Turkeys and Chickens together?


New member
Hi All,

I am the waterfowl mod here on the forum, but need some advice on turkeys! I am looking to take on 3 brown female turkeys as pets. I have various places they can be housed, but I have a few questions if a turkey expert can help!

1. I have read that due to blackhead, chickens and turkeys should ideally not be kept together. My pen of choice (safest), houses 10 chickens and 2 muscovies, its a very large orchard style pen. Is it a hard and fast rule that they can't be kept together, or with good management and regular worming, can they live together with separate night time accommodation?

2. I have also read they fly well. My second pen of choice has 6 foot fencing all around, again a very large space in the middle of a 14 acre field. Will they fly over 6 feet or would I need to clip them? The area also houses a vegetable garden, how determined would they be to get to the veggies that are growing? If determined, whats the best way to keep them out? I assume a high fence.

3. Both pens are surrounded by electric fencing, I don't plan on shutting them in at night, just giving them somewhere to go inside if they want to, are they sensible enough to take shelter at night.

4. How do they cope in the winter, do they tend to hang out somewhere warm inside, or are they quite bold and hardy?

5. If they have a large pasture area, what and how much/often would they need in the way of supplementary feeding?

6. Any other hints much appreciated!



New member
Hi Zo, the usual recommendation is to keep turkeys and chickens separate but many people do keep them together for practical reasons. If you do, I suggest you worm them (and the chickens) very regularly to reduce the blackhead risk, and keep medication in stock so you can treat any immediately if they do get sick. They will go over a 6 foot fence if not clipped if they are not the heavy broad breasted type, and usually prefer to perch on top of the shed rather than in it unless they have been very well trained from very young or are too heavy to get up there. They are very hardy but do look miserable if they have been out in the rain all night! A good compromise is to have a perch under an open sided shelter. Turkeys eat a lot and would need some quality feed at least twice a day if not ad lib, which is the preferred way. They would find it hard to compete against chickens for food scattered on the ground and it is best dispensed in hanging feeders. If these are under the same shelter as their perch, they will see it and remember to eat. They are not very good at thinking to go back into the shed to eat once they are out. Likewise for water.

I am intrigued by your description of "Brown". Are they proper brown (as in chocolate or auburn) as these are very rare? Any photos?