Mixed poultry brooder?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by silarajc, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. silarajc

    silarajc Chirping

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    Mar 27, 2017
    Western Missouri
    I totally jumped into the chicken life, and now I have ordered 8 narrangasett turkeys, 4 blue swedish ducks and 8 pearl guineas to add to my farmyard in June. My question is: I know the ducks will need a separate brooder and nesting area, but can I brood guineas and turkeys together? I'm thinking I can house them together? I don't know if there is a size difference between keets and poults, and I was afraid one might end up stomping on the others. I'm going to build a simple shelter coop like this, but with walls to block the winter wind (4 sq ft per bird): [​IMG] I free range my chickens most of the time, but I'm guessing that while I'm training "home" for the turkeys and guineas, they will need a temporary run to keep them in the area while still having some space.
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    I brood guinea keets and turkey poults together. They have the same nutrition requirements which is different from ducklings. They also need to be kept dry which is another good reason to not brood them with ducklings.

    I do not house guineas and turkeys together. Everything may seem fine while they are growing up but once the guineas hit their first breeding season, all bets are off and the guineas can create extreme stress for all other poultry around them. Guineas have different behaviors especially during breeding season than any other type of poultry.

    There is a huge size difference between day old keets and day old poults and the size discrepancy just keeps getting worse as they mature.

    If you are going to coop turkeys, I recommend a minimum of 10 sq. ft. per turkey. Four Sq. ft. per guinea can be acceptable but a standing adult turkey pretty much occupies 4 sq. ft. all by itself.

    I don't know what your predator load is like but if you don't keep your guineas in a secure predator proof coop at night, it is not likely that you will have guineas for very long.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  3. silarajc

    silarajc Chirping

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    Thank you, that was what I was wondering. I'll be sure to house the guineas separately. We do have predators, mostly hawks, but I hear coyotes and opened the chickens up one morning to find a great horned owl (still not sure how it got in). I wanted to lock everyone up at night, which was another reason I wanted walls on the structure I attached on my beginning post. Would that same idea work for the guineas, ie mostly a roosting shed? My final plan is to free range everyone during the day, but I know guineas especially need to be trained for a number of weeks to recognize their home or they will wander.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    I lost my whole first flock of guineas to Great Horned owls because I did not put them in a coop at night.

    Since you are starting with keets it will not be as hard to get them to know where home is. In my opinion it is important to keep them in a secure coop at night. How you get them there can be accomplished in different ways. Some people train their guineas to come at a call, bell or whistle for treats. I only feed my guineas in their coop and using a long stick, I herd them into the coop every evening before I close them in for the night. Sometimes it seems like a game since they will be in the coop with a guard watching for me. As soon as they see me, they all come scooting out of the coop so that I can herd them right back in.

    I do not keep my adult turkeys in a coop at night. Their roost is in a place sheltered from the prevailing wind and does have flight netting above the roost. I had a Great Horned owl freak out severely one time because it got in under the netting while going after a cottontail rabbit. I have never seen any repeat episodes of an owl getting under the netting even though the south side of the run is not covered.
     
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  5. silarajc

    silarajc Chirping

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    Thank you for your help!
     
    R2elk likes this.

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