I really like the look of turkeys and am interested in getting a smaller heritage breed like a Royal Palm. Anyone have experience integrating chickens and turkeys? Someone told me that the chooks pull the tail feathers of the turkeys out if they are kept in the same pen? Also, what kind of shelter do they need? Can/will they coop with the chickens (assuming the door is big enough for them to get in :) )
We have Royal Palm turkeys with our chickens. We really like them a lot, as they are very easy to take care of and are good foragers. We haven't had any issues with the hens pulling the turkeys tail feathers (although they will occasionally peck at the toms' back ends while the boys are puffed up displaying for each other). They pretty much do their own thing and ignore each other for the most part, and have been kept in the same pen for all their lives. Oru older hens haven't been bothered by their presence either.
The turkey hens seem to get into the same coop as the chickens do just fine, although they are more prone to throwing the straw (their nesting material) around, leaving less for the chickens to make nice nests in. The hens generally prefer larger nests, and often on the ground rather than higher up where our chickens make their nests. The turkeys prefer to roost higher up, often out in the open or in trees. Ours roost on top of a short A-frame we have built as a secondary shelter for the chickens.
If you are interested in a pair of young adults (male and female), we do have a pair we were planning to sell. Email me and let me know.
Great to know, I'll remember you as a resource. Right now my coop door is pretty small, adequate for the chickens but adding a turkey or two would be overcrowding, assuming they could even get in. I'm going to wait until it warms up more at night where I can have a new coop built that will accomodate I have a covered pen, so while the birds are under trees, they can't roost in them.
I have a brother in AZ who kept a turkey with his chickens and they seemed to get along just fine. I may even try it myself this year. My wife doesn't much care for turkey, but I smoked one last year she enjoyed.
Chicken girl, are you still planning to sell the pair?
Yes, we are. I actually have two toms and a hen currently that we are willing to sell. My husband has decided he likes the Slates better, so we are selling off our Royal Palms.
Although a lot of people do it, they say turkeys are susceptible to chicken diseases and really shouldn't be put together with them.
hi dawn, did you end up with some turkeys? i hope so, we have really been enjoying ours. we have been raising turkeys in with our chickens over the past year and it has gone really well, but chickens can be carriers for a turkey disease called blackhead disease. we did not realize this until after we had all of ours in the coop together, but thankfully, our chickens don't seem to be carriers. also, i read something a while ago that stated the disease could lay dormant in your land for several years after chickens had lived there. since my chickens have been on just about every inch of my property at one time or another, separating the turkeys would not have made any sense.
we had one of our broody hens raise two of our baby turkeys last year. we snuck them in under her at night. she is a danish and is our smallest hen. the baby turkeys grew quickly and when they became adolescent turkeys, it was cute to see them try to cuddle up under her, they were nearly as big as she was. she would spread her wings out over them to cuddle them.
i love my chickens, but i really appreciate my turkeys in a different way. i find they seem to communicate much more between themselves than the chickens do, and they seem to be even more friendly and curious. they make so many varied, beautiful sounds and calls also.
Carolyn, you were the one who inspired me regarding turkeys! Your birds were so cool and friendly. I'm going to get a people-sized coop built and then will look at turkeys, right now my coop is way too small for a turkey
I have seven broad breasted bronze that are about 3 months old. I keep the turkeys and chicks separate, but a couple times I have let them all out at the same time to forage to see how they do, and the chickens are terrified of the turkeys! It may be because when they're separated, they're REALLY separated - to the point of not really knowing the other existed, but still, I'm a little surprised that the chickens get so scared..
Big monster birds stomping around :)