raising a turkey with chickens


9 Years
Feb 17, 2010
mid michigan
im getting 10 chicks, and i was wondering if i could raise a turkey with them for eating
or would it bully the chicken, and have different nutrition requirements

how old are turkeys when they are harvested?
Okay I only know what I've read so far, but here goes... Turkeys require a different feed. Turkeys will grow faster and start running over the chickens (even if they aren't trying to be mean, they're just big). You can butcher them anytime you like, sooner for a smaller fryer, later for a larger roaster. I plan to get my turkeys at the end of the hatching season so they will be just at the right age for butchering at Thanksgiving. I've read that it is NOT advisable to raise turkeys with chickens because the turkeys are very susceptible to a disease called "Blackhead" that can be in the chicken feces. However, that said I have seen some people raise their turkeys with their chickens but I don't know how successful they are. I've read posts where someone's turkey flew up into a tree and they couldn't get the turkeys down so apparently they can fly (maybe not the BB though, I dunno). FWIW: I plan to keep mine separate since they won't be around too long anyway and I want to keep them healthy. HTH
Im keeping my 3 poults with the chicks, till the cornishx are gone from the tractor, then itll just about be time to separate the turkeys.
I have broadbreasted, eatin turkeys.
I was told to butcher around 5-7 months.

They need a higher protein food, like gamebird or broiler.
For my 25+ chicks and 3 poults, I mix the chickstarter and gamebird feeds and give it to them.
Dunno if thats the best way to do it, but thats how I do it . . .

I have never even heard of any blackhead disease before, I see people with turkeys in with the chickens everywhere . . .

If your 10 chicks happen to be cornishx, just keep em all together and feed either gamebird or broiler, both will do the trick I think.

Im no expert.
Like Lil has stated the differences between the two species creates a problem.
The biggest of all worries that I see is the sheer size difference and social order.
A tough chicken trying to scrap a fight from a turkey could result in a blood bath.
They are harvested when they get big enough! Maybe a year, maybe less. After 4 months, our BBB was not very big, maybe 10 pounds processed.

We had two turkeys (toms) and 4 male ducks and numerous chickens. Once they hit maturity, the toms would chase the biggest duck and try to mount it. It did this often enough to injure the duck's leg, which made it easier pickings. Both toms would also chase a hen (chicken) around the yard, and while she was fast and was never caught (to my knowledge), the pursuing turkeys were single-minded in their effort and would not stop until actually kicked by me. Yelling and trying to distract them was pointless. They never noticed me till I actually made physical contact with them. We finally butchered the BBB early, because he was relentless. After he was gone, the Royal Palm ceased chasing the ducks, and very rarely chased a hen. But he then turned his interests to my 3 yo, and he was promptly butchered.

We have never had jennies, so I cannot comment on their nature.

The turkey will naturally bully smaller chickens at the feeding spots, but may very well not do more than that. We fed our turkeys the same Lay Crumble our chickens eat. Our feed store doesn't even carry turkey feed.

Oh, we don't have Blackhead here in SW AZ. You can find out by calling your ag dep't, but be prepared to be transferred around before you get an answer! I don't know where you live, so can't help beyond that.
I kept my turkey and chicks seperate until I moved them outside because the turkeys are so much more susceptible to illness and need higher temps. I was also told to put marbles in there waterers to keep from drowning and twice as many feeders because they have a hard time finding food for some reason. They definately need gamebird or turkey starter so that their legs can support their weight.
Blackhead desease is going to be your biggest problem, Now some folks don't or will ever heed the warning nor keep their birds seperated. It is just that it is not reccomended to have them together.

Raising poults and chicks together is just fine. As a matter of fact, most of the heritage turkey breeders I know always brood poults and chicks together (including myself). The chicks will teach the poults to eat and where to find the water.

Feed requirements? They both do fine on either chick starter or the higher protein gamebird starter. I use gamebird starter (27% protein) with all my chicks and poults until they are 6 weeks old.

You only need to separate the poults and chicks when then poults begin to crowd out the chicks: you'll know when by the size of the poults.

Turkeys are typically mean to chickens (especially cocks) once they are fully mature. saladin

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