Will turkeys and chickens kill each other if they are hungry cuz they don't like their food?


Jul 26, 2016
Soap Lake, WA.
GM.... Hello.... I have woke up two days in a row to a dead baby turkey in their coop/pen and yesterday one of my larger Tom turkey's was killed by two other Tom's!!! This morning when I woke up I found another dead baby turkey in its coop/pen but also saw one of my chickens in with them. After close observation I witnessed another chicken fight and the another set of Tom turkeys fighting. I recently switched up the adult turkey and chicken food, but not the baby turkey food. While getting my dead baby turkey out of its coop/pen, i noticed ALL THE BIRDS WATCHING AND TRYING TO COME TO WHERE I WAS!! Call this crazy, but I quickly spread out the baby turkey food to the rest of the birds.. TURKEYS AND CHICKENS... in their separate coops, and everyone ate and calmed down, no more fighting at all!! I'm new at this, but could it be that my birds started killing each other cuz they were hungry do to the dislike of the new food I gave them?


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
Deficiencies can cause cannibalism, but you didn't say they were pecked or half eaten, just dead. More than likely you have too many together. Turkey will sometimes attack chickens, and both chickens and older turkeys will sometimes go after poults. It's best to keep poults away from adults until they are bigger. Even than you need to make sure they all can get away from each other. I haven't had any toms kill another Tom even though there's sometimes fights. You may need to separate some birds or butcher out troublemakers.

When you switch feeds you should always mix the new and old together for a while. There are some feed brands that birds aren't fond of and won't eat. Unless there's a good reason for a feed change it's best to stick to what they are familiar with.


5 Years
May 3, 2014
I agree! We switched our turkey feed once, they refused to eat it, got hungry and starting fighting like mad! We quickly went back to the other. The poults need to big as big as chickens when added to an established flock. It was very hard to add a full grown turkey to an established turkey flock. I use chicken hens to hatch and raise my poults, when they are about a month old I add them to the mixed flock. Mom does a great job of protecting them until they are bigger. I add ground cayenne pepper in their feed to avoid blackhead, a disease that chickens carry that will kill your turkeys. They can't taste hot. We learned this from APPPA, and it works amazing! It also gives your eggs a deep orange color - a bonus in the winter up here where it snows for 6 months, and grass and bugs are nonexistent to kerp those yolks gorgeous.

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