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The Great Backyard Debate: Chickens Vs Turkeys

By Tom Seest

Is Raising Chickens Or Turkeys Better For Backyard Farming?

At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.

Chickens and turkeys each have their own unique personalities and traits. While they may behave similarly, chickens are usually more impulsive and skittish than turkeys. Whether you’re choosing one over the other depends on your own personal preferences and the size of your yard.

Is Raising Chickens Or Turkeys Better For Backyard Farming?

Is Raising Chickens Or Turkeys Better For Backyard Farming?

Raising Turkeys: Is It More Time- and Energy-Intensive?

One of the key differences between turkeys and chickens is their time and energy-intensive life cycle. Chickens lay their eggs when the length of daylight is 14 hours, and their reproductive cycle is completed when the days are 16 hours. They are a marvel of nature, and the life cycle of chickens is fascinating. Their eggs hatch in the spring, and their young grow and develop in the warmer summer months.
Poultry production uses a lot of energy, and the energy required is largely based on the energy inputs and outputs. The main energy inputs for poultry production are human labor, feed, diesel fuel, electricity, chickens, and machinery.
The energy use in poultry production depends on the husbandry practices and management systems used. Egg-laying poultry require more energy than broiler poultry because they produce more manure. They also need more energy for manure removal and feed preparation. The energy consumed by chickens varies depending on the type of feed and the type of manure management system used.
While the economics of raising turkeys are similar, the feeding requirements of turkeys are more specialized than those of chickens. Turkey poults need to be trained to eat right from the start. The failure to teach turkeys to eat properly is one of the leading causes of brooder turkey deaths.
Poultry farming is a major energy-intensive industry, and the energy use of chickens is on the rise. Intensively reared chickens spend much of their lives lying down and rarely perform natural behaviors. This puts a great strain on their lungs and hearts. This causes millions of chickens to die from heart attacks in the UK alone every year.

Raising Turkeys: Is It More Time- and Energy-Intensive?

Raising Turkeys: Is It More Time- and Energy-Intensive?

Can Turkeys Outsmart Blackhead Disease?

There are some key differences between chickens and turkeys when it comes to blackhead disease. While both species have the same symptoms, the chickens often exhibit a few unique characteristics. For instance, chickens often exhibit a limited appetite, increased drinking, drooping wings, and unkempt feathers. The turkeys are also likely to have an enlarged caeca. Blackhead disease is often difficult to diagnose, but a postmortem examination may reveal large lesions on the liver.
While both species are susceptible to blackheads, turkeys have a higher risk of dying from them. The disease is most likely to occur in turkeys between three and eighteen weeks of age. The best way to protect turkeys from blackheads is to keep them separated from chickens. Infections are spread by contact and may be passed from chicken to chicken.
Blackhead is a devastating disease that affects poultry and can decimate flocks. It is caused by a protozoan known as histomonas meleagridis. It can be passed between chickens and can result in a rapid outbreak of the disease. If left untreated, blackhead disease can result in serious health problems, including death. The disease is also a major economic concern for poultry producers.
Fortunately, there are some proven treatments for blackhead disease. Preventative measures like putting cayenne on feed, using garlic water, and adding vitamin E oil to the water surface can significantly reduce the occurrence of the disease. These treatments can help reduce the incidence of the disease, but only when paired with proper biosecurity.
Infections caused by Mycoplasma are another cause of respiratory problems in turkeys. These infections can lead to sudden death, poor growth, and ruffled feathers. Although antibiotics can help treat the disease, the treatment is not a permanent cure. The disease will reappear later on in the bird’s life. The best way to prevent this disease is to keep it out of the bird’s environment. One of the best ways to do this is to keep the bird away from wild birds. This way, the poultry will not be exposed to the bacteria in the contaminated environment.
Blackhead disease in chickens is caused by caecal worms that chickens ingest. The caecal worms can contain blackhead organisms, which can cause serious liver damage. This disease is spread between poultry flocks because caecal worm eggs are shed by chickens.

Can Turkeys Outsmart Blackhead Disease?

Can Turkeys Outsmart Blackhead Disease?

Which is Cheaper: Raising Chickens or Turkeys?

If you’re considering raising chickens, you may want to think about the price of raising turkeys instead of chickens. Both of these poultry breeds produce meat and eggs, but they require slightly different care. Chickens can live in recycled dog houses, while turkeys require a large shed or small barn. Turkeys require higher-protein feed that can be more expensive per pound. However, if you’re only looking to raise a breeding pair of birds, you can use lower-protein feed.
Chickens and turkeys both have unique personalities. While chickens generally behave like chickens, turkeys tend to be slower, more deliberate, and less skittish than chickens. This is one reason why some small farmers choose turkeys over chickens. If you’re interested in raising chickens or turkeys, make sure you have the space and time for them.
While raising chickens and turkeys is very similar, raising turkeys is a bit more complicated. You have to take extra care with sanitation, and turkeys are more sensitive to environmental and nutritional mismanagement. You’ll also need to slaughter and process your turkeys for meat. Also, you’ll want to keep turkeys separate from chickens, or you’ll risk getting turkey diseases from them.
Turkeys are also more expensive than chickens. They require three to four pounds of feed per pound of meat. Turkey feed is more expensive than chicken feed and is often 10 to 20 times as expensive as chicken feed. Aside from the price difference, turkeys can be difficult to find and can be expensive to care for.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to raise turkeys in your backyard without any additional expense. However, you’ll need to provide them with clean water and care every day. Additionally, turkeys are more susceptible to diseases and may need to be treated regularly. In this case, you might have to hire a farm veterinarian to help you treat them.
Raising chickens can be a worthwhile project for your homestead. Before you start your poultry project, make sure you decide on your goals and determine what you want to accomplish. For instance, you might choose to raise laying hens for eggs, sell the eggs at local farmers’ markets, or raise turkeys for winter storage.

Which is Cheaper: Raising Chickens or Turkeys?

Which is Cheaper: Raising Chickens or Turkeys?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.


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