Need advice on incorporating turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by snewman, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. snewman

    snewman Songster

    253
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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I have 10 BBW turkeys, 8 weeks old. I have been raising them in a series of increasingly larger pens in the barn, but now they've outgrown the biggest. I have chickens and ducks free-ranging outside, with a coop and a pen, respectively, that they go into at night. Setting aside the potential disease issues, can I put the turkeys out in the coop with the chickens? Will they stay put? Will they roost there at night? How do I best go about the introductions? Should I just sneak them in during the dark so they wake up together? If they don't roost in the coop, where might they go, and will I be able to round them up at night? We have a lot of raccoons that have killed any chicken or duck that failed to go in at night. At eight weeks, they're as big as my biggest rooster, but I don't know if they can take care of themselves around him or not. Any thoughts or words of wisdom on this would be appreciated. My other option is to build yet another set-up to keep them separate, but having to make it raccoon proof is the difficult, costly and time-consuming part.
     
  2. Yes you can keep the turkeys and the chickens together but the ducks may cause you problems. If the ducks have made an area wet or muddy as ducks do the turkeys will get into it sooner or later. A wet, chilled turkey usually turns into a sick or dead turkey in pretty short order. You said your other birds free range but you have coup and pen? Will the turkeys be in a fenced area? If not fenced they would wander. The BB type turkeys get heavy so fast they can't get very far off the ground. It takes turkeys a while to pick up on the routine so you would have to round them up and put them in the coup for at least a few nights, until they learn where to go. It's hard to say on the roo, other than keep an eye on him when you first put them in. He may try to mate with them. I would put them in the coup after dark at least they would wake up together. I take you have researched the possible disease issues so you know about that

    Steve in NC
     
  3. snewman

    snewman Songster

    253
    1
    149
    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Thanks for the reply. The chickens and ducks are free range in terms of not having fencing specifically for them. They are hemmed in by a long dairy barn on one side, a mesh fence along the road, and a river on a third side. The fourth side is the horse pasture, and they do wander under the fence into there some, but, more or less stick pretty close. The ducks, of course, spend some time on the river. All in all, it's a pretty big area, so the turkeys could, if they chose, wander a ways.

    I know about the disease potential, and have looked into it and decided to give it a shot anyway. I'm more worried about losing the turkeys to raccoons or them just getting lost and wandering away.

    Do turkeys sit still once it's dark, so I can scoop them up and put them back in the coop?
     
  4. Yes they are like any other bird except a guinea [​IMG] Once it gets good and dark you can pick them up easy.

    We have raised ours together for years and haven't had any trouble. chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, peafowl.

    Steve
     
  5. snewman

    snewman Songster

    253
    1
    149
    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Great! Hopefully a week is long enough for me to help them figure out going in the coop. I leave for vacation on the 15th. I guess if they don't have it down by then I might have to crowd them back inside their current indoor pen. I'm not sure if my animal caretaker is up for finding and scooping up turkeys every night.
    [​IMG]
     

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