I live in Massachusetts I was wondering who keeps Chickens and Turkeys together? And if they have ever had trouble with blackhead? Also what type of turkeys should I get? The Naragansett and the Broad Breasted Bronze appeal to me so far. Also is there a breed that is more friendly with children?
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 6 years ago
I have heard, many times, not to raise them together since turkeys are very prone to blackhead, and can then transmit it to chickens. However, I have known many people who have done it without any problems.
A clean, healthy environment (and proper diet) is key to disease prevention. I believe that most of the problem comes from the unhealthy environment used in most commercial operations, where overcrowding is the accepted 'standard'.
We did it. The turkey was a terrible bully to the hens, and a few times I thought she might kill one but she never did. They demonstrate higher rank by grabbing the offending member by the neck and giving a very hard shake. In the case of a banty that means picking it up and really flopping it around! They do protect the hens from hawks, tho. We fed cayenne pepper to the birds and that was supposed to keep blackhead away. The turkey was attacked by a fox and was temporarily paralyzed (for a week or so) but regained full health and we never had any other problems from her. As she got older she started attacking us with feet and wings tho and we decided she was dangerous and ate her. Older turkeys are delicious - much more flavor and marbling in the meat!
Location: The wilds of Fitchburg Mass
posted 6 years ago
Do you mix the ceyenne in with the feed? and how much?
I will be keeping all heavy breed chickens so hopefully not to many problems with the turkeys.
And hello S Benji what part of Mass you from?
I keep turkeys and chickens together (2.5 years). no blackhead issues so far. no problems at all, except for mating season when the tom turkeys want to hump hump hump. when the lady turkeys weren't enough, a tom stood on a chicken hen until she was in pretty rough shape.
I'll probably separate them for at least part of this year for breeding. the turkeys are pretty shy about laying eggs, so I want to keep the chickens away for a while.
I would guess that keeping blackhead out is more important than keeping chickens and turkeys separate. that could mean not inviting other chicken keepers over who could spread it from their flock to yours.
Yes, I got bags of cayenne from the Mexican Grocery store and dumped it in the bag of feed. They probably held 1/2 cup of powdered cayenne. You can use other kinds of hot pepper - it's the capsaicin that makes it work. It would get mixed in whenever I scooped some out and work its way down to the bottom of the bag by the time I got there. They can't taste it, so they don't really care if it's in there. Bonus is that squirrels and mice CAN taste it and it deters them a little bit.
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