Mortality rate of poults

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by raindrop, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all!

    I'm thinking of venturing into turkeys (Bourbon Red) this spring, and will either order from Ideal or Sand Hill.
    I have raised chickens, geese and ducks. I have learned to expect to lose 1-2 chicks out of 25.
    I have read that poults are more fragile than chicks.
    What mortality rate would you expect?
    In other words, if I order 15 how many will survive the first 3-4 weeks?
     
  2. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are not careful you can get up to 25%. With attention and everything they need you could get down as low as 2-3% but if I was you I would go ahead and expect 10%, from shipping to the first 2 weeks. Basically poults love heat, keep the brooder temps 97-98 degrees for the first week then go ahead and drop down to 95 then reduce 5 degrees a week after that. Most important is to make sure they are all drinking water and eating and then check at least twice daily to make sure they have not forgotten where the food and water is. [​IMG] They are just more fragile then chicks are so a little more careful attention is needed for the first couple of weeks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  3. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Definitely agree with that. We hatch out our poults and we hatch chickens at the same time to be their guides and mammas regarding eating and drinking. I had one time with no baby chicks and I learned from an older gentleman to feed them scrambled eggs mixed with water and green onions and that they would find their way to eat and it worked.
     
  4. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yeah I also forgot that you also need to put 1 tablespoon of molasses in 1 gallon of water for the first week. This will help give them energy after hatching/shipping and also is a natural laxative to help not get paste butt.
     
  5. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Quote:It's been quite a while since we ordered any hatchery birds but the key thing seemed to be when you place your order. You don't want them shipping in the freezing cold or the heat of the summer. I think just about all the hatcheries except Sandhill drop ship the poults from either Texas or New Mexico- there must be some big hatcheries there.

    With any shipped birds it depends on how they travel, I'm sure being on this board you have heard people getting everything from great healthy poults to boxes of dead and dying ones.

    I wouldn't say poults are more fragile per say but they can be touchy. As soon as you get them they will be thirsty so dip each ones beak in water and give them a drink as you take the out of the shipping box (that also gives the the chance to inspect each poult) As Bargin said if you have some chicks that hatch a few days before and are already eating and drinking is a plus- the poults will follow them. If they have had a rough trip you can add vitamins and electrolytes to the water. Most feed stores have a packaged vitamin mix for a couple dollars, we have never used anything else in the water.

    Make sure they aren't overcrowded in the brooder, the weaker ones can get pushed aside and "starve out", keep an eye out for ones that always seem on the outside or aren't growing as fast as the others. For brooder temp we let the birds tell us where they want the temp- if they are crowded under the lamp they are cold - on the outer edge to hot. Last but not least turkeys need a higher protien feed than chickens we start ours on a 28% game bird starter.

    Hopefully you won't loose any but there is really no way to predict the outcome, there are just to many things involved. If you can order extra, you can always sell the extras and it will give you more to choose from if you want to breed them. Turkeys are very popular around here so it's no problem selling them off.

    Steve in NC
     
  6. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raindrop I see you are in western Oregon. If I were you I would just head straight over to Lazy 54 Hatchery, there you could just pick the chicks up and would not have to get any shipped, alot better survival rate that way. Plus Gene has some really nice birds and alot if not all are show quality, at a good price. Plus if you want he can even sex them so you can get what ever you want. Here is link to his site.
     
  7. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank You! I will take a look.
     
  8. SandyC

    SandyC Chillin' With My Peeps

    I ordered 5 Royal Palm poults from Ideal in June, along with 10 chicks. One of the poults was DOA and another died within a few days. The other 3 are strong and healthy and 9 months old now.
     
  9. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Quote:Thank You! I will take a look.

    Raindrop,
    Why not get them from Harp? They are a "turkey ranch" [​IMG]
     
  10. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why not get them from Harp? They are a "turkey ranch"

    That would be a great idea, but we are sold out till June-July time. We also are about 3.5 hrs from the Or & WA border. We are not a hatchery, we raise our turkeys for the holiday markets and to help preserve the species.We only sell the poults and eggs that we are not going to use, why have them all go to waste when there are plenty of people that would like them ?? That is why we are called a RANCH not a HATCHERY !!​
     

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