Raising Turkey VS Chickens: What are the Differences?

Inside: Considering raising turkeys VS chickens? Learn about the differences in size, feed, housing, behavior, and purpose before making your choice.

Are you considering raising poultry on your farm or homestead? Turkeys and chickens are both popular options, but which one is right for you? Here are the differences between raising turkeys vs chickens so you can make an informed decision.

chicken in yard with Raising Turkey VS Chickens text overlay

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Raising Turkey VS Chickens: What are the Differences?

Raising poultry is a popular and rewarding hobby for many people. Chickens are perhaps the most commonly raised type of poultry, but turkeys are also a popular option.

Chickens are often considered gateway animals to the homesteading world. We too started with chickens, then got Coturix quail, and finally turkeys.

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If you're considering raising poultry and trying to decide between chickens and turkeys, it's important to understand the differences. Let's take a look at some of the key differences between raising turkeys and chickens.


One of the biggest differences between turkeys and chickens is their size. Turkeys are much larger than chickens, both in terms of weight and overall size.

A fully grown turkey can weigh 20-40 pounds or more, while a fully grown chicken typically weighs between 3 and 8 pounds.

This means turkeys require more space than chickens to move around and thrive.

scoop of chicken feed

Turkey VS Chickens: Feed

Turkeys and chickens have different nutritional requirements, so their feed needs are different.

Turkeys require a feed that is higher in protein than chicken feed, which is why turkey starter works for quail, they both need higher protein.

Housing Differences

As I mentioned above, turkeys require more space than chickens, so their housing needs are different.

Turkeys need a coop that is larger and taller than a chicken coop, with plenty of room to move around. They also need outdoor space to roam and forage.

Turkeys also need to have a wider roost for their large feet and bodies.

Turkey in coop

Turkey VS Chickens: Behavior

Turkeys and chickens also have different behaviors. Both are social creatures that do best in a flock.

We truly loved raising turkeys and love our chickens. They are both sweet, will run to you, and follow you around if they think you have food.


Finally, it's important to consider your purpose for raising poultry. Chickens are often raised for their eggs, while turkeys are raised for their meat.

If you're interested in raising poultry for meat, they both have their own pros and cons to raising for meat.

Turkeys do produce more meat per bird than chickens but you are going to be raising them for a longer period of time, and the cost will be more than meat chickens.

turkey in yard with Raising Turkey VS Chickens text overlay

There are several differences between raising turkeys and chickens. Turkeys require more space, different feed, and different housing than chickens, and they also have different behaviors.

Ultimately, the choice between turkeys and chickens comes down to your personal preferences and goals for your poultry-raising hobby. You can raise them altogether if you are free-ranging, but it's not recommended to keep them all in a run together.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which are easier to raise chickens or turkeys? Except for the space that raising turkeys requires turkeys are easier to keep than chickens. They are docile, regal birds that move across the yard with a certain air of sophistication.

    Do turkeys bond with humans? Turkeys form strong social bonds and show affection towards one another. Turkeys are gentle creatures who enjoy socializing with human companions and protecting other turkeys with whom they've bonded.

    Want More?

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