First time turkey owner

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by MaggieMay'sMom, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. MaggieMay'sMom

    MaggieMay'sMom Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
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    Sep 13, 2009
    N.California
    Hello all,

    Since I am new to turkeys I am hoping you all can answer a few question I have.

    I received 20 Heritage Turkeys from Meyer's Hatchery on 4/21 (10 Chocolates/10 Bourbon Reds) 2 Chocolate were DOA, 1 Bourbon was very weak and died after 36 hrs.

    I am temporarily brooding them in my living room (that's where our heater is located) for the first week or so (2.5ft x 4ft x 2ft high box). I am using the Premier 50 heat plate (love it).

    Here are a few pic's (should I make the pictures smaller in the future?


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    Now for my questions:

    They did not take to the turkey starter dry, so I added some of their water to make a slurry. I have keep the dry in the brooder but they are still not interested. When would you take away the wet and make them transition to the dry?

    I also have been using the vital pack plus in their water, how long should I do this?

    I'm using puppy pads, when would it be safe to add pine shaving?

    One chocolate had pasty butt, when I went to clean her up I noticed she has a red growth around her vent. Could it be a prolapsed vent? Do pullets get that? I washed it as best I could then applied honey, now it is crusty but I have left it alone as her vent is clear. I did add some yogurt to one batch of food but have stopped as I read that to much yogurt could cause pasty butt! She is eating and drinking fine. Would you do anything else?

    Ok, I better stop as I did not intend to right a book.[​IMG]

    Thanks so much for any help you can give.

    MMM
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have always added shiny glass rocks to anything I want my turkeys to peck at, I also use my finger to tap at food multiple times a day, turkey poults need to be shown how and what to eat and drink, feel free to make peeping noises. Usually after a week they understand.

    I don't know what the red is, hopefully it's just irritated skin.

    Turkeys should be initially brooded at about 100 degrees, never used a plate before so I can't say anything about it.

    Pasty butt can be from being too hot or cold or possibly from too much water from you feeding wet mash.

    I usually use paper towels over my shavings and remove them between the first and second week. They still will eat some shavings but I haven't had any troubles from it.

    At about 2 weeks your poults will need more room. Weather permitting I start putting them out on clean dry grass for the day with some food water and shelter.
     
  3. MaggieMay'sMom

    MaggieMay'sMom Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
    33
    Sep 13, 2009
    N.California
    Thanks Old Hen,

    I have marbles somewhere! Hope I can find them soon. I did put in some shinny pennies. I have been tapping their dry food but no luck yet. I will keep at it. I also tap the water nipples, when they finally peck in the right place they are so surprised by the water that just they shake their heads and don't seem to get it.[​IMG]

    I have sold 6, they will be leaving in 3 days. I do have 15 BBB (10 are sold, and will be leaving to their new home right away) shipping on or around the 27th. I want to add 5 to my indoor set up for a few days, and then they will all move to an outside brooder that is 6ft x 5ft inside an old camper.

    I am growing 2 BBB and 2 Heritage for a friend, they will leave as soon as my brooder looks to crowed. So for my 9 Heritage and 3 BBB ( assuming they all make it through the trauma of shipping) they will have (I am still building their housing) a 8x12 building with a 8x12 covered run. Do you think that is enough room?

    I have read elsewhere that turkeys should not be on the ground for 8 weeks? That must just apply to big commercial growers? I would love to put them on grass sooner.

    Thanks,

    MMM
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    My shed is 12x15 and house up to 15. Mine just sleep in it or go in during really bad weather. You might want to make a bigger run or plan on letting them out for some ranging time.

    I have always gotten mine outside as soon as it's warm enough for some outside time. I don't need to worry about blackhead where I'm at. I put them on my lawn which is clean and dry, and move the pen daily so they aren't sitting on the same spot each day. As they get older I move my pen closer to the adult turkeys so they can become familiar with both them and their germs. I only raise small batches most years, but even my first season when I raised 17, we had them outside by 3-4 weeks into their new shed and run. Keep them clean and dry. After the first two months they are pretty hardy.

    I've read that too about putting them outside, but it made no sense to me either, but I do check on mine and put them in at night, so maybe it's like you said it's for larger producers. I've never lost a single poult except for the one that was dead in the shipping box on my original order.

    Turkeys are very different from chickens, but once you get a system going it is really easy. Be prepared for some nosey birds who vocalize a lot. I have even taught mine to come when I call out turkey turkey.
     
  5. MaggieMay'sMom

    MaggieMay'sMom Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
    33
    Sep 13, 2009
    N.California
    I can only amagine 12 turkeys running towards me full speed!

    We have not heard of any problems with blackhead in our area.

    Their pen and run is inside a fenced area approx 50 x 50, when I'm home they will be able to have that space also. Once we finish fencing the rest of our propery (6 acres), they can free range when we are around to suppervise.

    They are only 5 days olds and already they are bigger.

    What type of turkeys do you have?

    MMM
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mine are all heritage, some pure others mixed. They are a big dopey obnoxious group who are always wanting to know what I'm doing and have a extreme interest in the sounds of construction. I pen mine for some peace or they would follow me everywhere. Mine range in our fenced goat pasture.

    Just a few photos to show what I have to put up with.[​IMG]

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  7. MaggieMay'sMom

    MaggieMay'sMom Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
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    Sep 13, 2009
    N.California
    They are very pretty. What is your ratio (hens to toms?).

    Another question, what are the measurement of your turkey door?

    I have lost 2 more chocolates:(

    When your turkeys hatch their own poulets, how many typically survive?

    I am getting very discouraged.

    Thanks

    MMM
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I probably have too many toms, I have troubles whittling them down, 3 mature toms, 2 year olds, and 10 hens.

    I believe my pop hole is like 15x18, I can't quite remember.

    I don't let my turkeys raise poults, I'm not set up for it. I have my bantam incubate my eggs than I brood the poults. I can control things better my way, I tried letting the turkey hens do it but it turned into a mess, and when I had my bantam raise them they bonded with them but quickly overwhelmed them and it was hard to try to keep them away from them. Now I'm mom for all my turkeys, so they are also friendlier.

    Here's last year's poults.

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  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry you are having troubles. I don't use a heating plate, I'm not sure if poults can be warm enough under one, they are very tender those first few weeks and need to be kept quite warm. I use my heat lamp because I can control their temperature more.

    I see nipple waterers? Have they figured that out? Turkeys need to learn everything, not much is instinct with them like it is for chicks.
     
  10. MaggieMay'sMom

    MaggieMay'sMom Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
    33
    Sep 13, 2009
    N.California
    They don't seem chilled. I have a heat lamp ready if they do. They are making happy sounds, no loud chirping. I added the nipple waterer from the start so they would be use to it. They peck at it and are surprised when they end up with water:p They have a normal waterer that they use.

    I have one BR right now that is having a hard time standing up. He eats when I take and set him in front of the food? He was fine 2 days ago?
    Not sure why some thrive and others don't.
    I was disapointed that the hatchery did not put a heat pack in the shipping box, or at least shavings!
    It snowed the day before they arrived.
     

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