Turkeys

chickenchild123

In the Brooder
Apr 21, 2015
14
0
32
How risky is putting a Turkey with my 5 chickens? Any tips? What shelter do turkeys need and how big? Any tips would be appreciatted thanks :)
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,286
161,860
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
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How risky is putting a Turkey with my 5 chickens? Any tips? What shelter do turkeys need and how big? Any tips would be appreciatted thanks :)
Read the Turkeys 101 thread.

Turkeys are a flock bird and very social. It is never a good idea to get just one turkey and an even worse idea to add a single tom turkey to a flock of chickens.
 

Miriam_7112

Hatching
Sep 8, 2017
2
0
5
Female turkeys are fine with chickens. Ours are mostly good but one turkey singles out a chicken now and then and pecks her, once we came home to blood and a very worried hen. Just keep an eye out! Male turkeys will try to mate with hens and hurt them, so not a good idea.
 

Indyshent

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 28, 2014
1,265
803
276
***it all depends on the individual birds, but, generally there are some recipes for disaster.

I've never had a tom rape chickens before. One young guy occasionally looks like he's courting a BO pullet here, but his girl has been broody a long time. His dad stomped a poult to death attempting to mate it, but once he had adult lady company, you couldn't hope to find a better dad among the species.

Fireworks happen when certain birds meet sometimes. Worst fights between turkeys and chickens, in my experience, is when a young rooster thinks he's hot stuff and doesn't bow out of the way to the turkey train. Turkey hens will generally peck other hens and may stomp the life out of persistent roosters (only seen that once, but I have seen roosters who might have been seriously injured without some caring intervention). I've never had a rooster willing to seriously take on a tom, but for some reason, they're sometimes stupid enough to try hens.

So long as sane, healthy genetically sound turkeys have ample companionship of their own species in a nice female-heavy ratio and plenty of room and protein in their diet, you shouldn't have any problems with them coexisting with chickens and other fowl. All of the problems I've seen boil down to something wrong with the above recipe. I mention "sane" because I've seen and heard of birds acting really out of character due to various infections, leg mites driving them crazy, isolation, sexual deprivation, etc.

Also beware of problems with imprinting because turkeys just don't seem to shrug off parental effects the way other species do. Turkeys get and stay pretty confused about species boundaries and may try on humans, dogs and other species if imprinted on them

Most turkeys are just fine with chickens and never have any serious issues with them--even if they're the only turkey in the group.
 

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