I have 4 turkey poults, 2 whites and 2 bourbon reds. They are 4 and 6 weeks old. I was curious at what age will I be able to tell the sex of them? Also, is it possible to keep broad breasted turkeys slim enough for them to live a long life? If so, how do you go about doing that? My husband bought the whites to raise as meat birds, but we have come to like the little guys and I am afraid that we won't be able to butcher them. Can they live a good life? Thanks in advance
sexing turkey poults and a few other ?'s
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Large breed turkeys can live a long time but they can encounter many problems due to their fast growth and large size. Its best to feed them a maintainence ration rather than a growing one so they don't grow so fast (but don't starve them!). Maintainance rations provide nutrition for normal growth instead of rapid growth. Provide them with plenty of room to get exercise and make sure they keep cool when its hot out. One of the biggest problems with meat birds is that they can overheat easily. Provide ample shade and maybe a fan if it gets too hot in the summer.
right now they are eating turkey starter, when should they change to something else, and what? Turkeys are a whole new ballgame for me, and I want to make sure that I am doing it right!
I would just follow the instructions on the feed bag. Turkeys require high protein levels for growth and shoud not be deprived of this while growing. Use starter when they are little and move right into a maintainance ration when they are nearly full grown. I skip the grower because I feel it makes them grow too fast. If you allow them to free range a little (or in a tractor) they will grow at a more natural pace while at the same time getting exercise.
okay, sounds like so far we are doing everything right. At what age can you tell the sex of a turkey? Our bigger white looks to be going bald on its head, they are about 8-10 weeks old now.