Really want to get a pet turkey but worried about it not getting along with my chickens!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by buffygal13, May 4, 2017.

  1. buffygal13

    buffygal13 Just Hatched

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    Hi everyone! I recently just got 5 new baby chicks and they are a little over two months old now. I saw that the store I bought them from is bringing in turkeys and I really want to get one as a pet. If I got a baby turkey would the other chickens bully it? And also my coop is too small for a turkey so could I let it free range and sleep in a tree? I have a ton of turkeys in my neighborhood that are wild and they seem to find a way to stay alive without a coop. I know this probably won't work but I really want to get a turkey. Please let me know your thoughts!
     
  2. ILuvMyFlock

    ILuvMyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there, I have an acre full of a mixed flock, chickens, ducks, geese, Guineas, and even turkeys - they all do great together! So yes I believe it's possible and in my opinion highly likely that if you introduce them young they can all get along. My turkeys except for the young-ins all free range, they roost up high at night until the morning. If you start holding them while they're young (the turkeys) they can turn out to be quite tame, I have some of mine so tame you can pet them and some will even let ya hold em.

    In my opinion you don't technically need a coop for turkeys, but it's good to have some sort of shelter like at least some shrubs, bushes, and or trees, somewhere they can hide under and or roost in. None of mine get cooped up, I only keep the little ones in a chicken tractor until they're big enough to roam around.
     
  3. buffygal13

    buffygal13 Just Hatched

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    Is it okay if I only get one turkey? That's all I really have room for. I was thinking of it being more of a therapy animal believe it or not! My backyard is only about an acre and I do have a swimming pool. Will that be a problem? I was also wondering if I should house the turkey with the chickens until it is too big for the coop? Another thing is I live in a suburban area. Do you think it's a bad idea?
     
  4. buffygal13

    buffygal13 Just Hatched

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    I was also wondering if turkeys eat the same food as chickens?
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    It is never a good idea to get just one turkey. They are a flock bird and really need their own kind for company. If the lone turkey turns out to be a tom, it will end up killing the chickens when it attempts to breed them.

    There is also the Blackhead issue. If Blackhead is a problem where you live, the chickens can harbor the disease but it can kill the turkeys.

    Adult turkeys can eat the same food as chickens. Turkey poults really need a high protein turkey or gamebird starter. In addition to the higher protein the proper starter contains higher concentrations of methionine and niacin. The higher protein and other components are not necessary for chicks but they also are not harmful to chicks.

    When I brood turkey poults and chicks together I always feed them a 28% protein turkey/gamebird starter for at least the first 2 weeks. It is necessary for the proper development of the poults.

    If you purchased the chicks from a chain store it is very likely that the only kind of turkeys they will be bringing in are Broad Breasted turkeys. These are the Cornish-X of the turkey world. They were developed to be fast growers to reach a marketable size at a very young age. While they can be the friendliest of the turkey varieties, they are also the shortest lived. They can easily develop leg and other health issues.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  6. ILuvMyFlock

    ILuvMyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine eat the same food. I honestly wouldn't get just one turkey, I'd get 2-3 it's better for them in the long run. Just make sure nothing could get in your pool and drown. As for the coop, that depends on the size of turkey you plan to get, if you're getting a baby turkey I honestly wouldn't advise mixing it with full grown chickens as it probably wouldn't make it. Depending on the age of the turkey, if it's really young it will need a heat lamp and its own area, if it's a teen I'd recommend getting a chicken tractor. Eventually when the turkey is older it can roam free, but turkeys in my opinion are more fragile when they're younger.

    Turkeys make great therapy birds, if they're socialized well at a young age, in fact my vet said they've never seen a turkey so tame as mine, they can be raised so tame they'll follow you, and some will seek out being patted and even held.

    My yard is an acre and so far I have about 4 full sized turkeys a mixed tom, (the rest are girls) an eastern wild, white midget, and a bourbon red. I have over 10+ turkey teens ranging from more white midgets, bourbon reds, Narragansetts, Royal palms, grey slates, eastern wilds, chocolates, etc. an acre is plenty of room for a few turkeys. I recommend the white midgets mine are extremely tame, the others are too it's just my white midget girl actually lays down wanting me to pet and hold her whereas I have to go get the others to pat and hold them.

    None of mine are for food, they're all pets, and like you I find my birds to be therapeutic, I never understood raising birds to butcher.
     
  7. BirdManInMo

    BirdManInMo Just Hatched

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    I would get 2 if you can.

    My turkeys get along fine with my chickens and guinea fowl.

    Keep the turkeys cooped up until big enough to go out.

    More than likely they won't want to be in a coop when they are older. Mine sleep on my front porch (messy!), on top of the dog house, on the roof, or in a tree and they are just fine.

    If possible get a heritage variety and not bb.

    After they get bigger you can feed them the same as your chickens but would start them off on a game bird starter.

    Knock on wood, I have never had a problem with blackhead but it is a potential threat.

    When you go to pick them out, try getting one that is the biggest and one that is the smallest (not sick or listless) and you have a chance to get a male and a female.

    Spend lots of time with them and hold them and you will tame them nicely,

    Good Luck !
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017

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