Will turkeys get along with my chickens?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Chicken999, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Chicken999

    Chicken999 Chirping

    Feb 27, 2015
    I am thinking of getting turkeys but I don't know if turkeys would get along with my chickens. I have some Rhode Island Reds and I am wondering if my chickens will fight, ignore, or just be nice to turkeys.
  2. MSBS05

    MSBS05 Hatching

    Oct 18, 2014
    I have read you are not supposed to raise them together, but ours free range together because we cant keep them apart. One of the female turkeys has made best friends with a female Campine chicken. they explore together and seem really happy to see each other when we open their pens. All of them seem to get along just fine. We have separate pens at night, but a couple times the female turkey had a sleep over with the chickens because we did not notice she was in their pen. We have not had any problems with disease or fighting. They even head over to the ducks area during the day and nap with them. My biggest problem is keeping the turkeys from following me to the house. They are so friendly and come running when they see hubby & me. Hope that helps!
  3. Chicken999

    Chicken999 Chirping

    Feb 27, 2015
    Thank You!
  4. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Crowing

    Mar 16, 2014
    SE Michigan
    Chickens tend to respect the size of turkeys, at least once the turkeys are bigger. One good poke from a turkey beak is usually enough to keep a chicken in its place.

    I raise them together every year (chicks and poults) and later introduce half grown turkeys to old layer hens. The only "issue" I usually encounter is a particularly overambitious rooster who tries to mount the turkeys when they are napping on the ground. The hens toss those roos right off!

    I've never had any territorial fights between chickens and turkeys, and the turkeys for the most part are a lot quieter about establishing their pecking order. Only an oversupply of hormone-charged jakes causes a disturbance in our coops. And once they work out the dominance order, all is good.
  5. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Songster

    Feb 23, 2015
    Petting Buffy Like a Dog
    Bery young turkeys can catch disease..
  6. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Crowing

    Mar 16, 2014
    SE Michigan
    Any turkeys can catch disease, not just young ones. So can chickens.

    If blackhead is an issue in your area (ask your local agricultural extension), all ages are at risk. But otherwise, chickens and turkeys have shared space since turkeys were domesticated. They have different habits, different preferences, and generally ignore each other. If you start poults and chicks together at hatch, they may become good friends, but the chicks take advantage of the relationship...hopping on the poults as a stepping stone to the outside world, sneaking in underneath to snatch food in the feeder, and so on. But a sleeping, snuggling pile of chicks and poults is cute.

    As adults, the behavior is quite the same. The turkeys may roost with the chickens, but they know they are different. They won't hesitate to fly to safety in a tree or rooftop, leaving the chickens on the ground. The turkeys don't even care if a red-tailed hawk is perched nearby, while the chickens panic and run for cover. The hawks haven't messed with the adult turkeys, though they don't hesitate to make a dive at a chicken.
  7. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2013
    Our three BR turkeys free range with our 52 laying hens and three roosters, No doubt the turkeys are rulers of the flock, had an 8 month old upstart rooster decide to challenge one of the turkey hens yesterday, this 10 month old turkey tore him up lol... Not only would she not back down, but she chased him all over the yard and forced him to continue backing down, she had the tom right beside her... I love flock dynamics and how they interact.
  8. sonjap

    sonjap Chirping 6 Years

    Mar 16, 2012
    Parker, CO
    I'm curious if you raise them together, what do you do for feed? I've heard turkeys needs a higher percentage of protein, but too much can harm chickens.
  9. MollsBaldwin

    MollsBaldwin In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2013
    I recently got two poults that I am currently brooding with 10 cornish cross chicks, 5 Welsummer, and 5 Amercauna. I too was worried about the food issue, as the poults like a protein ratio of around 26-28%. Since I do have some meat birds along with them I offer both foods in my brooder......a tradition chick starter with 20% and a higher protein game starter which is 28%. I'm amazed at how frequently the turkey and cornish will just gravitate to the "right" feed. When they are all out of the brooder I will keep the cornish with the turkeys and continue feeding them the game feed ration until we process the meat chickens for the freezer. seeing as they will be ready at 8-10 week
  10. ChickenMack

    ChickenMack Songster

    Oct 7, 2011
    I keep my turkeys with chickens, ranging from Seramas (worlds smallest chickens, the books claim) to Jersey Giants, and I have absolutely no issues. I even have Guinea Fowl in the mix. I feed everyone layer pellets now. While I was brooding the batch, they all got game bird starter, which is a high protein feed. Here is the issue with raising chickens and turkeys together: if you get chickens that have a virus, I am not certain of the name, and you will never know if they have it unless you get turkeys and they contract the virus. This virus causes blackhead in turkeys and it will literally turn your turkeys head blackish and they will die. If you have virus free chickens, you can raise them together with no issues. Good luck.

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