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New to raising turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by stroud2009, May 21, 2016.

  1. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2015
    Actually I'm pretty new to raising chickens as well . When I picked out our baby chicks about a month or so ago, I spur of the moment decided to get a turkey . My first throught was thanksgiving dinner , but now I've bonded very much with it. I have some questions :

    1. Do they need to be getting different food at any point ? I believe they are close to 7 weeks old ?

    2. Can they eat fruits and veggie scraps like chickens can ?

    3. Can my chickens and turkey continue to coexist together ?

    4. What else do I need to know about raising turkeys .

    Pretty much any information would help . The library near me only had books on raising backyard chickens .
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Turkeys technically should be started on a higher protein than stepped down at 6 weeks to a lower one like chick starter, I than feed an all flock as soon as they can eat a pelleted food.

    I raised turkeys and chickens together twice and will never do it again, the first two were toms who killed at rooster at sexual maturity and were quickly butchered. The second was some females raised by a bantam hen. They became bullies that I couldn't keep out of the bantam pen, two of them were butchered, one has remained and was successfully integrated into the turkey flock. Other have success mixing the species, I do not. My young turkeys will often chase and harass the chickens. They mostly grow out of it. I keep mine separate.

    Turkeys can eat fruits and vegetables. Mine like strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, apples and cucumber slices. They like to swallow things whole so best to cut things up or keep them bigger or you will watch your turkey slowly move things down their esophagus and stand goofy for a bit while they attempt to get stuff down.

    Did you buy broad breasted or heritage turkeys. Broad breasted are better off eaten before they have leg troubles or die of heart attacks. Heritage will live a while longer and can fly a bit, as well as reproduce.

    Turkeys are personable. You might have troubles with a single one, they are best with a few of their own kind.
     
  3. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2015
    I honestly don't remember what kind of turkey it is , but I can call the feed store and ask . So far, (knock on wood) the Turku gets along amazing with all of the chicks it's in with . They all cuddle together when they sleep .

    I'm a little confused about the food . Should I have it eating different food or is it okay now that it's over 6 weeks ? I remember the person at the feed store saying something about them being able to always eat the same food but I've heard mixed things . Also I remember reading breifly somewhere about older chickens passing on a certain disease to the turkey ?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    If it has a hearty breast on it, it probably is BB, especially if it's white or bronze. Otherwise heritage will be lighter of weight.

    At this point they can eat the same ration, it's recommended to feed a higher protein initially for the first 4-6 weeks, but I have raised poults successfully on chick starter. I switch to an all flock as soon as it can eat a pelleted food.

    There's a disease called blackhead, if it's in your soil your chickens can be an intermediate host for the parasite than pass it on to your turkey. You probably won't know unless it happens whether it's in your soil or not.
     

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