Turkey Questions


10 Years
Mar 17, 2009
SW Indiana
I have the opportunity to buy a few adult Bourbon Reds now. I have 2 flocks of chickens that free range and am aware of Blackhead but am willing to chance it. None here according to the Ag office. My questions are:
Can I bring in adult turkeys and put them in one of the coops or will they just roost in the trees like the guineas?

Will they stay here or do I need to keep them contained in a coop until they know this is home?

And how would I feed them a higher protein food without the chickens eating it and burning out?

Should I just wait until spring and raise them from chicks instead?

Any suggestions appreciated. I've never had turkeys before.
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keep them cooped for a few weeks. They will get along with everyone and will roost in trees. Some Toms will get to heavy and won't or can not fly into the trees to roost. Free range turkey will do fine on chicken feed.
Thanks for the response and BTW,
Bourbon Reds are known to be good foragers, that means they like to wonder around looking for food. Ours have always done that except for one hen who stayed close to the house. The furthest we have found them is a little over 1/4 mile away, usually they did that during grass hopper season. Our experience is that they take longer for good foragers to get use to where home is. So you should keep an eye on them to see if they decide to take off.

One year we had a Spanish Black hen that was always getting lost and not able to find here way home, she would end up taking the rest of the flock with her. We finally just kept here in the Pen and let the others out, which solved the problem of the turkeys dispersing. So basically you just need to keep an eye on them to see how well they are adapting.

As far as flying up to roost in trees, that can depend on if there last owner free ranged them or kept them in a pen. If they were penned, then they are less likely to fly well.

Generally higher protein is used when growing turkeys for butchering. Since it kind of sound like you will be breeding next year layer feed will work ok.

My turkeys all go into my barn at night. When I first put them outside I lock them in where I want them to sleep for 3 to 7 days depending on there age. I free range but I clip wings so they don't go in trees or roof tops. I feed them turkey starter all of there life. My chickens eat it too and none have ever burned out.

When I brought in 5 adult turkeys last month, I clipped there wings and put them in early in the morning at feeding time. They joined the others and always knew where to go to sleep by watching the others.

Thanks for the responses. I just brought them home and it appears that they are young because the Toms snood isn't very big. The man told me they were about 2 yrs old. The Toms right eye is swollen a little from being pecked I was told. He told me I should put some Terramycin in the water to help them adjust from the stress of moving? I'm not sure about that b/c unless you have an infection, how can an antibiotic do anything except for maybe help the boys eye?

I really think I'm going to like having turkeys around!
I would isolate them for a week or so to make sure that the "swollen eye" is not some other problem. And I would put Terramycin in the water just in case the eye was not pecked but some type of infection. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
Thanks! I think it is some other problem! It's swollen all around the whole eye and face. I think sinusitis so I gave him Tyan 50 IM last night but don't see any improvement this am. I knew better than to bring in new birds and put with my chickens. What was I thinking! So they have Duramycin in the water but I don't think that will help - not sure.
So do you think one week is enough to keep them penned up? My DH thinks maybe they should stay in there for 2 weeks or they might take off?

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