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should i get a turkey?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cami, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. cami

    cami Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    I am tottaly new to this. ive had chickens for 2 years but ive never had a turkey. so i want to know as much as i can about turkeys before i consider getting one. I have 3 full grown chickens and 3 more chicks coming soon, would a turkey get along with them? is there any way to sex a turkey chick? what are other reasons to get a turkey besides the fact that they make good meals (i dont eat meat and i could never murder a pet unless it was dieing). i am planing to get one from chick. how do you raise them? could a turkey be raised with a couple of chicks in a brooder? if not can it be raised by itself or do i need to get at least 2? i have a chicken coop (medium about 6x6) and my chickens free range and het a few handfulls of organic feed each morrming is this ok for a turkey too? i know nothing about these creatures please help.
     
  2. HathawayHens

    HathawayHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    DeLand, FL
    I am also curious about this... I had heard that you should not keep turkeys with chickens, because of Mareks and other issues. But a trusted source told me that she keeps a few turkeys to help protect her bantams from hawks, and everything is great! Does anyone know?
     
  3. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    First of all, baby turkeys are called poults. I have used baby chicks for the first few days to train the poults to eat and drink but I usually use guinea keets. The reason I use keets rather than chicks is poults have a very different diet than chicks. Poults need a 28-30% feed for the first 12 weeks. Chicks need a 20% and the extra protien is costly and causes pasty butt in the chicks. I use the guinea keets because they have the same feed requirements as the poults. After 12 weeks they should be on a 20% feed there after. A hand full of organic feed in the mornings may be ok for your adult turkeys if you have plenty of bugs for them to forage year round. You can uses a lesser feed and keep birds alive but if you want them to thrive?????
     
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I am getting some turkeys this year for the first time, too. However, I plan to try and keep my turkeys in the front pasture while my chickens mostly having out in the back pastures and down at the barn. I don't want to have to deal with black head and such. Mareks is not something I worry about them getting from the turkeys but there are other problems so I plan to cage and coop mine a good ways apart.
     
  5. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    I half a half-acre area with an old shed next to it I plan on keeping some turkeys in. I want to fence to entire area (old cattle pen) but don't want to cover the whole thing, so I'm thinking of either free ranging or clipping the wings. I have lots of chickens and some are close by but they won't be sharing facilities. I don't let my chickens free range now because of my dogs, cats and lots of natural predators. I don't think my dogs will bother turkeys once they get beyond the polt stage. We have a great auction in these parts in the fall and I will probably start by getting a couple sets of turkey trios this fall.
     
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
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    Actually, Mareks is a herpes virus and the chicken vaccine for it is derived from the turkey strain of herpes. So if the turkey is carrying the herpes virus they can actually protect your chickens from it the same as the vaccine would. Mareks isn't a concern at all, I think you are thinking of 'Blackhead' (histomoniasis) and for that they recommend not having them on the same property. Earthworms and other soil critters can pick up the protozoa and move it around. But the protozoa has to be there for the chickens or turkeys to pick up first. If it isn't there the chickens won't have it and won't pass it to turkeys.
     
  7. cami

    cami Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    I decided against getting turkeys. maybe next year? but thanks for all the great info!
     
  8. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We did Turkeys for the first time this year. We purchased four Poults and raised them in with the chickens, just like the chickens. Other than making sure they get enough protein they were almost exactly the same as chickens. We were very pleased! We really really enjoyed them, so much in fact we ordered 15 babies to come this spring! [​IMG]

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