Turkeys eating chicken food chickens eating turkey food help!

Dec 17, 2017
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North Carolina
hello everybody
My turkeys are eating my chicken food and my chickens are eating turkey food and I dont think that’s good has anyone had this happen before? If so how do you stop it there are no predators so they are all free range any advice?
 

R2elk

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Feb 24, 2013
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hello everybody
My turkeys are eating my chicken food and my chickens are eating turkey food and I don't think that’s good has anyone had this happen before? If so how do you stop it there are no predators so they are all free range any advice?
Adult turkeys will do fine on a quality 16% protein chicken feed. They do not require that their food be labelled "Turkey Feed".

Some people that raise show quality chickens will feed their chickens "turkey grower feed" when they are getting ready to start collecting eggs for hatching.

Turkey poults should have a quality turkey/gamebird starter for at least the first 2 weeks although feed company recommendations is for the first 6 to 8 weeks. When I brood chicks and poults together they all get a 28% protein turkey/gamebird starter that has increased levels of lysine, methionine and niacin. The chicks do fine. I have never seen any evidence of the higher protein feed doing any harm to the chicks.
 

Ridgerunner

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Feb 2, 2009
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My suggestion is to get a bowl of vanilla ice cream, top it with your favorite fruit, and chill. In other words, relax, no harm is being done.

When they are very young I think it is better to feed them a fairly high protein feed. That helps them get feathered out faster and just off to a good start. But as they get older that becomes a lot less important unless you are raising them for show or something special like that. You are probably very concerned about doing what is best for your chickens and turkeys. That's understandable. But they are not nearly that delicate. They can easily handle a wide range of conditions and feeds. Besides, since yours free range and they forage for part of their food, you have lost the ability to micromanage every bite they eat.

If a broody hen were raising them and forage was available the chicks or poults would not eat that much of the chicken feed. They would spend most of their day out foraging for something to eat. The percent protein of what they eat will probably be a fair amount below what I'd like and they would still do fine.

Maybe this will help. For thousands of years chickens and turkeys have been raised on small farms where they practically found everything they ate themselves by foraging, at least in good weather months. Granted the quality of forage on those farms was probably better than what you have, but maybe not.

I don't know all the circumstances of what you have but my general recommendation is to feed them all the same thing, probably somewhere between a 16% and 20% protein feed and let them sort it out. They will sort it out themselves, you don't have to worry about it. Make them do the work and you just enjoy them.
 

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