Gettin some turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by gettinaclue, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Virginia
    My DH and I will be getting some turkeys in a couple of months (at least that is the plan) and was wondering if you can give me some info about them. We will be building a new space for the turkeys - right beside the chicken coop (my chicken coop is full).

    Do they lay all year long like chickens - with less frequency in the winter.

    Do they lay in nest boxes?

    Do they need grit and calcium supplements like my chickens?

    Do we just build another chicken coop and put the turkeys in there? Should we build anything special/ have anything special for them?

    In case it's important, our turkeys are destined to be stuffed with dressing and devoured.
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Turkeys are seasonal layers, the main season is in the spring and a short one in the fall. They will lay in nest boxes and sometimes on the ground - they prefer an out of the way and darker place to lay. Ours have grit and oyster shell (calcium) free choice. Turkeys require less shelter than chickens but need more room because of there size. Very few of ours go into the houses, they roost outside year round. For a roost I just went into the woods and cut down a pine tree about 6 inches in diameter and used that as roost. works great and the price was right.

    Are you planning to get Broad Breasted type or Heritage type? How you raise them is different

    Steve
     
  3. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Virginia
    We are going with heritage breeds.

    How are they raised differently?
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    the BB type are the Cornish cross of turkeys, max feed equals max weight gain in the shortest possible time.

    Steve
     
  5. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Virginia
    Thanks Steve!

    Do I feed my turkeys game fowl feed, chicken feed...is there such a thing as turkey feed?
     
  6. doubleostud

    doubleostud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Game feed works just fine, there are a few companies that have turkey feed, I have never used any of it though. Most people shoot for the 28% range on the feed. I free range all of mine and half the time they dont eat much of there food and and are able to do just fine.
     
  7. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2010
    CA High Desert
    Quote:My food is called Turkey Gamebird Starter. Its 30% protein. It has 4 times more calicium than chicken feed and a highier vitamin-mineral content. They also sell a turkey breeder and a turkey grow. I only use the Turkey Starter 30% on everyone. I have tried the others and do not like them.

    If you have pasture you can feed alot less. I am not that lucky.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  8. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Depending on where you live and your local feed store or feed mill there is feed for everything. Turkeys need a high protien feed when they are growing. They grow fast and big so every bit of protien is needed. Much like a young kid... you can't fill them. [​IMG] We feed ours 28% medicated game bird starter from hatch until about 3 months old, from there 20% medicated chicken start n grow until 5 or 6 months old, after that we feed either an 18% or 20% layer made from our local feed mill. The 18% in the non laying months 20% when they are laying.

    But once again what you are planning to do with them decides how to feed. High protien in the 30% range is very expensive if you can find it at all, here 28% is as high as it goes and it's $16 per 50 pounds. For adult turkeys protien level that high aren't needed and actually to high a protien level harms the bird. Want to find out? feed high protien feed to chickens and see how quick they "burn out". If you are going to just raise them for Thanksgiving then by all means feed the high protien if you can afford it all the way thru, it will give you the most weight gain in a given time. if you want to breed them and raise them year after year then they don't need that high. Does that make sense? There are members here that raise them year after year and they can jump in on what works for them. We are here to help.

    Steve
     
  9. 49erjohns

    49erjohns Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    BROAD BREASTED BRONZE TURKEYS from RIDGEWAY HATCHERY are the best. Two years ago our biggest tom weighted 80 pounds. I get 15 from them every year. Good people too. Good luck....JOHN AND NEVER MIX TURKEYS WITH CHICKENS!!!
     
  10. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Quote:John,

    I guess you have had a problem with blackhead? This is your 3rd post and the 2nd time you have told everybody not to mix chickens with turkeys. Most everybody here has turkeys with chickens. We know of the potential problem but it is regional. My area is a commerical chicken producing area and it is a normally wet area and we have 0 problems with blackhead. Have you bought BBB's from all of the hatcherys in the country?
     

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