Should I add chicks to the turkeys?


8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
NW Missouri
I just got 3 turkeys yesterday, they are 6 days old today. They seem to be REALLY flighty to the point that they stay in a far corner away from the heat light, do I need to add one or two of my little black sex link chicks to make them more comfortable about moving around the cage or just give them time? I have not raised turkeys before but my chickens never seemed this scared and they usually moved about the cage rather than hiding in a corner.
if the chicks are big enough to not be knocked around by the naturally larger poults, yes it come be a good idea. What color heat light are you using? A white one? Try a red or black/purple light instead, and just put them in a naturally lighted area during the day - it could be the white light they are scared of, how warm is it in there on that side? you know you want it 90ish on one side and about 10 degrees cooler on the other side. They may also be too hot near the heat light. I would stick them somewhere quiet but with some ambient natural light, and have a colored heat bulb. that way they have light and heat, but not a shining glaring white light in there on them (which can contribute to flightyness in brooded birds)

are they in a cardboard box, or a clear container?

I suggest feeding and watering them today, then leaving them alone all day till this evening when you feed/water again...don't try to handle them just yet let them adjust and chill out some. when you feed them, make a tinfoil bowl to put scratch in, and then tap your fingers in the feed, pinch and drop it back in the bowl, and just mess with the scratch for a minute or two each time you have to feed them. Turkeys are super curious and should wind up getting interested in what your up to especially once they associate their food dish (tinfoil or a regular one - your choice) with food.
after a day or so (say tomorrow evening), especially if they've calmed then start to handle them.
Ok, I will try to answer all the questions.

Enclosure, 18" wide X 24" and 18" tall cage with cardboard on all sides to keep the heat in. The top is open with the heat light on it, a 10" brooder light with 100w bulb. the floor temps under the bulb are 94 degrees and the entire enclosure holds a temp around 80-84 at all times. I will give the red bulb a try to see if that helps, they do have ambient light as they are in the dining room, it has blinds on the windows but stays plenty bright.

They have had food since yesterday and they didnt really mess with it overnight, they also have 2 waterers ( one on hot side, one on cool )

UPDATE.................. I put a 2 week old black sex link chick in and they all slept together for a while then I just checked on them and 2 of the poults and the bsl chick were eating and the other poult was getting a big ol drink. I guess the rumors about putting chicks in with them is true, I'm sure they are not going to be "tame" just because I put a chick in with them lol, but at least they are a bit more comfy and up and moving around as well as eating and drinking.
also, the chick is actually a bit bigger than the poults, but he doesnt seem to notice lol, he just lays in a pile of the babies like he is a lil turkey lol
Give them a chance to settle down some. Think of the trauma they've been thru the past couple days. adjust your light so they don't get cold (might need to shrink their pen for a couple days) and keep their bellies full and see what happens
sounds good, they just needed someone confident in there with them to show them the ropes - lol. Later on, stick her hand in there and peck and mess with the food, if the chick is friendly mess with it, the poults should get curious, but till tomorrow I wouldn't mess with them - just to let them get acclimated to your presence and the 'giant person' attached to said invading hand - lol
Yeah that's kinda what I thought, they are up and moving around great now so I'll give them some time then we can all play lol
I have a 4x6 ft brooder. I had to divide it this year because I had some different hatch dates. To get to the second hatch, i had to reach over the barrier and approach the poults from above. They didn's like it. The older poults I could reach from their own height, and they acted like turkeys always do. My personal theory is that the more you can be at the turkeys level, the happier they are to see you. I used white lights on both sides of the barrier.

Just a thought.

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