Brooding poults outside in the heat

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by KristinMarie, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. KristinMarie

    KristinMarie In the Brooder

    40
    0
    22
    Mar 24, 2012
    I am getting my first set of poults on Wednesday. I have an outdoor chicken tractor which I built to use as a brooder. It has worked well for chicken chicks in the past but I always got my babies in the spring. I live in the deep south and the temperature has been in the mid 90's and has even broken 100 already. I am usually concerned about keeping my babies warm but I am more concerned now with keeping them cool. I found an area of my yard that is shady all day and am planning on moving the brooder there to keep it out of the sun but I can't think of any good way to keep the temperature regulated. Anyone have any experience brooding poults outside in the summer heat and can offer any tips? Thank you!
     
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,379
    172
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    You may want to put a light on them at night but during the day they won't need it. Once the temp goes over eighty five (eighty for older poults) you can turn it off. As you correctly surmise at that point it becomes more important to keep them cool enough. If the tractor is wire sided so that there is good air flow and it's in the shade that should be good enough. Make sure they've got plenty of fresh, clean water.

    I moved my poults into their grow-out tractor at five weeks old which is something I've never done so young, but it got hot early this year and I was having to keep a fan running on it all day to keep them from overheating. They're doing great now.
     
  3. KristinMarie

    KristinMarie In the Brooder

    40
    0
    22
    Mar 24, 2012
    [​IMG]

    This is my chicken tractor brooder with my last batch of chicken babies this spring. It is fenced in out in the run area but the main part only has triangular openings in each side and a door that can be latched closed or opened and used as a ramp down into the run. Would it be advisable to allow such little babies out into the run area? I kept my chicks inside the brooder box area until they were at least 3 weeks old. I am also wondering if I do let them out if I should put plastic down in the run and fill it with pine chips or hay to keep them off of the ground? Being a first time turkey mom is making me a nervous wreck and they haven't even gotten here yet LOL. I just want them all to be happy and healthy. :)
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,379
    172
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    If it were me I'd put a cover of some sort over the top to keep off the rain and sun. Move it every day so they're always on fresh ground. It will be OK to let them into the run so long as they've got a place to go that is warm and dry. Maybe put a lightbulb inside so they can go get warmed up if they are chilled.

    The important thing is to not let them get wet and/or chilled. This time of year overheating is the greater concern but at night they'll need some extra warmth, particularly if it rained that day.
     
  5. KristinMarie

    KristinMarie In the Brooder

    40
    0
    22
    Mar 24, 2012
    I got my babies! 6 Bourbon reds, 6 Blue slates, and 3 Narragansett babies originally.Unfortunately 2 of the the blue slates didn't make it. They were weak on arrival and wouldn't eat or drink, preferring to just lay in the corner and not move. I think the trip was just too much for them. The rest of them look wonderful though! They are set up in a ferret cage for the time being because I'm paranoid to put them outside after losing 2 of them. Hopefully after a couple of days I will feel better about putting them in their big outdoor brooder. They are the sweetest things! They seem to love to be snuggled and instead of struggling to get free like chicken chicks, they just lay their little heads down and fall asleep. I love them! I've been trying to get them to eat and drink by dipping my fingers in the food and water and holding them up for them to pick at, which seems to be working. I put a week old chick in with them to teach them to eat, but they were more interested in chewing on the chick than allowing it to show them how to eat the food. I have quick chick in the water. I'm really hoping that the rest of them will do well. Just had to share my new babies!

    [​IMG]n a ferret cag
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,379
    172
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Good luck with them!
     
  7. kangababy

    kangababy Songster

    594
    14
    133
    Mar 30, 2010
    Alabama
    Do you have them in the same place you had chickens last year?
    You ned to see if blackhead is around there because if you put your turkeys in where chickens are or where and blackhead is in the area you will lose them.

    First turkeys need to be on wire the first 3-4 months or they may not make it. They are very subseptable to disease and if it rains and they get in the mud you might as well tell them good bye.

    They need a light on even in the heat for a few month or so.
    They also need a higher protein then chickens do.

    So much to tell.. Sorry I just want you to do well with them. I love my turkeys all 100 of them :)
     
  8. KristinMarie

    KristinMarie In the Brooder

    40
    0
    22
    Mar 24, 2012
    I have sterilized the brooder and am going to put plastic down in the run area and fill it with pine chips so they aren't on the ground where the chickens were. It has been moved to a different area. When the chickens were in there it was moved every day so they had fresh grass, but they all free range now so I'm sure no matter where in the yard the turkey brooder goes with over 65 chickens free ranging, they have been there at some point. I am keeping them inside for a few days to make sure that they are eating and drinking alright. Does keeping them on wire not hurt their feet? It doesn't seem very comfortable. Is it really necessary for so small a number of turkeys? I can understand more with 100 of them, but it is easier for me to be able to keep to brooder clean and dry with only 13. I plan to let them free range after that. I do need to check and see if blackhead is an issue in our area though.
     
  9. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Crowing

    7,952
    741
    381
    Mar 3, 2012
    How are all of your poults doing? I have 2 7week old BBW poults right now and we are getting 5 Bourbon Red poults probably next week. Turkeys are new to us so we have a lot to learn(ive been reading and googling every chance I get) So far so good. I like your tractor as a brooder I brood in the garage though I may be making a tractor in the near future for some meat birds. Do you already have housing or a shelter for your turkeys if so can you post pics? I am in the process of planning our large turkey house and run (we will start building when the rain stops) and Im pretty sure im on the right track but its nice to see other set ups. I did build a small turkey house and run for the 2 BBWs and I like how it came out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  10. KristinMarie

    KristinMarie In the Brooder

    40
    0
    22
    Mar 24, 2012
    My poults are doing wonderfully! They are 3 weeks old now and are growing so fast! I have not built the turkey coop yet. I need to get started! I am building basically the same thing as I have for my meat chickens and I know that it only takes a couple of days to get done so I haven't been in a huge hurry. I know the turkeys are going to be with us much longer than the meat chickens so I am going to alter it a bit to put better and more sturdy roosts and close the top up a bit more to keep them out of the weather. I live in the deep south so it really doesn't get too cold or snow so I don't have to worry about that. I enjoy having light weight coops that I can move around the yard, although all of my birds free range and can get as many greens and bugs as they want, it helps to keep the coop cleaner. My head roosters and laying hens are in a permanent wooden coop but there aren't nearly as many of them to clean up after. Good luck with your turkeys! These are my first as well so I'm learning as I go and time shall tel how well the hoop coop will do with turkeys. So far, it has worked great for the chickens. It isn't the prettiest thing in the world, but it was cheap, easy, and functional. Everything I was hoping for. The first picture is the finished product with the babies waiting to be let out to free range for the day. The orange thing hanging down is a hose which is attached to an automatic waterer, which I LOVE! The second was while we were building it and is only the main frame before the wire and doors were added.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: