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Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Connorrm, May 18, 2011.
How come it's recommended you keep them separate?
chickens can be carriers for diseases that they can pass to turkeys without the chickens showing symptoms.
People worry about their turkeys getting blackhead. I keep them together. My turkeys grew up with chickens and have never gotten sick. But people have different opinions
From what Ive seen, if you raise all of your birds on your farm and havent had any exposure to blackhead, you should be ok. From what Ive been told, you run into problems when you start bringing birds from other flocks into the picture. I guess because you dont know what they might have been exposed to wherever they came from. Thats just what Ive been told though. Im new to turkeys myself.
My turkeys love the chickens and even my baby geese think the tom is "daddy." My chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese all free range together. The turkeys are the only ones that are not penned up at night. All my birds are happy together.
I worried about my turkeys getting blackhead from chickens. But if you haven't had a problem with blackhead before then i don't see the problem.
i beleve they keep chickens and turkeys seperate because chickens carry the blackhead disease. Wich is fatal to turkeys. I dont keep my turkeys and chickens together, but they do free range over the same ground. So far so good for me. Blackhead possibly i beleve can come from the humble earth worm sum have told me. So in therory even if you keep them seperated, they are still at risk, obviously keeping them together increases that risk.
However there are many many people that keep all kinds of poultry together.
They used to add antibiotics to chicken feed, to help stop the spread of common diseases such as blackhead. I beleve it is no longer common practice to add antibiotics to feed anymore.
My answer to your question, reduce your risk by keeping their houseing and bedding clean. Allways use good quality feed and fresh produce or vegie scraps allways help with extra nutrition and a boost to the immune system. Dont feed meat or animal waste products. A classic example of this is vultures in india, eating dead animal carcasses. As they cannot slaughter cows in india, they quite often give old cows an arthritis treatment drug, wich in turn if the vultures ate these carcasses were almost guaranteed kidney failure and would die shortly after. So and also il add no egg products to the meat list as well.
Allways buy healthy stock when you can and if you can quarantine new stock for atleast 2 to 6 weeks and this will help with disease controle to.
If your really worried about blackhead there are preventitive drugs you can get from a vet. So maybe immunise new additions just to doubly make sure.
In the end tho i think in a small personal flock of poultry that dosnt change in numbers or members all that much, providing you keep everybody happy and healthy. If theyr all happy to live together, let love be. However just incase as i say, i dont house mine together, but they do freerange over the same ground.
Joel Salatin keeps his turkeys and broilers together. It seems to prevent "stupid" death incidents that turkeys are inherently prone to. He says that he nearly gave up on turkeys 'til he kept chickens and turkeys together. It works for him. He still raises turkeys and chickens with little or no disease problem. Although, I believe that his good fortune is attributed to his farming style. I keep mine together and the worst problem I ever had was a mild case of coryza in some poults.
I keep my turkeys housed with my chickens as well. I have found out (the hard way) that having a chick or chicks with your turkey poults is very beneficial in teaching them to eat and drink at hatch (they are adorable but not extremely intelligent). When I am hatching poults I always set a few chicken eggs for this purpose. I have never had a problem with disease or death while doing this. They are also housed together as adults with no problems, and have been for about five or six years. Your sanitation practices and flock management procedures are also important factors, but I have never had an incident with disease.
Yes, I've definitely realized the pardon the lack of a better term - stupidity of turkeys. About five years ago the local feedstore got stiffed with 20 bourbon red poults someone paid for them and never came back. After a few dozen phone calls trying to get in contact with the people, they gave them to me. I lost more than half of them to ridiculous things
Some got stuck in the feeder over night, a few seemed to have figured out how to drown, others just looked like they had heart attacks.