1st time turkey owner - needs help!


12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
I've got 4 BR's that are three weeks old. They are in a brooder with a heat lamp at about 85 degrees. I can tell they are bored and restless, they keep trying to get out, and bash their little heads on the screen I have covering the top. I'm afraid they will hurt themselves.
The problem is I have read and heard so much conflicting advice, I don't know if I can let them outside or not. First I hear they should not be on the ground for 6 months (grass & dirt) because there is something in the dirt that could harm them and worms carry blackhead. I'm also told they can't mingle with the chickens until they are full grown for much the same reason. Then I see people with pictures of the young turkeys on the grass and chickens standing around near them. What is the real truth here? I can't keep 4 turkeys in my pantry for 6 months. I've begun converting part of a building to house them,( it has a cement floor), then later I will put a door in the wall and give them an outdoor run.
Can the experts here tell me at what age they let the turkeys out on the grass, mingle with the chickens, etc? Thanks!
People have alot of different ways of raising turkeys that is for sure.

One problem with putting them on the ground is Cocci and Blackhead. With the Blackhead it has to be present in the soil for the birds to get it. It doesn't just lurk in the dirt waiting for a turkey to walk by.
There are some parts of the country where it is common and others parts not, you can check with your local state Ag rep to find out.

Cocci is something to worry about - it will kill poults pretty quick. We use medicated feed so it isn't a problem for us, some use natural methods and say it works as well.

With putting them outside if they get wet they will chill easy and that is never good for a poult. A rule of thumb we use is they should be fully feathered to go outside. That also depends on the weather where you are - it's going to be in the 90's here today so it's warmer outside than it is in our brooder in the back room. If you have a roofed over area you can put them out sooner in the warm weather.

Our poults don't go out with flocks until about 16+ weeks but that is because we are feeding them a higher protien feed and not because of the size. I'm not feeding the whole "gang" high dollar feed.

One thing on brooding them is not to over crowd them. they need space. We have 4 different sizes of brooders as they grow the go to a bigger one.

Hope that helps some? If you have more questions please feel free. There are lots of turkey people here.

Steve in NC

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