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new to turkeys, few questions!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

i just got broad breasted poults. they are being raised alongside chicks. my question is, if i am not overly concerned with making them enormous (i am not, honestly. if they both live until thanksgiving and dress out at 16lbs each, it would be sufficient), when do i switch them off of starter feed, and what do i start them on? obviously my hens and roo eat layer feed. everyone also free ranges over about 1/4 acre (a half acre when they decide to fly over the fence to the front yard ;)  ). when all is said and done we will have somewhere between 9-14 birds total.

post #2 of 4
Turkey should eat a 28% starter for 6 weeks, than a 18-24% grower for 9-12 weeks, than a finisher or all flock 15-17% after that. That's recommended.

I personally feed either a game bird start or a chick starter, 18-28% protein for four weeks, if they are on the game bird I switch to the chick starter. Chick starter from the beginning will make your birds grow slower. After they are big enough to eat a pellet I switch mine to an all flock pellet, 18% protein and provide oyster shells when the hens start laying.

Mine are heritage, the above recommendations are for the broad breasted variety. I don't feed layer to any of my poultry. The extra calcium I believe causes rooster to die younger. All mine get an all flock or a non medicated grower. I also think that 16% protein in layer isn't enough protein for my birds due to extras and foraging.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

every time i think i couldn't possibly love this site more, i end up loving it more!! i have NEVER heard of all flock feed, but what you are describing sounds like my chickens! they have plenty of room to forage and really prefer to. we have a compost bin as well. their eggs are so healthy, but their feathers take longer to grow in than i think they should, and one started eating her eggs. their shells are nice and hard and well formed, but i kept thinking they must be lacking protein. i had no idea there was a general flock feed and i am now going to go to our farm store and find out what my other options are.

 

i would so much rather have a basic general feed for them and then have options for the needs of the different members of the "community". 

 

this makes so much sense.

 

thank you.

post #4 of 4
Glad I could help. I switched my chickens last year before the fall molt because I was trying to not feed the sparrows so much, they can't eat the pellet like they can crumbles, when my hens molted they did it quicker and for the first time ever I had hens resume laying eggs in the beginning of December. All other years I wouldn't see any until February or March. I am very happy feeding one ration to all too as well as the having the increase in protein. My birds seem much healthier too.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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