How do you raise Turkey poults?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by HallFamilyFarm, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    Just curious how everyone raises their turkey poults.

    Kevin Porter of suggests the following on his website:

    Tips on Starting your poults

    The following information is my poult starting methods and what works successfully for me and is only here for those looking for a little guidance to get their newly hatched poults off to a good start.

    I start my poults out in a homemade brooder, which measures approx. 24” wide x 48” long x 15” high, Yours doesn't necessarily have to be quite this large. I cover the bottom completely with paper towels. I just scatter their feed right on the paper towels for the first couple of days so they can easily pick at it and get use to eating . After that I use a small chick feeder. Their heat source is a heat lamp (With either a 75 or 100 watt bulb)"Not florescent" I recommend the red colored heat bulbs as the red light helps prevent canabalism. I hang the light approx. 8” from the brooder floor. I normally place this right in the middle of the brooder with plenty of room for them to get away from it on each side if they get too hot. It may also be a good idea to put in two heat lamps,side by side,one for backup just in case one burns out during the night, Their drinking water container is placed off center of the heat lamp so it doesn't get too warm. After the first week I put them on a wire floor, you can also put down shavings at this time if desired. Then you can gradually reduce the wattage of the light bulb as you notice them not needing as much heat.

    I start my poults out on a 30% protein, non-medicated turkey starter crumble.

    I add a vitamin and electrolyte supplement to their drinking water. Normally 1/4 tsp. per quart of water.

    I also add apple cider vinegar to their water as well, 1/2 Tbs per quart. This is reported to reduce the incidence of coccidiosis and inhibits harmful bacterial or algae growth in the water. This can be mixed with the vitamins.
    I keep this in the water of all my adult birds too.

    For shipped poults I recommend adding a tsp. of brown sugar per quart of water for a couple days after arrival for a quick energy boost just to help them recover from shipping stress. This can be mixed with the vitamins and vinegar.

    After my poults have reached a couple weeks of age or so I switch over to a 26% protein, non-medicated turkey starter crumble. I continue to feed them this till they are around 3 months of age, I then switch again to a 22% protein turkey grower/finisher pellet.

  2. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    Note: Why reinvent the wheel when you can just steal someone else's wheel! [​IMG]

    ETA: It ain't stealing if you get permission. Thanks Kevin for helping the newbies and us old folks that need a refresher course every once and a while.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Pretty much my method, different brooder though that expands from 2x3 to 2x4 to 4x4 as they grow.
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    This follows what I do with my chickens (having only raised 2-3 batches and still a neophyte). I do add vinegar and it does eliminate the slimy factor; along w/ vitamins in the water; I start them on paper towels, then add shavings. Starting chicks in Feb I too used 2 red heat lamps as our house dropped to 60 overnight; the latest batch used one light as it's now April.

    Yes, I pretty much follow Porters guidelines with my chickens and will do the same when the turkeys arrive next week. Sorry I can't remember the details on the first batch of turkeys I raised about 15 years ago. Just remember them living in a box in the bathroom and what a pain that was!! LOL

    I have started wondering about what is the point of feeding medicated feed when the birds are kept in a controlled environment without access to soil; and then when they are put outside, provide the medicated feed for about 5 weeks while they build their immunity up. Just my ramblings.

  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Thanks for sharing this information JimsFarmStand. I wanted to try the apple cidar vinegar with the poults but I was afraid that they were too young. But it sounds like they would be ok. I'm glad to read this.

  6. teenchik

    teenchik In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Thank you guys SO much! [​IMG] I've been trying and failing at finding decent info on how to raise them! Some friends of mine are telling me to get broadbreasted, just to see if I wanna start turkeys and keep them for good. I'm almost sure I'll stay with turkeys along side my Old English Game Bantams. Thanks Again!!!!! [​IMG]
  7. jimmythechicken

    jimmythechicken Songster

    Jun 8, 2010
    Quote:we had bb turkey didn't like them they were like raising cornish cross no personality an you know your going to eat them so you dont want to get close.but then we goat blue slate an loved them they are my daughters fav i would say go hertiage breeds you will love them

  8. deleted
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  9. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    Quote:With broad-breasted think cornishX. A Heritage breed takes a bit longer to raise to Thanksgiving size but has a better flavor. Try one of the APA recognized varieties.

    The American Poultry Association currently recognizes the following varieties of Turkeys:


    Bourbon Red



    White Holland


    Beltsville White

    Royal Palm

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