Keeping turkeys with chickens?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Squeak61, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
  3. Other (explain below)

    1 vote(s)
  1. Squeak61

    Squeak61 Songster

    May 22, 2017
    Hey guys! Because I am a crazy chicken lady, obviously I’ve been planning out my spring 2019 chick order. However, I’ve been wanting turkeys for quite some time, and I’m interested in adding some to my homestead. But after some research I am scared half to death! The idea of blackhead is very scary, and now I’m unsure if it’s a good idea. I’d love to hear your two cents!
  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I tried having turkeys with my chickens but they just didn't work out. For one thing, the tom turkeys were too big to have in my henhouse with the guineas and chickens. They ended up sleeping in the rafters of the barn. Which meant that they were pooping on the hay. But the reason I got rid of them was finding one of the toms stomping on a chicken hen. The chicken was dead by the time I got to them.
    A lot of people raise them together but it didn't work out for me. :(
    R2elk and 4 Georgia Hens like this.
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    If blackhead is present, it can be a death sentence to the turkeys while chickens for the most part easily survive it.

    If blackhead is not present, there are other reasons that turkeys should not be kept with chickens.

    Turkeys need much more "personal" space than do chickens. Turkeys that as poults are raised with and imprinted by chicks and chickens lose the ability to understand that there is a difference between them and chickens. This can lead to the turkeys using their ways on the chickens which because of the size difference can be disastrous for the chickens.

    Turkeys can be very single minded and once a turkey gets its mind set on something (like attacking a specific chicken) it won't quit until it has accomplished its purpose.

    Good luck.
  4. Justso

    Justso Songster

    Apr 30, 2015
    Chicagoland DuPage Co
    My neighbor had two fine chickens smothered by her turkey when roosting. If you're going to do it, make sure they have their own separate roosting house.
    red horse ranch and R2elk like this.
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Turkeys can and do kill chickens. Keep them together if you don't mind an occasional dead bird. Turkeys are best kept by themselves, they aren't behaviorally compatible with other poultry, and can do a lot of damage because of their size and strength.
    Folly's place likes this.
  6. LittleRock

    LittleRock Chirping

    Aug 30, 2014
    Sunny So Cal
    By no means am I an expert but I keep my turkeys and chickens together, until a certain age. I only separate them because my turkeys become flighty, well the hens do. I can free range my toms and keep them with my chickens but I don't usually have excess toms. In my specific case, there is no blackhead present and my birds tend to mind their own business. They all sleep together but as soon as the sun rises the chickens stick together, the muscovy stick together and the turkeys stick together.
  7. Crazydoglady99

    Crazydoglady99 Songster

    Nov 6, 2018
    I have had ducks, currently have chickens, turkeys and quail.

    Turkeys are like no other. Not even kidding, I read books, googled madly, thought I was prepped for Turkeys.
    Each day I am blown away by just how different, sensitive Turkeys are.
    Last night, my 3x 3month old Turkeys, sat in the tree MEEP MEEP MEEPING, because I had moved the nesting boxes around in their shed. They refused to stay in their darn bed until I moved the nesting boxes :lau for real!

    My only regret, is that I was soo impatient waiting for my eggs to hatch (and my place in the queue for poults), that I got some day old chickens to satisfy my impatience. Darn it! I need more Turkeys! Not more chickens!

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck!!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: