Turkeys to deter aerial predators?

elkfriend

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
13
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Hi, somewhere I heard that a few large turkeys in a flock of chickens can deter aerial attacks from hawks and owls and such. The reasoning was that a hawk would think twice before attacking due to the size of the turkeys.

I am in the process of establishing a new chicken flock, in a new location, in a new pen, and I know that there are some owls and hawks around. There will be lots of hiding spots and cover in the pen, however, I ordered 4 turkeys to grow up with the chicks, with the idea that having the turkeys mixed in with the chickens will reduce predator attempts.

What do you guys think, does anyone have experience with this ? Is this (partially) true, or do you think its a myth?

Putting a net or something over the pen is not really an option, its large, its impractical, and the snowfall here in Canada is so insane that snowload on netting is an issue.

thank you for your insights!
 

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
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Plainfield, IL
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Hi, somewhere I heard that a few large turkeys in a flock of chickens can deter aerial attacks from hawks and owls and such. The reasoning was that a hawk would think twice before attacking due to the size of the turkeys.

I am in the process of establishing a new chicken flock, in a new location, in a new pen, and I know that there are some owls and hawks around. There will be lots of hiding spots and cover in the pen, however, I ordered 4 turkeys to grow up with the chicks, with the idea that having the turkeys mixed in with the chickens will reduce predator attempts.

What do you guys think, does anyone have experience with this ? Is this (partially) true, or do you think its a myth?

Putting a net or something over the pen is not really an option, its large, its impractical, and the snowfall here in Canada is so insane that snowload on netting is an issue.

thank you for your insights!
I have 2 turkeys and 7 (8 until just recently) chickens who share a coop and run. My turkeys are never really a part of the chicken flock. The tend to be on their own except for when I refill the feeder and all the birds come running and eat together. The larger bird wild possible deter a hawk, but if the chickens and turkeys are not near each other a hawk may still go for the chicken I would think. That said, I keep being over my run and it's not huge (just admit 300 sqft) so I cannot speak for certain.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
Hi, somewhere I heard that a few large turkeys in a flock of chickens can deter aerial attacks from hawks and owls and such. The reasoning was that a hawk would think twice before attacking due to the size of the turkeys.

I am in the process of establishing a new chicken flock, in a new location, in a new pen, and I know that there are some owls and hawks around. There will be lots of hiding spots and cover in the pen, however, I ordered 4 turkeys to grow up with the chicks, with the idea that having the turkeys mixed in with the chickens will reduce predator attempts.

What do you guys think, does anyone have experience with this ? Is this (partially) true, or do you think its a myth?

Putting a net or something over the pen is not really an option, its large, its impractical, and the snowfall here in Canada is so insane that snowload on netting is an issue.

thank you for your insights!
It is a really bad idea to brood turkey poults with chicks. The imprinting causes the turkeys to lose the ability to understand that there is a difference between them and the chickens. Once they are adults, the turkeys can cause severe and intentional harm to the chickens.

Turkeys are not protectors of chickens. They can become very single minded and once they choose a chicken to pick on, they can keep at it until the chicken is severely injured or dead.

If you live in an area where blackhead is present, the chickens can be carriers and it can be a death sentence for the turkeys.

Protecting the chickens from owls is really simple. Put the chickens in a secure coop at night.
 
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