Turkeys and Chickens together...


13 Years
Mar 8, 2010
Mid-Coast Maine
If I were to get a few turkeys, could they co-exist with my chickens? I would assume they would need their own housing (or not?) but could they share a run area?
All LF chickens... One or no Roo.
I've kept turkeys together with chickens with no problem. They sleep with some of the younger chickens in a tall pen. We haven't let them range free with the chickens though. Too concerned thanksgiving dinner will fly away!
I've also keep a few turkeys with my chickens in a large run as for sleeping the chickens gointo the coop and the turkeys well they sleep al year long out side on a man made perch which I build about 12 feet off the ground cuz they did go into the turkey coop or the chicken coop,
they love to sleep out side as high as they can get up to
all yrear long
I have one hen who refuses to roost with the other turkeys. She prefers the chickens, but she does hang with the turks when they are free ranging. Plus I saw the Tom breed her so all is good.
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I have ordered turkey poults--and currently raising 25 chicks and was planning 2 separate housing/run areas. I have read somewhere, sorry can't remember where, but it was a recurring caution at several web sites that supply poults, about not housing chicks and poults together after a specific age because of "blackhead". Chickens are carriers of blackhead and it is a big problem to Turkeys. I'm not saying all chickens are carriers; but those that are are not identifiable. I would love to not have to worry about infecting the turkeys. Is there a way to predict which chickens are more likely to have been exposed and therefore might be carriers??
I keep mine seperate for multiple reasons. The turkeys like to hog the food and peck at my chickens, they need bigger boxs to lay in and blackhead is a concern even though I've never heard of it in Arizona. However, I do know a person who keeps chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese and goats all together in one pen and never has problems. As far as Blackhead goes, it is an organism which lives in the soil (having gotten there through the manure) and is contracted through the soil so there is really no way of knowing which chickens may have it without testing. Blackhead can be dormant in the soil for years. Keeping pens clean and sanitary is the best prevention and always quarantine new stock.
We have two pair of Burbon Reds that are in with seven Millie Fluer D'uccles and seem to get along quit well. They were purchased almost a year ago together and from brooder to present have never had any problems. From time to time I'll let them out to free range with my Buff Orpingtons and the toms will want to fight with the roosters but I think they are just deciding who is top dog. Once thats over nobody seems to even pay attention to each other.
I understand that blackhead is more common in some areas than others. A call to your extension service or vet should be able to help you gauge the risk in your area. In our area, a lot of folks keep turkeys and chickens together. We don't, but that's just for our own convenience.
I currently have 2 red bourbon hens and 1 tom with my 16 assorted chickens since last spring. No roosters though. We actually had 7 turkeys in there until a week before Thanksgiving
Now that its down to just the 3 turkeys, its not bad, but when it was all 7, they really beat up my chickens! And yes they REALLY hog the food! I also haven't had them free range (planning on it soon) since those turkey poults were so darn expensive! We're putting up more perimeter fencing in a month or two (not that it'll keep the turkeys in though), so then I plan on starting to free-range them. We're also going to try to build a turkey coop and run separate.

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