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keeping a few turkeys, questions!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by bock, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Okay, so I am a total newbie to turkeys. I have had chickens, ducks, geese, and pigeons before, but never a turkey. I am getting 25 chicks in February to start an egg business. My sister decided she wanted to raise 3 turkeys so she can have something to take manage and call her own. Every March, one of our local feed stores gets in a few straight run, hatchery turkeys. I am not sure about breed. I know she will take good care of them, but we know nothing about caring for them. Here are some of our questions:

    1. Can turkeys free-range with ducks, geese, and chickens during the day?
    (they would have their own pen at night, or they *could* stay all day in there)

    2. Can they eat Layena pellets as adults?

    3. Are turkeys aggressive to other birds or people?

    4. Would 2 toms fight?

    5.What age can they go outside?

    6. What is their rate of lay?

    7. What is their brooder temperature supposed to be?

    8. Do they eat gamebird starter when babies?

    9. And probably my dumbest question, are baby turkeys called turkey poults?

    As you can tell, we know NOTHING about turkeys. Links to good sights or some advice would be much appreciated. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  2. thekid

    thekid Chillin' With My Peeps

    well im a hunter and from my experience when it comes to spring time the old turkeys get together and the young turkeys got together and if the young turkeys gobble the old ones come and beat them up but i think if you keep them together young and there are no hens with your males they should get along but you have to be careful there could be wild hens around that area
     
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I have only had them for a year but I will answer what I can for you.

    1. yes, mine happily free range all day with the other birds. They even stay out at night, althoughI have been directed to change the night accomodations for breeding season.

    2. mine were raised on flockraiser and are doing great.

    3. Mine are not agressive to anyone/thing at all.

    4. From hwhat Ihave seen Toms Bicker but don't fight like Roosters.

    5. I threw mine out there at 3 weeks, aparently you are not supposed to do that. Mine were fine though.

    6. Don't know yet.

    7. Like chickens

    8. mine ate flock raiser

    9. Yes, from what I can tell: Toms, Hens, Jakes & poults . . . there might be more terminology that I don't know.

    With one year under my belt, I have found them to be easier than the chickens. Very self sufficient, friendly and fun.
     
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    1. Can turkeys free-range with ducks, geese, and chickens during the day?
    (they would have their own pen at night, or they *could* stay all day in there)
    Mine hang out with my layers and act as security.

    2. Can they eat Layena pellets as adults?
    Mine eat layer crumbles. I'd suggest starting them on a higher protien feed though.

    3. Are turkeys aggressive to other birds or people?
    Have not noticed that in my turkeys. (7 so far) There was the initial introduction to the flock of an outside rooster, which resulted in the rooster being the dominant bird of our farm, not the turkey tom. After that, a peck every once in a while, but nothing more than that.

    4. Would 2 toms fight?
    My two toms didn't while they share the same space.

    5.What age can they go outside?
    Mine have been out since about 6 weeks in a segregation pen. They were integrated into the flock about 4 weeks later.

    6. What is their rate of lay?
    Dunno.

    7. What is their brooder temperature supposed to be?
    Same as chicks. Start hot at 80 degrees or so, gradually decrease.

    8. Do they eat gamebird starter when babies?
    That's what I did.

    9. And probably my dumbest question, are baby turkeys called turkey poults?
    'cause if you called them chicken poults, you would look pretty silly. [​IMG]
     
  5. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:No problem at all, let us know how we can help.
     
  6. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    3. Are turkeys aggressive to other birds or people?

    We have three females and one male. The male is a complete sweetie to us and never bothers any of the chickens. BUT the Fed Ex guy, the UPS woman, and one neighbor say that when they come in the gate "he flies at them." They are worried, so I keep an ear open and meet them at the gate. It is funny, the females seem more aggressive to me, they bully the chickens. But nope, it the midget white who strikes fear in the heart of delivery people.
     
  7. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,281
    10
    191
    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Well, they seem pretty easy to raise! I think we should get a few, but I am still a bit apprehensive about them bullying the chickens. I will have 1 or 2 bantam OEGB roosters and standard barred rock roo at that time. I have also heard about a disease called black head that chickens can give to turkeys, or something like that. Could this be a problem? Also, would it help if I raised the chickens and turkeys together? Sorry for all the questions, but I want to make sure I make a good decision! [​IMG]
     
  8. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Blackhead is a regional thing so the first thing you want to do is check with your county extension office, vet's office or feedstores to see if ANYONE in the area has had a problem with it in the past. If not, don't worry about it. If they have you'll want to keep chickens and turkeys in separate enclosures preferably far apart.
    If you get baby turkeys it's a good idea to get some baby chickens at the same time to teach the turkeys to eat and drink but that's not going to keep the turkeys from attacking a nosey roo if he gets too close to their nesting places or babies. They don't get all gushy and sentimental just because they were raised in the same box. They will protect their own which is good behavior in the wild of course. If your roos are kind of aggressive (as they should be to protect THEIR own) you might want to keep them somewhere apart from the turks or if you have a really large area and everyone is going to have separate pens at night you can always hope for the best and take your chances. My turks did kill my good cochin roo though they've never even looked sideways at my semi mean EE roo.
     
  9. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, and as for turkey aggression with people I will reiterate that turkeys are only as nice to you as you are to them. If you go out everyday and give them treats and talk to them and call them in for dinner and pet them they won't hurt you. My girls follow me to the house and tap at the door to get more treats. My little girl goes out and hugs on the big Toms while they walk around strutting trying to maintain their dignity. I just love my turkeys. They are the most fun you can have without spending a day at the movies.
     
  10. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Quote:There ARE completely endearing. I love the knocking at the door. It has been almost a year, and never fails to bring a smile to my face.
     

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