May 28, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter
Yes, it is possible to keep chickens and turkeys side by side. In the case of rearing two poultry breeds together, there may be some minor health difficulties. These birds can dwell peacefully in the same coop, but there are some logistical considerations.
Generally speaking, most poultry species prefer to live in groups of their type, such as chickens, turkeys, and ducks; for example, chickens enjoy the company of other chickens, while turkeys prefer the company of other turkeys.
Let’s look at some of the essential elements to keep in mind when raising chickens and Turkey chickens.
1. The Coop
Turkey chickens like to roost outside, but this isn’t an option if you’re in bad weather or don’t have access to a suitably enclosed run. They’re going to the coop now! If you keep turkeys in the same coop as chickens, consider a few things.
First and foremost, turkeys have grown in size. Next, re-evaluate your available space for your flock in terms of roosting. It’s only logical that turkeys require a larger coop than hens.
They also have larger feet. People usually use a little branch for the roost, but the feet of turkeys are much larger, so they can completely encircle it. As a result, the turkey’s feet will be exposed to the cold weather and could become frostbitten if they sit on the roost for long periods.
You can solve the problem by installing a thicker roost branch, such as a 2×2 or 2×4, in its place. While this might seem like an easy fix for some of our readers, it isn’t always that simple.
2. The Brooder
Although chickens are more eager to hatch out of the egg, both turkeys and chickens can be kept in the same brooder at the same temperatures. Their flightiness and aggression make them more likely to trample and peck turkey chicks. An already frail newborn turkey may not survive if subjected to this stress.
Besides their chaotic nature, turkey chickens require a different diet than hens. To ensure that turkey chickens get the correct quantity of protein, they need to be fed a specific sort of mash or feed. Raising turkeys for the dinner table is not enough, while a chick starter provides a good protein.
As lovely as it may sound, keeping turkeys in a brooder nursery isn’t fair to the birds. By separating them in the brooder, they have a better chance of surviving.
3. Blackhead Disease
The protozoan parasite Histomonasmeleagridis causes histomoniasis, popularly known as blackhead sickness. Raising chickens and turkeys apart, blackhead disease is the only valid cause. Farmers that raise both hens and turkeys have a severe problem. Blackhead illness is one of the most prevalent diseases transmitted between chickens and turkeys.
One of the protozoans found in parasitic cecal worm eggs causes blackhead illness, called Histomonasmeleagridis. By its excrement, the afflicted bird expels this worm. Another bird subsequently consumes it directly from the feces or through other ways, such as an earthworm that has eaten the worm’s eggs.
Another way is a chicken or a turkey may eat a real earthworm that carries the parasite around. It is pretty challenging to break the cycle once it has begun. If the conditions are correct, this protozoan can live in the ground for three years.
Blackhead illness is less common in chickens than in turkeys. Even though they are not immune, individuals may merely display a few symptoms or perhaps die. Egg production and weight loss may occur as a result. It is common for turkeys to show signs of exhaustion, weight loss, and drooping wings during the year. The sickness has a poor prognosis for turkeys.
Unfortunately, chickens can become carriers of the protozoan, and the owner may not know that the flock is sick until it’s too late. Getting rid of blackhead illness on a farm is only possible if all the chickens are removed and the disease is wholly eradicated after three years.
And even after that comes the uncertainty of whether or not wild birds will also carry the disease. One diseased turkey’s droppings can contaminate an otherwise healthy flock, leading to an unintentional outbreak.
4. Mature Chickens and Turkeys
The same feed can be used for both adult chickens and turkeys. Chickens and turkeys can eat a diet comprising 16 percent protein. However, if you plan to raise turkeys for meat, you’ll need a higher protein feed.
The likelihood of disagreements is low. It’s especially true if they’ve known one other since they were children. Unlike chickens, turkeys like to socialize with other turkeys since they are far more docile than chickens.
They should be able to live together in the same coop. Roosting bars and turkeys prefer lower nesting boxes on the floor, while your hens choose the upper bunk. A mixed flock can coexist just fine if you are prepared to break up any birds who don’t get along.
5. Is it Possible for Turkeys and Chickens to Get Along?
Crossbreeding chickens and turkeys is a bad idea because they’re two separate species. Turkeys and chickens have been made, but only a small number of hybrids have been successful.
The fact that a turkey or a rooster will try to mate with a female of another species does not exclude them from doing so. There is a strong likelihood that they will. Because turkeys are much larger than chickens, Chickens may be injured. Keeping an eye on it and managing it appropriately is essential.
6. Behavior Concerns
The things that cause a chicken to squawk for ten minutes are of little consequence to turkeys. They are less aggressive, less agile, and more “zen” than chickens. As a result, it’s not a big deal to keep them both in the same place. Indeed, turkey Chickens are often used as an intermediary between the chickens themselves.
On a farm full of feathery companions, contracting blackhead disease is a terrible prospect. New poultry owners should research the disease and consult with local vets before deciding to keep chicken together.
Keeping hens and turkeys together is simpler and more enjoyable if you keep them as pets. There is no reason they can’t coexist peacefully if they are all healthy and getting enough protein.
Benefits of Keeping Chickens and Turkeys Together
In general, turkeys are less agitated than chickens. As a result, fighting between these two bird species is less of an issue. In addition to this, turkeys, particularly turkey chicken, often serve as the flock’s “peacekeepers.” Mediators and peacemakers have been observed in the actions of Turkey chickens.
If your flock includes a rogue rooster, the turkeys may be able to restore order. Turkeys are more significant than hens, and that enormous size conveys the word that it’s time for Thanksgiving.
Turkeys are better at spotting predators than chickens, so they’re a welcome addition to any flock. The turkeys will make an audible call as soon as a threat is detected, and the other birds will flee in terror.
The turkeys can serve as surrogate mothers if you ever bring baby birds to the coop.
On top of that, having several turkeys in the coop adds some variety. Among the benefits is the opportunity to consume chicken and turkey eggs.
Chickens and turkeys can coexist harmoniously. However, as a business owner, some responsibilities come with the territory. Both turkeys and chickens may be a lot of fun to raise together, and turkeys can be a good influence on chickens who can be a bit difficult to manage.
Anyone who plans to raise chickens or turkeys should be concerned about the appearance of blackheads. Nonetheless, if you do your homework, you’ll have more confidence and a better chance of success if you get the proper counsel and ideal conditions.
About Author (Pauline G. Carter)
Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …