Posted Jul 15, 2015
I had a couple of turkeys in my poultry flock, alongside with chicken and guinea fowls.
It’s easy to raise baby turkeys with young chicks especially. Sometimes it is even beneficial for the turkeys to be raised with chickens because the chicks will help teach newly hatched turkey babies where to find the food and water.
But if you breed both chicken and turkeys beware the Blackhead. It is a disease that chickens can carry but may never express, but can be fatal to turkey. Copper supplements helps treating for blackhead in chickens. My father used to get it out of plants that he found in the garden. Of course, try to start breeding turkeys with disease free stock .
Turkeys can free range or you can build them a run. Either way works. If your area allows you to free range them (meaning no predators) then that would work great.My parents had free ranged our turkeys for years in our backyard, locked up at night in a coop to ensure that predators do not get them. Nevertheless we still lost one of the turkey, attacked by a fox. Most people think that a grown up turkey doesn't have so many predators, I guess my experience proved the contrary.
In the coop, our turkeys roosted with the chickens. We didn't have any special housing for them. You have to know that Turkeys love to roost really high. Nesting boxes were also available at height in the coop. Turkeys laid eggs in the chicken's nesting boxes and they fitted in very snug. They also free ranged and we could find from time to time eggs in the backyard where they lived.
They found the deepest, darkest brush pile and laid in.
As for food, we basically gave them the same food as chicken ( except for special nutriment such as copper. Turkeys are more fragile than chickens).
We gave cereals and the left-over vegetable.
Be cautious if you have children around, turkeys might get aggressive sometimes and attack the child.