Turkeys with chickens

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Dizzywitch, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Dizzywitch

    Dizzywitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking about adding turkeys to my chicken flock this year and have a few questions...

    Can I get just one turkey be or do they need several of their kind in a flock?

    At what age would I introduce them and let them start hanging out together? For that matter, if one ends up being a Tom, will that be a problem with my roosters?

    Could I tuck one or two under a broody hen? (She takes chicks this way with no problems)

    I have 20 chickens in an 18x12 building. Will the turkeys be ok with the chickens or do they need their own building?

    Probably the most important question - there is a large flock of wild turkeys that wander the neighborhood and through my yard on a regular basis. If I get turkeys, will they "run" away and be part of the wild flock? And will the wild ones give diseases to my new ones? (I haven't noticed a problem between my chickens and the wild turkeys). I have two acres so my chickens free range.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    First - If blackhead is a problem in your area, do not keep chickens and turkeys together. If blackhead is not a problem, health-wise turkeys and chickens can be kept together.

    Turkeys do better with more turkeys, they are a flock bird and do not do well as singles. Single toms do not do well with a flock of chickens. Eventually they will kill chickens by attempting to breed them. I see my turkey hens picking fights with roosters more than the toms do.

    A good broody chicken hen can foster turkey poults.

    If you keep a single turkey, it will be more prone to leave with the wild turkeys than if you keep a group of them.

    In my experience, turkeys are more inclined to roost outside than in a coop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  3. Dizzywitch

    Dizzywitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are there areas more prone to blackhead? It's not something I've really heard about out here (northern Utah) but then for the last bunch of years I've mostly just read and researched chickens.

    That's good to know about the Toms. I'd prefer to have hens for the eggs anyway and my roosters could use a bit of attitude adjusting some days :)
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    It appears that sandy soils with good drainage are less likely to have blackhead problems. Just because an area doesn't have blackhead doesn't mean that it can't develop blackhead over time. I do know of a hatchery that was blackhead free for 20 years before it became a problem for them. There are numerous ways that blackhead could be introduced, one of which is from wild birds passing through.

    Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always raised Turkeys with baby chickens, it seems to help them adjust and eat better when first starting out. Once they start maturing though, I separate them. If they free range, they may select a different outdoor area to roost. They might try to follow the wild ones. I keep mine penned up or in mobile tractors.

    The males can be prone to aggressive behavior. I haven't yet found out if I can breed the mean out over several generations like you can do with roosters. My best looking and well sized Tom right now is also the meanest, so we'll see what happens in the babies.
     
  6. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda Out Of The Brooder

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    When I first had chickens with my mom we had a baby turkey who turned out to be a male. He was a better guard dog than our mastiff and ahepherd/Rottweiler and a great family pet but became aggressive after his second year. In the few years we had him we never had issues with predators and he ended up attacking and maiming our chickens. We ended up rehoming him to a family who had 4 females and he lived out his life happy on their farm.
     
  7. OzarkCountryGirl

    OzarkCountryGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raise my turkeys with my chickens and have never had a problem, and whilst there are trees they could roost in, they prefer to roost in the coop with the chickens. I've always had at least one turkey hen per tom, though, so I don't know what a single would so. I prefer to have at least two of a species, if for nothing more than to provide same-species companionship.
     

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