Absolutely, guinea fowls can be kept with turkey. However, there are some things to keep in mind before doing that. Guinea keets are fast and agile.
To contain them, your brooder must have high walls and a wire lid. Because of their skittish nature, they might attack other birds in the coop like turkey poults.
We will be discussing some things you ought to know before considering keeping guinea fowl and turkey together.
Table of Contents
Ensure You Have Enough Space
The most critical component of raising farm animals is space.
Providing adequate space allows all kinds of fowl to be themselves comfortably, to move about freely without mistakenly intruding on the personal space of another, and to flee quickly if a dispute occurs.
More space means you get to have a well-mixed breed of birds to raise.
Not All Housing Options Are Suitable For All Birds.
Guinea fowls and turkeys enjoy roosting in trees or on tall structures. Guinea fowl are not particularly adept at sharing a coop.
They can fly quite high, making it nearly impossible to construct a coop high enough to keep them contained.
Also, they are hard to train. Turkeys are not hard to train neither do they exhibit any of the wild traits of guinea fowls
When training guinea, it is best to release them one at a time to roam freely but ensure the first guinea has returned before releasing another.
You can’t train a guinea fowl the same way you train other fowls. They always retain a degree of wildness.
So it is advisable to start training a guinea to leave the coop and come for treats from keets.
Never release a flock of untrained guineas out simultaneously, as there is a possibility you may never see them again.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on can guinea fowls eat strawberries
Feeding More Than One Type of Bird
To feed different birds can be challenging. You cannot feed guinea fowl chicken feed but rather feed them with mealworm, insect, small rodents, or turkey food.
However, note that if you must feed your guineas, do not feed them medicated feed. Also, ensure there is enough protein in their meal.
Turkey has their ration of feed. For the first four weeks, feed guinea keets turkey starter, containing at least 24% protein.
Then reduce the protein content to 18-20% in the 5th-8th weeks. Feeding laying hens, a 16 percent protein combination, is recommended.
While you can feed turkey poult chick starter or game bird for the first eight weeks and ensure it contains at least 28% protein.
After the first eight weeks, you change their feed to grower, having at least 20% protein.
Guinea will get the majority of their nutritional requirements by hunting for insects and other small animals.
Your food supply is primarily used to complement their foraging.
Additionally, it is critical to have the proper protein levels for optimal growth if you are growing meat birds.
Provision of Water
While it is acceptable to house guinea fowl and turkey together, you also have to remember that they are not the same—each exhibits different behavioral traits.
Turkeys are not exactly water-loving birds, but they still require a sufficient amount to function properly, just like guinea fowls.
Like every other bird, they can play with their water, thereby dirtying.
This can become a problem if they have to drink from the same water.
So it is advisable to use a different waterer for each animal to prevent a fight from breaking out.
You can also use a water bowl in case there is no water. Just ensure it is raised above the grounds to prevent the water from getting dirty.
Also, they won’t be able to jump in it. They will be able to drink from the bowl peacefully.
Also check out this article I wrote on can guinea fowls eat corn?
Transmission of Disease
Finally, it is critical to recognize that several fowl species can spread fatal diseases to one another, and there is a possibility of your birds contracting one.
Turkeys are susceptible to getting the fatal disease Black Head as a result of consuming the infamous parasite Histomonas meleagridis–a parasite transmitted by intestinal worms that live inside the intestinal tract of chickens and other poultry birds.
Regrettably, these infections are incredibly contagious in young turkeys.
Additionally, birds can contract this disease by swallowing infected earthworms or from poor soil conditions caused by compacted soil, which creates a breeding environment for parasitic organisms.
Other things to take into consideration
During the breeding season, you might want to be careful with mixing up the different breeds of the flock, as male guinea fowls can be extra aggressive during that period.
They are usually protective of the hens while they are laying and usually stand guard around the brooding site to guard against threats and intruders.
Baby guinea fowls should be put in different brooders as they tend to be smaller than other poultry flocks and can definitely be trampled by the gangly baby turkeys.
Putting them in their own brooder from the time they are born will eliminate the chances of being trampled.
It also helps to have smaller wire meshes on the brooder so they don’t slip out of the brooder and get lost or die from cold and starvation.
Note that if you are raising your flock for meat production, then housing them together might be a bit difficult as the two breeds have different feeds.
Having the turkey eat the guinea fowl feed or vice-versa might not help their growth or encourage robustness.
Having a guinea fowl flock on your farmstead will protect your other birds.
Guinea fowls can hold their own against a number of predators such as cats, mice, and little snakes, and when they detect larger predators, they will scream their heads off and alert you.
However, guinea fowls can be frustrating to keep as they do not like being confined, and many flock keepers have reported the loss of their guinea fowl on many occasions.
Raising them from keets and having a mother raise them is a great way of ensuring they are on your farm.
Like we’ve answered above, you can keep guinea fowl and turkeys together.
Having a mixed breed farm like turkey and guinea fowls is a significant investment, and it can provide your family with sustainable food.
However, there are other things to consider before housing a flock of birds into a coop.
From the size of the birds to the birds’ behaviors, and the types of shelters are essential aspects of having a mixed breed poultry farm.