Are turkeys fragile or did I just get a run of bad luck?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by SkyWarrior, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Last year, I got 2 BB whites. One was a failure to thrive (tiny and sickly), but the other was good.

    This year, because I like turkeys, I got 2 BB whites. Then I got a "mix" from McMurray hatchery (they were BB whites too). Within a couple of days, all the hatchery birds died. Got replacements. Same thing. Got my money back.

    Basically started them on meat bird/flock feeder in a temp-controlled brooder. Never saw that many deaths. I wondered how many chicks would die each day. No other loss of birds. [​IMG]

    My 2 BB whites are now huge.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Turkeys can be more fragile than chicks. I raise mine off the ground until about 3 months or so old. Up until they can move to the brooder i keep them in a rubbermaid container with paper towels until I see they are doing well enough. Baby Turkeys sometimes need more motivation to find food, I normally drop in a chick with them to get them interested. They do get stressed from travel, I normally give delivered birds some Avia charge in their water to help with shipping stress. Keeping them warm yet giving plenty of room to cool off in needed... just like chicks. Higher protein food is also typically used.
     
  3. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:So, you keep them in a--what? A brooder? Hatcher? Something else?
     
  4. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Quote:You said you started them on meat bird food..what was the protein level? Turkeys should have high protein, something like 28-30%. Most meat chicken feeds don't even come close.
     
  5. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Were you feeding a generic flock feed? Usually, they are only about %20 protein and the bags I've seen specify to use only after the turkeys are a certain age, 8-9 weeks, I believe.
    Did you disinfect everything between chicks? Waterer, brooder, feeders, everything? Also, since you had deaths, I would be sanitizing my shoes and hands, changing clothes, when going between where the older birds are housed and where the baby chicks are kept, in case you had something contagious run through that the little chicks aren't old enough to be able to handle.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Quote:So, you keep them in a--what? A brooder? Hatcher? Something else?

    I start mine off in a brooder made out of a big rubbermaid container until i know they are doing well, eating well etc..I keep it in my house or garage so i can keep an eye on them. then i move them out in a wire floor brooder, then once they feather out and depending on weather I move them into wire pens until about 3 months old.
     
  7. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:You said you started them on meat bird food..what was the protein level? Turkeys should have high protein, something like 28-30%. Most meat chicken feeds don't even come close.

    This was for turkeys and turkey poults. I really doubt that they would all die off in a day or two with that, even if I were to feed lower protein.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  8. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:Were you feeding a generic flock feed? Usually, they are only about %20 protein and the bags I've seen specify to use only after the turkeys are a certain age, 8-9 weeks, I believe.
    Did you disinfect everything between chicks? Waterer, brooder, feeders, everything? Also, since you had deaths, I would be sanitizing my shoes and hands, changing clothes, when going between where the older birds are housed and where the baby chicks are kept, in case you had something contagious run through that the little chicks aren't old enough to be able to handle.

    I fed something marked for turkey poults. Just seems odd that I lost 7 birds in four days. Could've been something viral, but the rest of the chicks were fine, including the ducks and geese they were shipped with. The two turkeys who were from a different hatchery did fine.

    Dunno. [​IMG]
     
  9. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:So, you keep them in a--what? A brooder? Hatcher? Something else?

    I start mine off in a brooder made out of a big rubbermaid container until i know they are doing well, eating well etc..I keep it in my house or garage so i can keep an eye on them. then i move them out in a wire floor brooder, then once they feather out and depending on weather I move them into wire pens until about 3 months old.

    Okay, I do something similar, except my guys are in a rubbermaid brooder in the barn. I haven't done a wire-floor brooder -- I usually just move them to a pen inside the barn when they outgrow the brooder.

    Edited for clarification:

    When I lost the first batch, I brought the second batch inside and put them in a sanitized environment with controlled temperatures and showed them food and water every day. Made no difference. Lost those about 2-3 a day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  10. njduck

    njduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2011
    had the same problem this year with turkey poults from mcmurray hatchery, I had 1 of 15 live. It wasn't the birds it was me. I got another 15 and only lost 2. I will say they are alot dumber then chickens. you need to really watch them and make sure they drink and eat. cause they will not do it on their own.
     

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