Cannibalizing poults

alandmark

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 7, 2010
10
1
24
I have 7 Bronze turkey poults that are just a week old tomorrow -- starting four days ago they began pecking the vents of the chicks in with them, I've lost 6 so far -- so I separated them out. Today they started ganging up on their own and I just pulled out a poult with a bloody vent. I'm not sure what to do. I haven't had poults before. They're in a big water tank, crowding isn't an issue, with one feeder and one waterer now that it's just the 7 of them (I had had 2 of each when they were with the 15 chicks). I have them on chick starter, which I thought was high enough protein to get them going, and have been putting electrolytes in their water. They've all been extremely healthy and active. What's causing this aggression? None of the chicks or this poult were sick prior to their setting on them. I have a 75 watt bulb over them, which has seemed to be sufficient - they aren't piling under it to keep warm - but should I have 2? I'm just completely bewildered.
 

ColbyNTX

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
1,745
6
161
Woods, TX
baby turkeys need 28-30% protien to thrive. They will do OK on the chick starter which is probabbly about 20% but will do much better on turkey or gamebird starter. I have not had this problem but my brooders have red or blue light, The white light promoted this behavior.
 

daproper

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 13, 2010
70
0
39
Michigan
We have this issue too. They actually killed one last week and now they're starting in on another. Another question - is it normal for them to eat their own poo? Mine are.
 

ColbyNTX

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
1,745
6
161
Woods, TX
New babies peck at everything. Mine all stay on a wire floor, 1/2X1/2 wire so the poop falls through. Do you have them under white light?
 
Last edited:

kuntrygirl

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
22,031
750
461
Opelousas, Louisiana
Quote:Any leg problems with them being on the wire floor? I want to remove the puppy pads that I have placed on top of the wire floor in their brooder cage but I didn't know if the wire floor would be too hard on their tender little feet.
 

SED

Songster
10 Years
Aug 4, 2009
491
0
129
North West Alabama
I have a brooder with a wire floor and love it. No mess to worry about. I would also change to the red bulb and a higher protien feed.
 

MissTurkey4

Songster
8 Years
Mar 29, 2011
292
2
101
How do you keep them from wasting feed, with a wire floor? It has never worked for me.
 

kuntrygirl

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
22,031
750
461
Opelousas, Louisiana
Quote:Good question.

That's another reason why I always put a puppy pad or other padding on top of the wire floor. They love to peck out the starter feed.
 

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
5,379
185
303
North/Central Florida
I brood poults and chicks together all the time and have never had a problem with this.

I have them on chick starter, which I thought was high enough protein to get them going,...

I suspect that's your problem right there, or at least part of it. Regular chick starter is only about 20% protein and poults need at least 24% and preferably in the 28-30% range. I'd bump it up right away. Feed them some finely chopped boiled egg until you can get some gamebird starter.

For the ones that are already injured I'd keep them separated until the blood is dry then spray with some BlueKote. Once that is dry thickly daub some Vaseline on the wounded area. This will usually deter them from further pecking.
 

daproper

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 13, 2010
70
0
39
Michigan
Thanks for all your help and suggestions. Ours are on chick starter - actually 26%, which is the highest I can find around here (Michigan). I am going to change to a red light today. I talked to the feed store yesterday afternoon and she also recommended putting a baby cake (high protien - similar to a suet cake) in the cage so they actually have to work at getting the food, in addition to their crumbles. Her other suggestion was to put a cat's busy ball in there to give them something to do, she thinks they might be bored so their looking for something to do.
 
Top Bottom