Keeping a mixed flock comes with various advantages. Some of these benefits include increased foraging efficiency and minimal predation.
In some cases, having different groups of birds can reduce conflict within the group.
While they can be beneficial, mixed flocks are not very common, and not all species can be raised together.
So, if you are planning to keep ducks and turkeys together, you might be wondering if it is proper.
Can you raise ducks and turkeys together? Yes, you can.
These species can get along with each other within the same space, given that the right conditions are met.
Feeding and coop size are just some of the various factors you must consider in successfully raising ducks and turkeys together.
Of course, raising ducks and turkeys is not as straightforward as we summarized above.
So, in the rest of this article, we elaborate on raising ducks and turkeys together successfully.
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Potential Problems That May Arise From Raising Ducks and Turkeys Together
You can raise ducks and turkeys together. But because they have some differences in their living requirements, you have to make some provisions to ensure this mixed flocking is successful.
As we hinted already, raising ducks and turkeys together is possible but not straightforward.
If you do not get it right, some problems may arise including the following:
- Some brands of turkey poult feed are medicated. These types of fodders are not safe for ducklings. The ducklings may overdose on the medicine in the feed.
- Because they are waterfowls, you may want to get a swimming place for ducks. The swimming place of the ducks should be separated from the source of drinking water.
While ducks can swim, turkey poults may drown in the swimming water. Besides this, ducks may soil the water they swim in with their waste.
- If the coop space is insufficient for the birds, there might be bullying. Regular bullying will eventually lead to a brawl between the species.
If a fight breaks out between the turkeys and the ducks, the ducks might suffer. Turkeys are bigger, and their beaks are sharper, so they will have little problem dealing with ducks.
- Ducklings grow faster than turkey. In just about 14 days, they can grow to almost twice the size of a poult.
Although ducklings are usually easygoing with birds of other species, they might decide to bully the poults. If this happens, the sensitive poults may suffer.
- If male turkeys try to mate with female ducks, they could potentially harm the ducks.
Tips for Raising Ducks and Turkeys Together
- Ensure the Feed You Provide Is Suitable For Turkeys and Ducks – When getting feed for your birds, ensure you do not get a medicated brand.
While turkeys and poults would thrive on such feed, ducks and ducklings will not.
- Ensure Sufficient Food and Water Is Always Available – If the food and water supply to the birds are limited, there might be trouble.
The more powerful birds may start to bully the weaker ones as they hasten to fill their bellies. Amongst the adults, the turkeys are more likely to harass the ducks since they are bigger.
But amongst the chicks, the ducklings are bigger, so they would most likely bully the poults.
- Ensure There Is Enough Space in the Coop – If the space in the coop is not sufficient for the birds to live freely, the chances of scuffles happening are higher.
To avoid this, ensure there is enough space in their pen. Take note of the size of the turkeys when creating their roosts.
Also, if you get the ducks and turkeys as duckling and poults, respectively, ensure you adjust the coop as they grow.
- Ensure the Watering System Is Duck-Proof – Ducks are waterfowls, and understandably, they love water and love splashing water around.
Turkeys, on the other hand, are relatively tidy. When they drink water, they just scoop some with their beaks and swallow. To keep the ducks from splashing water around, get a water bowl that will keep their heads out.
The water bowl should only allow enough space for the ducks to scoop water out with their beaks.
Apart from the above, you may want to create a swimming place for the ducks. When doing this, ensure you build the pool away from the source of drinking water. This way, poults will not drown in the water.
- Keep Only a Few Male Turkeys – If you intend to keep male turkeys amongst the mixed flock, then limit their numbers.
If the ratio of male turkeys to female turkeys is high, the male turkeys may try to mate a female duck.
If this happens, the female duck may get injured.
- Monitor the Birds Regularly – Lastly, monitor the birds regularly and study their norms. Once you are aware of their routine, it will be easier for you to notice when something is off.
You can raise ducks and turkeys together as long as you provide the right resources.
Apart from providing the resources, ensure you monitor the interaction of the birds.
Once you are familiar with their everyday interactions, you can easily pick up on abnormal situations and intervene before something goes wrong.