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Old 12-21-2011, 02:14 AM   #1
lazydaisy67
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Default Raising Chickens and Turkeys

Somebody told me they had read you can't raise chickens and turkeys together. Anybody know anything about that? I assume she meant raising them as chicks together from the hatchery as opposed to in your yard together after they have feathered out.



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Old 12-21-2011, 02:25 AM   #2
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Turkeys seem to be far more prone to disease than chickens. In fact, raising turkeys in a pen on the ground will often bite you on the butt with high mortality. If you free range by day, you'll probably have to pen them at night because of critter problems.

Even worse is raising turkeys and chickens together because of the pecking/size difference and the disease problems. Double whammy for both chickens and turkeys. Raising turkeys on the ground where chickens had been the year before will often result in disease related mortality too. If you are going to raise turkeys in a pen, it is better to keep them separate from chickens and keep them off the ground.



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Old 12-21-2011, 04:58 AM   #3
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I have never had a problem with keeping (a few) turkeys and chickens together ... I do free range both.

The turkeys go to the barn at night and the chickens to the hen house, on their own. I only keep a few turkeys ... maybe 6 ... and they are "put up" the first cold days of fall and we start over the next spring.

As for the chicks ... well, again I have kept mine together till they feathered out.

But if you have read my past post ... I keep my billy goat near the girls ... (A BIG No No ... in the goat world. )

I think it has a lot to do with the number of birds you keep ... but that is just me.

Best of luck ... and research ...

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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There is a disease called blackhead which can become rampant in turkeys and chickens being raised together in close quarters. I have always raised turks and chicks together, but they free range, the turks seem to roost in the barn when they get too big to get through the coop door and I have never held any turks over the winter. I think it all depends on the raising set-up and space available.

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Hmmmm...not sure I'll get turkey's then. Don't really want to build a whole new coop. I guess I understood that the feed you give builds up their immunity, but if that disease stays in the ground for up to a year I guess that could be an issue. I know my husband's dad raised turkeys together with his chicks, so I wondered just how difficult those buggers were. I also had a friend who got turkeys to butcher and then fell in love with the HUGE tom and kept him. He strutted around the yard like he owned the place along with the chickens.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
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lazyd, I'd bet Andi and Goatlady are right in that free range chickens and turkeys, not being concentrated in a pen, would do OK, particularly if your flock of chickens are healthy to start with and your turkeys could roost off the ground and free range by day.

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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The blackhead disease that affects turkeys is caused by a parasite that the chickens pick up from soil...I think it is a protozoan. This then infects the turkeys. I have read that putting copper sulfate in the chickens' water will control the disease so that you can keep them together with turkeys, but I have no practical experience with this.


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Old 12-27-2011, 10:28 PM   #8
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We have both turkeys and chickens. They are both free-range. I read somewhere that the turkeys are more suspect to getting the black-head disease mentioned when they are very young, developing an immunity as they grow older..... We let our turkeys out very young and had our rooster come up dead, i believe from blackhead.......we did not loose any hens and have not had any issues since.... I also read that it is not good practice to keep their food where they do most of their pooping ( at night in the coop) We built a covered feeding station away from the hen houses, we also keep them hanging off the ground......

Good coop hygiene, free-range, and segregation early on i believe will help in most cases.....

i could be wrong, i am not a professional


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Old 12-28-2011, 01:27 AM   #9
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My friend always kept turkeys and chickens together. The turkeys were wild ones that his dad found in the woods. He found the eggs and they hatched them. Those turkeys were mean. If they got out, they ran the dogs under the house and we got scarce too.


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Old 11-24-2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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I started with heritage turkeys by hatching turkey eggs (Bourbon Red, acquired by a local farmer) with broody chickens. The chicken moms raised them as their own and therefore no problems integrating into the chicken flock.

I do keep my chickens penned (or try to!), but my pens are very large, more like pastures -- large enough that they always have fresh grass and it doesn't turn into a mudhole in the wintertime. So far no problems with disease.




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