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Wild Turkeys

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Malibu99, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Malibu99

    Malibu99 Crowing

    Apr 23, 2012
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    We have neighborhood turkeys that wander around. Huge flock of maybe 20-30. They just roam around out neighborhood, and we chase them out of our yard. I have yet to see an ill one but now I'm concerned.

    I was free ranging my flock while I did some yard work. I was away probably 2 minutes. I come back to 10 turkeys mingling with my flock of four (2 were in the coop). I chased the turkeys away and put my girls in.

    So now my questions-

    What diseases could they transmit?
    Should I worm my flock?
    How do I keep turkeys out of my yard in the future?

    Thank you so much. I'm very worried :(

  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Wow! They just came right up to your chickens! Interesting.
    We have a ton of wild turkeys that hang out in the woods on our property, but they don't come too close because of our livestock guardian dogs.
    I, personally, would not want ANY wild animal or bird near my flock just because of the possible spread of disease.
    I have no idea if, indeed, wild turkeys can pass anything on to chickens.
    This time of year, they're probably coming in for some food.
    Where do you feed your chickens?
  3. I'm no expert on turkey diseases, but our girls have come within 10 or 15 feet, and are perfectly healthy. Mingling, though, I have yet to see. How close were they? If they were about 3 or 4 feet away, I would take precautions and worm them. Any farther, though, I wouldn't worry. But again, I'm no expert. I have no idea how you would get the turkies out of the yard except yell and chase. Make them think you are scary and should be avoided.
  4. Malibu99

    Malibu99 Crowing

    Apr 23, 2012
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    I'm talking around a foot away from my chickens or closer. I feed them in the coop, and none were IN the run nor coop, but I will worm them. Is Mareks a concern? I REALLY don't want to lose chickens to Mareks.
  5. Hm. If I were you I would look up "turkey mareks" on here and see if anything about people's turkies getting marek's pops up. If there is, chances are somone will have asked whether this can be due to wild turkies.
  6. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    I would not want a whole flock to mingle with my chickens on a regular basis, more out of concern that chickens will pass disease onto the wild turkey population, rather than vice versa. Other bird species can carry diseases (such as Marek's, and intestinal parasites) that can affect chickens, and if your chickens free range, they are most certainly already exposed. Little songbirds drop their poops anywhere, including the grass where your chickens range.

    I once had a single female wild turkey visit my fenced in chicken yard (she would fly over the fence!) on a regular basis for a few weeks before she disappeared. I personally am not worried about these casual encounters, but I did start chasing her off when she became curious about the coop. I don't want ANY wild birds sharing my chickens' food and water, because that's just too risky in terms of spread of disease, in both directions.

    You can worm them if you want, but I would think pecking on the grass day after day where song birds leave little poops you never noticed, is riskier than 2 minutes of contact with a flock of turkeys. If you have a dog that can be trusted around your chickens, letting it out while the chickens free range might keep the turkeys away. Even a cat might help - I had one that used to chase turkeys.
    1 person likes this.

  7. Malibu99

    Malibu99 Crowing

    Apr 23, 2012
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Thank you :) I'll keep them in their run from now on.
  9. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    I wouldn't worry about it at all. Personally, I think if your birds are so immune suppressed that the turkeys would pose a threat, you have much bigger problems than the turkeys. BTW, turkeys are far more likely to catch something from your chickens than your chickens are to get something from the turkeys.
    1 person likes this.

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