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How To Raise And Care For Turken Chicken

Often called the naked neck chicken, turkens look like a cross between your average chicken and a turkey. This is thanks to its featherless neck and vent. While it may look like a weird cousin of the turkey, this bird is 100-percent a chicken, and a good breed to have in your backyard flock. Keep reading to learn how to raise and care for Turken Chicken.

Free roaming chicken

To raise and care for Turken chickens, ensure they have access to a diet rich in nutrients, clean water, and a spacious coop for shelter. Turkens are hardy and adapt well to various climates, but their bare necks require protection from extreme cold or sun.

Turken chickens, with their peculiar bare necks, are surprisingly resilient and less prone to overheating than fully feathered breeds. However, their exposed skin means they can be more vulnerable to sunburn and cold weather. It’s like having a bald spot that needs sunscreen or a hat; similarly, these chickens may need additional shelter or shade to protect them from harsh weather conditions. Providing a balanced environment that shields them from extreme elements while allowing them to enjoy their natural behaviors is key.

Additionally, Turkens are known for their friendly disposition and efficient foraging abilities, making them excellent backyard chickens. However, their unique appearance can sometimes attract unwanted attention from predators. Ensuring robust coop security and a safe ranging area is crucial. Like a treasure that needs guarding, these special birds require a little extra care to keep them safe and healthy, allowing them to thrive under your care.

How Big Does Turken Chicken Grow?

Turken chickens are medium-sized birds that can grow quickly. They are often described as a robust bird that works well for anyone wanting a breed that can provide both eggs and meat.

The turken chicken is a dual-purpose bird and it can weigh a bit more than other breeds that are bred for just their egg production. The males of the breed can weigh up to 9 pounds, while the females reach up to 7 pounds.

What Is The Average Weight Of A Turken Chicken?

Chicken in grass field

The weight of a chicken can have a direct impact on when the bird is ready to harvest. Its weight can also affect how much food that bird needs to consume in a day. 

The turken rooster weighs between 8 and 9 pounds, and the turken hen weighs between 6 and 7 pounds. Cockerels, which are young roosters, typically weigh 7 pounds, while pullets, which are young hens, weigh 5 pounds.

When Will A Turken Chicken Start Laying Eggs?

One question often asked is when a hen will start laying eggs, and each breed has its own specific timeframe for when you can expect to see your girls laying their first eggs.

Turken hens typically begin laying eggs when they reach 22 weeks old. This can vary from one hen to the next, however, and it is not uncommon for a hen to start laying at 20 or 21 weeks old, or wait to lay their first egg until they are closer to 23 weeks old.

Will Turken Chicken Lay White Or Brown Eggs?

Basket of brown chicken eggs

White eggs are by far the most commonly purchased eggs. This isn’t because white eggs are better than brown eggs, because both eggs have an almost identical taste and nutritional content. It is simply because white eggs are more readily available in grocery stores.

Turken hens lay large brown eggs starting at about 6 months of age, and they can lay between 150 to 200 eggs a year. The exact number of eggs laid can vary from one hen to the next thanks to a genetic variation that occurs in this breed.

One thing to remember is that the turken chicken does not lay as well during the winter months. They lay the best when the weather is warm.

Do You Need A Same Breed Rooster To Get Turken Chicken To Lay Eggs?

Whether or not a rooster is needed to get eggs is a common question that beginners often ask. While roosters can provide benefits to a flock, they are not necessary to get hens to lay eggs.

Turken hens will lay eggs even if you don’t have a turken rooster in your flock. In fact, you don’t need any roosters to get hens to lay eggs. Keep in mind that the eggs laid won’t be fertilized. However, this isn’t important if you don’t want to hatch the eggs.

If you do want to hatch the eggs, you will need a rooster. Although any rooster breed will work. There are no issues associated with cross-breeding chickens and it is extremely common in flocks.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Turken Chicken?

Turken chicken

Most chicken breeds have a lifespan of less than 10 years, though some breeds have the ability to live a little beyond this time. Let’s take a look at what the average lifespan is of turkens. 

Turken chickens can live longer than some other breeds, and have a lifespan of between 8 to 10 years. This lifespan can vary depending on how well you care for your flock.

Ensuring they have their ideal conditions, not neglecting their basic needs, and implementing preventive healthcare will help prolong their lives.

Are Turken Chicken Friendly?

One important aspect about a breed you should find out before raising them is their temperament. This info will give you a good idea on how much interaction you and your family can have with the birds. 

Turkens are a friendly and docile breed that love to talk. They are not aggressive and make a good choice even if you have young children. Their positive temperament allows them to be easily integrated into most flocks, although they can be bullied by aggressive birds.

Even though turkens are not aggressive, you should still keep a close eye on children when they are around the flock. This is more about protecting the birds from kids rather than protecting the kids from the turkens. Children can seriously hurt the birds if they handle them too roughly. Just keep this in mind when raising chickens. 

