How do I get the poults to eat?


8 Years
Mar 10, 2011
Northern Illinois
I have three 2 day old poults, and I have only ever seen one peck at the food. I havent seen any drink, even when I dip their beaks. They just scream and "run" away. I have the food on aluminum foil, and they are with one three day old chick and a two week old chick, so they see them eating and drinking. What should I be doing differently? I have scrambled eggs in there right now to see if I could entice them with that. I hatched them out myself.
I put marbles in the water and dimes and quarters in their food. Just something shiny. They should be watching the other chicks and following what they are doing.
Try laying down some paper toweling and scattering the feed on the towels so there is plenty around. They will figure it out. If they are only two days old, they are still absorbing their yolks, and do not yet need to eat or drink for another day or so. I wouldn't worry about it yet. Dip their bills once tomorrow and stop. Give them plenty of white light. The rocks in the water serve mainly to keep the poults from falling in and getting wet and cold. Its a good idea for safety, but probably doesn't help them remember where the water is. Turkeys aren't nearly as dumb as people seem to make them out to be.

Also, turkeys are hard to see eat. My turkeys have always responded to holding food in my hand. Once one starts eating from my hand, the rest start eating from hand or floor or feed trough. But they are almost never eating when I look inside.

If you have to reach down to the poults from above they are more likely to be frightened than if you can approach them from their own level.

Again, I wouldn't worry too much. When they get hungry, they will eat!
I second the paper towles! I use white ones so the food really shows up. I would take out the foil for 3 reasons. 1. It is slippery and can cause leg problems. 2. It will reflect the heat and may make it too hot and not give the poults and chicks a place to cool off. 3. They will peck at it and start to eat the foil and its probablly not good for them. They should be fine with the chicks.
i use a pie plate for the first few days, that way they can get in there and peck around and i have been having good luck this way.

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