Are Turkeys really that hard to start?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Cynthia12, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    I can't believe it, but I just hatched out the two turkey eggs that were given to me. They are Rio Grandes'. The seem lively enough. I still have them in the bator until they fluff out more. I took out the cups of water and wash cloth to get the humidity down. Like I said, they seem fine so far. Up and starting to walk, and talking in a different way than I'm used to hearing! I have hatched many chicks, but this is different. They sound cute..huge babies, but cute.
    I have some chicks in a rubber maid tub, have been reading different things about them..some good, some not. I have pine chips in there. I plan on putting some of that kitchen drawer lining in there for a while. That's what I've got in there for the hatching period. The guy that gave me the eggs is coming to get them Sat. I only have chick feed. Hoping I can keep them alive until then. The room they are in is very warm. Very warm.
    Any suggestions after saying what my plans are? Will they be ok with the chick feed until Sat? Aren't they like chicks, and do ok for a few days without food and water? It will be in there because I have the chicks, but what if they don't want to eat and drink like I've read on some posts? Oh dear..can ya tell I'm a bit worried?? Such big birds! [​IMG]) You would think they would be stronger!
     
  2. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    They'll definitely be fine with chick feed until Saturday. Just make the the guy is going to feed them a food meant for turkeys afterward. Remember that they have about 48 hours of yolk to sustain them too, so they won't eat much the first day or so.

    Got any chicks hatching with the poults? They do a GREAT job at educating turkey poults. The poults I hatched were hatched with chicks. They were clumsier and slower to learn, but did so fairly quickly with their tinier teachers. I think they have a hard time with coordination, takes them longer to get oriented. If you want, you can dip their beaks in the water for the first drink, then put shiny stuff in the waterer like marbles or (clean!) coins to draw their attention, they'll peck at those and realize there is water. I hear putting crumbles on tin foil gets their attention, since they peck at shiny stuff and find the food there, but since I had chicks showing mine where the food was, I never did that.
     
  3. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Thanks Stacy, I did have chicks in the bator with them to hatch. Put them in the same day, and of course the turkeys hatched out later..but a day earlier than were scheduled.
    They ARE clumsy. lol.. I put marbles in the water. Their bellys are still full of yolk, so won't worry about dipping their beaks until tomorrow then. I also put electrolytes in the water. Won't hurt the chicks any either. [​IMG]
    The chicks were scared to death of them when I finally put them into the bin with them..they all scattered to a corner and wondered what in the world those things were. Now they are fine..and the turkey babies want to be underneath any of them that will let them be there. even though they are as big as the chicks. lol...
     
  4. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    It's good you have the chicks in with the poults. It wil take all the work out of it for you. After about a week, you can remove the chicks and the poults should be eating and drinking good. Get them on gamebird or turkey starter as soon as you remove the chicks. I don't like to use chicken chicks to start my poults because I start them on gamebird starter and I sometimes get pasty butt on the chicks on the 28% feed. For this I use guinea keets who also need the 28% feed and the same incubations period. Get them on the correct feed, keep them warm, dry, clean water & feed and they are easy!

    Edited: It's fine to use chicken chicks as starters especially since you are using chick starter, just seperate them when you get the high protien feed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  5. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Thanks Colby, came on early this morning to see if anyone else had any more suggestions.

    Great help here..thanks!
     
  6. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never raised my turkeys with chicks, and have never had trouble starting them. I don't use shiny foil floors, or put colored marbles in the water. While turkeys started with those techniques will do fine, turkeys started without those techniques will also do fine. At least heritage turkeys will. I give mine lots of white light, and they seem to find the food and water. I do start them on paper towels and scatter feed on those so they don't have to look for a feeder at first. They train off the towels in a couple of days.

    So the short answer is no, turkeys really are not that hard to start.
     
  7. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Quote:That's what I like to hear! Thank you. [​IMG]
     
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am actually glad that I didn't have internet when I started raising turkeys... If I did I would have been afraid to try. I have always treated them like chicken chicks and never had problems.
     
  9. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Quote:Yep, these have been so easy, that I've asked for more eggs from the guy I got them from They are funny when they hatch, so big they kind of tumble around trying to get those great big legs under them, but they do fine within 24 hrs. I was the one to dip their beaks in the water, and that was all it took! They both started drinking. Then, they were eating later that day. No problems here. [​IMG]
     
  10. debbie turkey lady

    debbie turkey lady Out Of The Brooder

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    I'd like to say that I think turkeys are much easier than chicks. My bronze breasted heritage turkeys are smarter, and alot of fun~.
    They are over 10weeks now, and I had a horrible thing happen last Sunday. A neighbors pit bulls ate through the wire pen and killed 10, and injured 5 more.
    I am devestated, and cannot find the dogs, or the owner. We live in a very rural area, and although I am getting help from the Sheriff, neighbors, and others, I have not located
    the dogs. I cannot believe that they ate through the wire, it was a very heavy wire. We are replacing it with wire made for bulls, and I know nothing will chew through it!
    But, this has been a devestating thing to happen! I have spent the week nursing the other 5 back to health, as they were very injured. Some had maggots growing inside the wounds,
    and I had to flush them out, and put bag balm on the wound. I am out thousands of dollars, as these are organic, and I was going to get over 200.00 a bird.

    I would just like to warn anyone here, this could happen to anybody, as these types of dogs can bite through very strong wire. I wouldn't have believed it had it not happened to me [​IMG]
     

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