How Many Eggs Can A Turken Chicken Lay A Day?

Pile of brown chicken eggs

Every chicken lays a different amount of eggs a day, with some breeds having the ability to lay multiple eggs in a day. 

Turken chickens can lay about 3 to 4 eggs a week. However, this amount can be greatly reduced during the cold winter months. This is because the turken doesn’t lay well when the weather is too cold.

Turkens are not the only breed of chicken that doesn’t lay as many eggs in the winter as they do in the summer. In fact, it is not uncommon for most chicken breeds to slow down the amount of eggs they produce in the winter. Most breeds need a certain amount of light in order to lay eggs, and in the winter, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. One way to counteract this is to add artificial lighting in the coop. 

When Will A Turken Chicken Stop Laying Eggs?

If you want turkens for their eggs, then you will want to know when this breed will stop laying eggs. 

Turkens can steadily lay eggs for several years, and it is not uncommon for turken hens to continue to lay some eggs even in their senior years. It is natural, however, for hens of all breeds to reduce the amount of eggs they produce after 3 to 4 years of age.

The overall health of the hen will also have an impact on how many eggs it can lay, as well as when it stops laying eggs. That is why it is important to keep the hens as healthy and stress-free as possible. It is natural for a hen to greatly reduce or even stop laying eggs all together after they get older. There is nothing you can really do to get your hen to start laying again if age is the issue.

At What Age Is A Turken Chicken The Most Delicious?

Rotisserie chicken

Because turkens are a dual-purpose breed, you can raise this bird for both their eggs and their meat. But when is the best time to butcher turkens to ensure the meat is the most delicious? 

Turkens are typically butchered at about 16 weeks old, although some people say they can butcher turkens as young as 12 weeks old and still have a delicious and decent-sized bird. Waiting too long after they reach 16 weeks could mean the meat is a bit tougher than you would like.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you cannot harvest a turken chicken once it gets a certain age. You can wait until the bird is several years old before you butcher it. Just be warned that the meat will be tough and would be better suited in soups, stews, or cooked in a crockpot. 

Best Housing Setup For A Turken Chicken?

One of the first things you should do before getting your birds is to ensure they have the proper housing setup for their needs. Thankfully, turkens are an easy-going breed that can handle most housing setups.

Turken chickens do well in most coops as long as they have at least 6 square feet of floor space for each bird. The coop will also need to be well-ventilated and properly protect the turkens from predators. They will also need a run that is connected to the coop.

Because turkens make easy prey, it is best not to allow them to free-range. Instead, give them a run that keeps them safe from predators, while also allowing them to forage and scratch the ground. The run should be at least 10 square feet of space per bird and be equipped with items that enrich the turken’s life, such as dust baths and chicken toys.

Typical Health Problems Of A Turken Chicken

Turken chicken

Health problems are an unfortunate part of raising chickens, and there is no breed of chicken that is immune to health issues. Thankfully, the turken breed doesn’t have a lot of problems you have to worry about. 

Turkens are hardy chickens that don’t deal with many health problems. This breed even thrives in hot climates. However, they cannot handle cold temperatures very well. The only real health problems to be concerned with are the same ones that can impact any chicken breed.

Thankfully, you can help prevent most health problems by implementing good chicken raising practices. This includes keeping the coop clean and sanitized, ensuring the chickens are up to date on any vaccines, not allowing other birds that are not a member of your flock to interact with your chickens, and protecting your birds from parasites. 

This article was first published on April 28, 2023 by Pentagon-Pets.

Typical Problems Raising Turken Chicken

Chicken roaming in grass

Turkens are a rather easy-going breed that doesn’t have many issues, and the issues that they do have are usually not deal breakers for most backyard flocks.

Turkens can sometimes go broody and are extremely talkative birds, which means they can get a bit noisy at times. If you like talking to your birds, then the turken chicken may be a wonderful addition to your flock since they will talk back to you.

This can be problematic, however, if you have close neighbors that could be bothered by their loudness. Another thing to consider is that these birds cannot take flight, not even a little. This makes them an easier prey than some other chicken breeds.

What Type Of Food Is Best For A Turken Chicken?

One of the benefits of raising turkens is that this breed doesn’t have any special dietary requirements, which means you can add them to just about any flock and they will be happy eating what the other birds are eating.

Turkens love a pasture diet, which means plenty of insects, grubs, seeds, and grains that they find by foraging and scratching the ground. However, they should also be provided a steady supply of high-quality chicken feed.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on April 28, 2023.

You should also supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as chicken treats. Chickens of all breeds love mealworms, and they can be produced in dried form. Give your birds a few dried mealworms every so often as a snack. Not only will this give them extra protein, but it will make your birds happy and more enriched. 

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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on April 28, 2023.

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