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Keeping Bronze Broadbreasted Turkey with laying hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by waddles99, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been planning on getting a medium flock of laying hens(20-30 birds, RIR, BR, RS) for my half acre farm for over a year now. I have planned out a nice run/pasture for them, bout 20 x 30, more or less. I saw some turkey poults at a local Agway and fell in love with them when i searched the adults. They are some beautiful specimens. Now my real question is...

    If I bought the turkey poults and chicks at the same time, same age, and raised them in this run, with an indoor space in my barn about 8 x 14, could I keep them together? I have heard many good things but also many bad things. There are four things I am concerned about, aggression, feed, disease, and egg laying. First, I have no idea if chickens can get along with turkeys, seeing that turkeys are 5 x the size. Also, I was wondering if they would eat the same food, and if the turkeys would eat it all before the chickens had a chance at it. Third, I heard that blackhead disease could wipe out turkeys if it was a problem in my area. I live in Madison, NJ if anyone can input if it is here or not. Lastly, these hens would be for egg laying purposes, and I need high quantities of eggs coming out. I was thinking, would the turkeys eat/destroy/affect in any way the eggs? Or affect the egg laying process?

    SOrry for firing questions so fast, i am just really curious. Thanks in advance
     
  2. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eh, Ive talked myself out of it before I got a response. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I realize you've already talked yourself out of it, but figured I'd chime in anyway.
    I keep turkeys in with my chickens no problem, I even have some bantams running around with them. Poults seem to do better in the brooder with a couple (or a bunch) of chicks mixed in. The chicks show them where the food and water is. If you have black head in your area, it'll be a problem whether or not there are chickens present. The best way to find out if you've got it around is to call your local Ag or health department and ask if there have been any reported cases. My turkeys don't gobble up all of the feed, but I've got a 30lb feeder, which I keep full at al times. They all get around it and eat together. As for aggression, I notice the chickens picking at the turks more than the other way around. The only time I've had issues is when I have a hen with poults, and adequate space or letting them out to free range solves that. Mine have never pecked open and eaten an egg, though they do try to sit on them when its that time of year!
    Turkey are very very funny, personable birds and I can't imagine not having them around! I really think I enjoy them more than my chickens sometimes! Well, except when they leave their giant poops on my porches! And if you have a large flock of them, they tend to eat you out of house and home if they're cooped up. Oh, and the toms seem to like to fight with themselves in the chrome bumper of my husbands truck (which doesn't bother me much, but he sure doesn't appreciate it)! And they're eggs are wonderful!

    Anyway, just my $0.02. Good luck with your chicks whenever you get them!
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, and if you're considering broad breasted turkeys, you'll have to butcher them relatively early. So, they really won't live long enough to be an issue for the chickens anyway :(
     
  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the answer.You know what, even though i said earlier i talked myself out, I admit after your response that I am still thinking about it. I guess there is nothing really to worry about if there is no aggression, no feed problems, (blackhead would be a problem anyway) or issues with affecting the chickens egg laying. As for the butchering part, I probably would grow so attached to them that i couldn't bring myself too!
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If you think you won't be able to butcher them, you should really look into heritage breeds. The broad breasted varieties grow so big so quickly that they tend to have physical issues, like their legs not being able to support their body weight. Its really sad :(
    I raise black Spanish, they don't get super huge but there's enough there to make a great meal if that's what you decide to do with them!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  7. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to say, I like the look of the "Bourbon Red" from Stromberg's. Very cool looking. Could I raise one or two along with the hens and have no problems?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Sure, go for it! But, as a word of caution, I started with 2 and now I have MANY :oops:
     

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