keeping turkeys compared to keeping chickens?


11 Years
Jan 11, 2009
green co.
how much difference is there in keeping turkeys compared to keeping chickens?
do they do ok around youngsters (small kids)?
i dont nessicarly mean $ differnce , but do they need a coop and etc...?
Poults need heat longer than chicks it seems like. They don't always know how to drink on their own at first so you have to dip their beaks the first few days. Not too hard to raise, but just have to take a few things into consideration. They don't handle drafts or wet bedding very well. They are very nosy and will eat anything shiny. The heritage breeds start flying at about 3 weeks of age. they are also very nosy compared to chickens. Kind of stupid in the regard that they will walk into a corner or between hay bales and not have enough sense to back out. They will be the first ones to drown in a horse water tank.
Having a coop for either chickens or turkeys depends on your weather and the predators where you are at.

Chickens usually like coops to roost in at night, most turkeys prefer someplace high and outside. But that also means turkey are exposed to predators during the night.

When young the chickens can leave the indoor brooder at a bout 4 weeks of age. For turkey's it recommended to wait until 7 to 9 weeks of age.

As far as how they are around young kids, always depends on the child and the animal.

Because Chickens and Turkey do have different feeding requirements. It Usually is best to house them separately at night or when they are not free ranging.

As far as getting a long, well that depends on the birds. Last year one of the red sex links kept picking on the younger turkeys. Once one of the females got old enough she decide she had enough and went after the red sex link. By the time I caught up to them in the chicken coop the turkey had the chicken cornered, fortunately I got them separated before any real damage was done. But other wise they usually get along.

The poos are a lot bigger. (Vast numbers of people warned me I'd hate turkeys b/c of the smell, and perhaps if I had more or in tighter quarters I would, but 3 turkeys in a 4x6 'house' plus a half-acre of grass to roam in do not stink at all)

They eat more, and drink more.

They are cold-hardier w/r/t frostbite, as I understand it.

It hurts a lot more when a big turkey whacks you in the face with his wing.

And because they are heavier, when they fly up and land on something inappropriate, it breaks more easily

IMO (tho all I have is 3 BBB and now 2 heritage bronze) they are more interesting than chickens... chickens seem to pigeonhole everything in the world into one of 3 categories: "food", "danger", and "not relevant to my life so I will ignore it". (Roos also have "things I can bounce up and down on"). Whereas my turkeys are interested in EVERYTHING. They want to know what I put down next to the fence, why there is a nail hole in the fencepost, where I'm going, what the horses are up to, etc etc.

I think turkeys are actually pretty smart for birds
and great fun to be around. That is why it is just killin' me to have to process the BBBs next week for the freezer, and why I got the heritage bronze pair to start a new permanent population of turkeys next year

I have to agree that as much as I love my chickens I really like turks better. I've got one little bourbon hen who's quite the gadabout. She has a beautiful house and a huge run with an eight foot fence to protect her from predators but everyday she's in someone else's pen or running around loose on the farm checking into what everyone else is doing. When she gets tired of that, or gets worried about her mate or gets scared she come flying into my arms asking to go home....catching a 15 pound bird in flight is not an easy task by the way.
I much prefer my turkeys over my chickens. For one, they are more entertaining than the chickens. One of the cutest things they have done is the turkey "circle" dance, where they went around in a circle dancing. Recently, Big Tom had a fight with our goat. That one seemed like a "draw" to me, although the goat was larger of the two. I could sit and watch the turkeys all day.
I love my Narragansetts- they are really feathered dogs. My jake was raised as a pet before I got him and is very laid back. Recently I got him 2 teenaged girls (Clara and Giselle) who were raised on pasture and basically unhandled and they are the most curious, friendly, easygoing birds- they love to be petted and picked up, like to follow me around the yard, and are interested in everything. This evening my grown son stopped by while I was not here and went out to meet them- they'd never seen him before and still walked right over to the gate and let him pet them. I hope to raise them next year and sell some of the babies to perpetuate the breed but I can tell you right now there's now way I could eat one of mine with personalities like this. Don't get me wrong, I love my chickens and they're all pets too but the turkeys seem to be more naturally friendly.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom