Turkeys and chickens together......can it be done?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by spish, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Belgium
    ok ive been putting it off for weeks (moving my turkeys outside)

    im really struggling to find the will power to move them. im just too worried after losing my first flock to cocci or BH (not sure which)

    my land has chickens everywhere....and i mean everywhere, so no matter where i put my turkeys out, chickens have been there or are there. there is also a large wild population of pheasants that roam my field daily..pooping everywhere...

    now ive brought these turkeys up on feed with anti cocci meds in, i didnt with the first lot.

    first lot i put out at 9 weeks, they were all dead by 12 weeks.

    this lot (8 of them) are now 12 weeks/ 13 weeks old. never been outside.

    so i have to put them out this week.

    its cold, its wet, but theres shelter out there.


    so 12 week old turkeys, being put out in the beginning of a harsh winter, where chickens were/are/can roam, pheasant infested land.........will they survive??

    does anyone here actually keep turkeys with chickens?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  2. cowdogcadillac

    cowdogcadillac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mine do well,,it's been 9 months and I've only had problems from fowl pox from a bird I bought at a farmers market that was infected. Otherwise great
    [​IMG]
     
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    The big reason not to keep chickens and turkeys together is blackhead. If you don't have this organism in your soil & in your chickens- you can probably raise them together. If you have blackhead in your area, you likely will not know it until you try to keep turkeys. Chickens in general are resistant to this disease, but turkeys- especially young ones- are very susceptible. All you can really do is try it. I would not start out with 60 poults though, start with a couple- see how they do.
     
  4. natrgatr

    natrgatr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2009
    Columbia City, IN
    Absolutely! Check with a vet or your local ag extension office to see if blackhead is a problem in your area. It is not in mine and my birds get along great.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. arabianequine

    arabianequine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    If turkey tom tries mating with your hen chickens they could kill her. Also they carry different germs in their stool that they can get from each other.....but people do it all the time. My chickens and turkeys are kept separate.
     
  6. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

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    thats the thing..i think we do have blackhead in our soil (it possibly killed the first flock? or it was cocci, i dont know which) is there any age at which turkeys are no longer so sensitive to blackhead..or is that a life long problem?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  7. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    I have the blackhead organism at our 'farm'- I DO keep turkeys and chickens together (free range), but I am not doing turkeys commercially. I found out last year we had the disease in the soil/chickens when I got a poult as a gift- and he got sick. We got yellow poop and was lethargic- which is really suggestive of blackhead, we treated him, he got better, get grew up, got mean- and got eaten for thanksgiving...
    Fast forward to this year- got another gift turkey poult. She did not get sick, and grew up fine and is still fine. Got 4 more poults- 2 fell ill and died very quickly, sent one in to the state lab- diagnosis blackhead aka histomoniasis. Other two young ones started looking a bit 'off', treated them, got better- and they are fine now and all grown up.

    Short answer to your question- young turkeys are more susceptible, wet soil and access to chicken/turkey droppings increases risk (they can get it directly from contaminated feces, soil, OR from eating infected earthworms), grown up turkeys are more resistant- but can still fall ill. Raising a few turkeys as pets is doable on blackhead contaminated soil in certain circumstances, but I would not recommend raising larger numbers for home consumption or sale, until there are on label medications available for prevention or treatment.
     
  8. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:To the best of my knowledge blackhead is in the USA not in Europe?

    Steve
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Steve_of_sandspoultry wrote: To the best of my knowledge blackhead is in the USA not in Europe?

    More outbreaks in Europe. This link describes work being done on a potential treatment (feed additive). Tested utilizing a particularly nasty strain that caused an outbreak in France in 2006 (patent app. but lots of info on prior art):

    http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20100137242

    More general on history (beware of Chukar...): http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/conference_proceedings/turkey_days/2008/mcdougald_2008.pdf

    Some
    good pics of what to look for in deceased turks (the link illustrates active Blackhead in broilers - but the lesions are similar): http://www.aviagen.com/ss/assets/Tech_Center/Broiler_Breeder_Tech_Articles/English/AviagenBrief_MaleHealth_June09.pdf

    As
    has been mentioned, check with local ag./vets to determine incidence/prevalence in your area. The further south (more humid areas) the greater the potential. The closer you live to properties where there have been large poultry operations in the recent past can also increase chances. However, there is the potential for infection via intermediate hosts and, apparently, some species of flying insects have been implicated as vectors (though no info. on transmission to intermediate hosts).

    Regular worming schedule (of some benefit) and keeping Flagyl on hand should allay most concerns. Have had the chooks and turks together for going on six years with nothing to report at this location.​
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  10. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

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    it most definatly is in europe, in belgium its called zwarte-kop ziekte...which translated means black-head sickness
     

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