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Best feed to finish off heritage breeds? (And new to turkeys)

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by DFCottage, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. DFCottage

    DFCottage Songster

    Feb 17, 2008
    Montpelier, Virginia
    I am picking up 3 heritage breed turkeys this weekend to finish off for t-giving (all were March hatches). This is my first time with turkeys ( keep chickens and quail at the moment). I have a big tractor ready for them so they can enjoy some grass. I wish I could let them free range all day but we are having a massive hawk/fox/coon/coyote/you name it problem right now and I need to keep everyone safe. (Everyone is free ranged though when I am home under direct supervision). What would you recommend for a good feed to finish off these guys? I have Southern States, Culpeper feeds and Blue Seal available, as well as lots of 'grain' options (I could do a mix). There is also a Purina dealer but it's very pricey.

    Thanks for any input!

  2. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    THis is a great question. [​IMG]

    MY BBW's are off to freezer camp this coming week (hopefully) and I have tried a finishing grain which is 16% protein w/ more corn than the 20% grower. Not a lot of demand so the feed store runs low. SO they mostly get the 20%. Have tried whole corn and they just look at it ! One hen runs, oops I mean whaddles, with the BR tom, and she will eat whole corn . . . . maybe she learned by watching the chickens.[​IMG]

    I have 7 BR to finish in another 5-6 months. THey are so much slower in the growth department, I don't see how 20% grower is cost effective. THough mine do have pans of 20% free choice grower , but actually spend most of their day foraging for yummies from 7 am to 6 pm and are growing. ( Have nothing to compare their growth to to know if they are growing fast, slow or normal-- definitely not as fast as the BBW ! LOL) Would think 16% is more cost effective.

    I hope someone with more experience will chime in here.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    Since you are picking them up, I wouldn't recommend free range. Usually new birds need to be kept penned for four weeks or more so they learn that this is 'home'. I usually finish mine with a mix of oats, corn, and grower feed and throw in lots of apples.
  4. jlbpooh

    jlbpooh In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2007
    Catawba, SC
    I got my turkeys (a pair of Norfolk Blacks from what I can tell) just over a week ago. They are this year's hatch as well. I clipped their wings and they have been free-ranging in our 4 1/2 acre fenced area. They made themselves right at home and have even put themselves up in their pen each night so far. They act like they have lived here their whole lives, so free-ranging might still be possible for you. I am still trying to learn about feed myself. From what I read, they shouldn't be getting Purina Layena, but on the bag it said it is acceptible for turkeys. I am planning on keeping mine for breeding stock. No place around here carries turkey feed at all, so I am trying to figure out what would be the best for them to be eating besides the free-ranging.

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