How hard are turkeys to brood?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Whitehouse Quail, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    I've tried my hand at coturnix quail, chiickens, and bobwhites; the bobwhites were a miserable failure, I know now that they aren't the best breed to start with, but all the rest, no problems! We've raised many, many broilers from chick to table, SO:

    Should I drop $150.00 for 10 poults from McMurray? Would I lose the $10.00 investment in any of them do you think?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    Depends on who you ask. Some people say that they are very delicate, others (like me) have raised them no differently than chickens and never had problems.
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    What kind are you planning to get?
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    I think they are no different then chickens to brood, plenty of clean water, good feed, keep dry and plenty of space. Just make sure no one gets pushed to the side and everyone is eating and drinking. What kind are you thinking of getting?
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I agree on the clean water thing, I would change their water any time it looked messed up with chick starter, even if it was an hour later. Especially the first week or two. Then I would also freshen their food and peck with my finger to get them to eat. Mine came from s and s poultry and to be honest, there never was any issue, even though they were hatched in a town a hour away on a freezing april day and I drove out there and picked them up just hatched, barely dry, put them in my coat, drove home and well, stopped by a friend's house first to show how CUTE they were, then drove home and set them up. Keep their brooder a little warmer than for chicks too. I have heard that helps. Make sure the water is not to hot by the heat lamp, or too far away from it. I scattered medicated start 'n grow all over the entire floor of the brooder in a really thin layer so no mater what they pecked at they were going to hit feed. Those poults were extremely hardy and quick right off from the start. After a week I separated them from the chicks because they were a lot sharper and quicker, lol. If you want some GOOD poults or eggs, buy from S and S poultry.
  6. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    $150 bucks for 10 poults!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good gosh that seems high. We raise blue slates and sweetgrass turkeys and they aren't any harder really to raise, they just need an extra eye on them to make sure they are eating and drinking. They are more easy to get chilled, so you have to make sure they have plenty of heat. Other than that they just require clean water, and clean brooder, and plenty of gamebird feed.
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    Doesn't McMurray have a 15 poult minimum? I am assuming that we are talking heritage breeds here and that it includes shipping. But I'm not sure that you can get just 10... As far as which hatchery is better? One that is closer to you is a better bet. It cuts down on the time that the babies are in transit.
  8. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    I'm not sure which kind, was thinking Standard Bronze or Royal Palm. I haven't seen any (cheap) eggs on eBay, which would be my choice, either.
  9. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    There are some differences:
    1. Turkey chicks don't find food the first few days very well, that is because the eye sight is not the best then.

    So you sprinkle food on the floor of the brooder the first few days so they can find it. Don't use litter the first week but paper towels or an old blanket
    or place a few Chicken chicks in the brooders for a few days. the Chicken chicks help them find the food.

    2. The initial brooding temp is usually a bit higher, but doesn't have to be.

    3. Turkey chicks have a tendency to fall asleep where ever they are, and are a bit clumsy.

    Not sure which of these causes them to end up drowning in the water. but it can happen.and generally doesn't with chicken chicks.
    So place small stone in the bottom of the waterer, usually this only needs to be done the first couple of weeks.

    4. They out grow there brooders faster.
    Make sure you plan ahead and increase there space. we move then about three times before they are ready to go outside.

    5. Usually a chicken chick can go outside at about 4 weeks, Turkey it's around 9 weeks.

    6. Great Whites and Broad Breasted turkeys can be a bit delicate starting off.
    The two biggest problems is there litter being to wet, or the feed not correct. both can lead to foot and leg problems.

    And yes some people get it correct from the start and don't have problems, others have some problems and it takes a bit.

  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have only raised three poults (BBB) thus far so am probably not one to talk, but I have to say that I followed the advice I got on this forum to raise them with same-age chicks and if I hadn't heard (everywhere) about how poults are more fragile and slower to really 'get going' than chicks are, I would have NEVER suspected any difference. After the first day or three you do have sort of a "Big Bird amongst the sesame street muppets" effect, but other than that the poults were just like the chicks and did wonderfully.

    (Now watch, I've jinxed myself by saying that and will have horrible luck with it this year [​IMG])

    I *have* heard that turkey poults suffer from poor shipping conditions (long trip, bad weahter, or whatever) worse than chicks do, on average... so it might be worth looking into where you could get them from closer to you, either pickup in the car or at least just a shorter journey through the mail. Couldn't hurt anyhow.

    Good luck, have fun,


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