Questions about my 8week old Turkeys - mainly to do with the chickens they will be kept with

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by 1eggnog, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. 1eggnog

    1eggnog Out Of The Brooder

    46
    0
    34
    May 29, 2012
    Hi there :) i have just got 3 baby turkeys and have had them about 2 weeks now (they are now 8 weeks old) they are all girls and are currently in a rabbit run in the garden so they can get used to the chickens and vice-verca. I know all about the risk of blackhead and not to keep rabbits with turkeys (there are no rabbits in the run dont worry).

    But my questions are:
    1. what age would be a good age to let them out of the run to be with the chickens?
    2. I have a cockeral who origionally hated them but now pays them no attention - will he get all angry again once i let them out?
    3. My chickens are free range so the turkeys will be also - do you think they will wonder off? the chickens never have but easily could if them wanted too :s
    4. Is clipping wings and claws a good idea before letting them out?
     
  2. mpguay

    mpguay Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
    1
    101
    Apr 27, 2011
    My very limited experience:
    I would wait until the turkeys are larger than the chickens.
    Keep a fence or netting between the two groups for several days so they can see, smell and hear each other before introduction.
    My roos did not seem to notice the turkeys when I let them out. No problem there.
    My turkeys are Bourbon Reds and Blue Slates. They are VERY docile, almost like puppies. They are about 12 weeks old. I let them out with the chickens when they were 10 weeks old. I have 40 chickens, all 22 weeks old.

    I have them contained in a 380 linear foot electric netting. 4 feet tall. All my birds are able to fly over, but they RARELY do. If one does, he/she paces until they can get back inside.

    At night I herd the 12 turkeys back into their 10x10x6 coop. they herd easily.

    I dont know about your predator situation. We have coyotes, foxes and hawk mostly. The electric netting is mainly for the coyotes. I lost 5 birds before that.

    I would not clip wings. they may need them to fly to a branch if dog/coyote chases them. Turkeys dont wander much from home.
     
  3. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

    7,952
    644
    361
    Mar 3, 2012
    First I wanted to mention that I have never hear of black head being passed from rabbits(It may be). But black head is passed from chicken to turkey in certain regions that have blackhead.

    Oh and how do you know they are girls? 8 weeks is kind of young for sexing.


    As for your question

    I put my turkeys out with the chickens anywhere from 8-10 weeks old my turkeys love to be with the chickens. when they are let out to freerange if the chickens are still penned up the turkeys will just linger around all the chicken coops. Its really funny the way they like the chickens.

    I suppose your cockerel will charge at him but turkeys don't pose much of a threat with their mild personalities most likely your rooster wont give them much of a second thought. Always keep a watchful eye though until the turkeys are bigger just incase.

    My turkeys also never wander off they stay in the yard like the chickens do. Sometimes they go into the woods further than the chickens do but that is about it. At bed time they most likely wont put themselves to bed but like mentioned above they are easy to herd back to there coop

    I personally would not clip wings or claws. They are excellent fliers but they wont fly off on you and its good they can fly incase they need to get away from something.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by