
    be introduced into any poultry flock with out having any obvious contact.

    The first step is always check with your local AG office to see if there has been an out break in your area.
    and to keep tabs on any news of any poultry desise.

    When ever you bring any new live fowl into your flock they must be isolated for at least 30 days from any
    other birds in your flock. In this period any desise present will have obvious sign, where as in the first few days you have them they
    may not.

    Many people do raise turkeys and chicken on the same farm, homestead, location with no problems.
    Other do not.It boils now to the level of bio security you feel comfortable with.

    In our case we have both turkeys and chickens on the same land, But generally they are housed separately.
    since they have different nutritional requirements, but that said our older hens seem to find there
    way into the the Turkey runs to get there feed. We do free range together several hours a day, a couple
    of times a week.

    For the most part preditors will not try to take something that is larger then them, unless they are
    really hungry and desperate. But then again that is not an absoulte rule.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  8. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Where we live blackhead is not a problem, I asked the extension agent and local poultry guys. Ours range together and get along well, our turkeys in general prefer to sleep in the turkey coop but they LAY in the hen house.

    My Tom, Jake, is neither friendly nor mean. He was pen raised without a lot of contact and I got him as a 9 month old juvenille, same as my hens. They'll all eat out of my hands. I expect that the poults I raise in the kitchen are going to be friendlier.

    I really enjoy having turkeys even more than I thought I would. It's always worth a shot at it.
  9. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Chicken Obsessed

    Oct 16, 2008
    I know about black head but I have turkeys penned in with the chickens because of the cold winters we have.. I either do not have the black head disease, or my turkeys have built up an immunity to it.. or I am just plain lucky.

    turkeys can be as tame or as mean as they choose. I have a royal palm tom who just cannot wait for the dog to come outside so they can fight.. but e does not go after humans..

    racoons will go after turkeys but foxes and larger dog type animals will definately take turkeys. also bobcat and bears will..
  10. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2008
    McCleary, WA
    Turkeys are like anything else, out of a crowd you will have your ones that want to be aggressive. The majority is going to be friendly. One can help the aggression by not breeding any that show that trait, to insure to not pass that trait on to who knows how many ??

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