"Pet" turkey questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by skunknchatter, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    I would like a pet turkey. I don't want to eat him (would prefer a tom) I just want him to live in my backyard and be a pet. So here are my questions

    1) What breed would be best for "pet" status? I don't need to be able to put him on a leash and take him for a walk but I'd prefer family and friends not be assaulted by said turkey.

    2) Can he live with my chickens for the most part? Same run. Different "shut in" coop in winter.

    3) Do turkeys need very different feed than chickens or can all live on the same staple?

    4) Will a turkey just abuse my chicken flock? Will it make a difference if he is raised with them? Will he fight my rooster?

    Okay so it's obvious I know nothing about turkeys. But I think they are wonderful to look at. Am I insane to even think about this?
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    ND
    If you want it for a pet, stay away from broad breasted (BB White or BB Bronze) and get a heritage variety.

    If you have chickens, check with the local ag folks or anybody nearby that has turkeys and see if black head (Histomoniasis) is a problem in your area. If it is, chickens can carry it with no symptoms but it can be fatal to a turkey.

    Turkeys start out on a higher protein feed than chicks do, once it's grown you can find a happy medium.

    I would keep them separate in the spring during breeding season, if the turkey tries to mate with a hen it can turn out pretty bad for the chicken. Other than that, you won't know how it gets along with the chickens until you try it. Some people have no problems, others do.

    Turkeys can be a lot of fun, they are really curious and can follow you around to see what you are doing. That said, I would keep small children away from them to be on the safe side. They are attracted to shiny objects, and that can include childrens eyes. I never had problems myself, but then again, my children had no interest in 'mom's birds'.
     
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Hi there.

    I have turkeys that I don't eat. I have Bourbon Reds and I have a Tom. He is in my avatar. I will try to answer your questions.
    1. I think Bourbon Reds are a great breed. He is NOT aggressive. He has never assaulted anyone. [​IMG]
    2. Yes, my Tom lives with my chickens with no problems. Everyone eats the same type of food.
    3. Game Bird feed is always good but not a requirment. I think that a few people may feed a higher protein.
    4. My Bourbon Red tom does not abuse any of my animals. I have about 150 chickens (roosters included) and the Tom has never had a fight with a chicken or a rooster. He is as cool as a cucumber.

    Good questions. You are not insane to think about this. You just want the best for your animals. Good Luck with your decision.
     
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    If you want a friendly bird, get it as a day old chick and give it lots of attention while in the brooder. Feed it lots of snacks, and make the same sound every time you approach. It also helps if you establish a "treat pattern" by using the same bucket and dumping cracked corn every day in the same place. Also, get the turkey a friend. They like to be together in a flock.

    I'm a total novice, and what I did for my BBB's may not work for you, but they were certainly great birds while I had them. My BBB's had great personalities, but they will start to break down after they get older and heavier as they approach 7 months to a year. This is their only drawback that I can see.
     
  5. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    kuntrygirl... let me start out by saying your turkey is beautiful and this is what attracts me to them.

    Thanks to you guys for your quick and helpful responses. I think I'll be talking hubby into a turkey chick this spring. We'll give it a go and see what happens.
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:You're welcome. My Tom is such the gentleman. He struts all day for his girls and he guards them at night. I love him so much. [​IMG]

    Good luck with getting a turkey. Come back and post a pic when you get a turkey.
     
  7. teresa-78

    teresa-78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2010
    England
    Hello,

    I have a Tom Turkey, he is only around 6 to 7 months now, I got him at 5 weeks old, along with some chickens, and they are the best of friends. Harold (Thats his name) is a Royal palm, he is stunning, and so friendly, so far no problems with aggression, I would not be without him, and he does not seem at all bothered about having no lady turkey around. I would suggest everyone needs a turkey for their flock [​IMG] I feed my chickens and Turkey all the same, they free range everyday until night fall, and he seems as healthy as an ox. Good luck with your turkey when you get one [​IMG]

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