Feed for 3 wk old turkeys? And sexing BRs

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Koeyohte, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Koeyohte

    Koeyohte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going (hopefully!!) to pick up a few Bourbon Red turkey poults tomorrow morning :) Finally!! I am so excited. They have been handled daily and are friendly. I have read through posts and threads here on BYC since last year about turkeys but have never raised any.

    I realize I will need to get specific feed for them (or maybe not? If I am incorrect.). What else do you feed your young turkeys besides the crumble feeds? These poults are 3 weeks old.

    Also, is there a way to sex them at 3 weeks old?

    Thank you very much. Any other advice is greatly appreciated :)

    ~Koey
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  2. refamat

    refamat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is specific feed for turkeys, there is game bird feed, and a couple others you might run into.
    We use the high protein feed, what ever is priced well, between 26-28% (chicken starter is lower and the turkeys will starve on it. It's goo to keep them on this or a while (minimum of 8 weeks of age, longer you can the better until 3-4 months and they are eating other feeds well. I would offer them other feeds at 8 weeks but don't expect them to get fat on it alone. I have week olds that are eating finely diced cabbage from my hand right now.
    I add acidophilus (I got some hard tabs so I break of a piece and crumble it in their feed) and I add ACV and bird vitamin drops to their water.
    Last year, when we put our poults outside finally, we had a pvc tractor with a tarp over one end and some roosting poles for them. They stayed in that for a week or so getting fed and such then were allow to free range, but always came back to the tractor for feeding and sleeping until they were just too big for it and then they got individual pens until t-day.
     
  3. refamat

    refamat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sexing isn't as easy with turkey (heck, I can't vent sex a chicken yet!), but, I found that like my muscovy ducks, the ankles tell a tail. Seems there will be thicker ankles and larger feet at a few months of age on the males and the heads of the females will be a little smaller and different as well as the snoodle or whatever they call that fleshy thing at the end of the beak and start of the forehead. It will get longer on the males.
     
  4. Koeyohte

    Koeyohte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! This was helpful.

    I am concerned about feeding them properly, it seems they are much more fragile than chickens, which I have raised. I have been scouring the threads on BRs, looking for any possible ways someone may have had luck with a visual guess.

    The ACV in their water is an excellent reminder. I have been reading about protein levels so I shall check these when I get more feed tomorrow. I feel that I should be able to give them more as I don't really know what's in that storebought feed.

    Thank you so much!
    ~Koey
     
  5. refamat

    refamat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    getting protein into an animal isn't as easy as it would appear sometimes. Using the turkey/game bird high protein feeds will do well for you, then you can lower to a 18-22% after they are 6-8 weeks old
     
  6. Koeyohte

    Koeyohte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The highest I could find is 22% so I have them on that as well as a few pieces of hard boiled egg and oats :) Thank you!!
     
  7. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Most feed stores carry a turkey feed, multi flock, game feed. Im sure 22% protein is ok but for optimal growth 28-30% is better. What feed stores do you have in your area?
     
  8. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    If you can find the higher protein feed I suggest fed that until atleast 12weeks of age.
     
  9. fair weather chicken

    fair weather chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    we have a tom and what i am hoping are two hens. any way we have been feeding them chicken layer mash. good thing /bad thing . have not seen any eggs yet. do we need to change feed? any help would be helpful.
     
  10. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Im sure chicken layer mash is ok. But again for optimal growth and health they require a higher protein diet, but everyone feeds their poultry diferent. I started my turkeys on a turkey starter 28% protein and they were on that until about 12 weeks old when I swithed them to Turkey Grower 22% protein they were on that until they were about 6 months old and now they are on a multi flock 22% protein feed that I give all my chickens and turkeys. My turkeys just started laying last week so I might think about switching my chickens back to a chciken layer and put my turkeys on a turkey breeder feed. I wouldnt be too concened about not seeing any eggs yet it is still early and it depends on your weather also. But higher protein sure couldnt hurt.
     

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