My baby turkeys are having trouble. Wont eat their food.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by guineafowlguy, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. guineafowlguy

    guineafowlguy Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been losing turkeys to this and i need to find out how to stop it.

    I feed them scratch grains plus whatever free range they want.

    I didn't give them much grain at first but i have been upping there food to the point were it is ridiculous trying to feed them.

    Most of the turkeys are getting nice and fat but some just refuse to eat anything.

    I thought they were sick so i would put them in quarantine (with a buddy) and treat them with antibiotics plus all the food he could eat. No improvements.

    Is it sickness or are they just stupid. It is getting to the point of aggravation.

    The food is right there. All they need to do is eat it.

    P.s. I don't keep all my turkeys in the same pen but they all show the same symptoms.

    What do you suggest

    Thanks

    Edit: Just a note It happens most frequent with the black slates.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    You are feeding them a high protein (28-30%) game bird starter, yes? If so, and they aren't eating it, dampen some live meal worms and toss on the feed - that'll teach `em.

    If you aren't feeding the starter - get some.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  3. wcah

    wcah Out Of The Brooder

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    How old are they? Are they generaly alerart? Try warm water and hard boiled egg yoke mixed in with there crumbs and put in on somthing silver and very shiney, like kitchen foil, they should be intrested in the shiney thing and start pecking it an hopefuly start to eat.
    Keep us informed, Good luck.
     
  4. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    X2 If you are only offering scratch feed as the sole diet that is a problem. Scratch feed is not food it is a treat and a fattening tool. If they do eat it and lots of it they aren't going to gain much muscle they will be unhealthy. How old are your turkeys? They should either be on a high protein pellet feed like a multi flock or gamebird starter(28%) or if they are a little older they can be on a multi flock starter/grower(22% protein). If you continue with the scratch feed the outcome may not be good. Give us a little more info on the turkeys and we may be able to help you find a good solution that will help you and your turkeys.
     
  5. guineafowlguy

    guineafowlguy Out Of The Brooder

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    They are 2 months and up I have 4 that are 1 month and they are royal palm(They are getting chick starter grower as they were raised with chicks). The rest were getting scratch grain and all the free range they want.

    So what you are saying is they don't like the food? It is not that they are eating it and staying skinny but that they are not eating Anything.

    My feed costs are already OVER $60 a week with all my chicks chickens and turkeys. (I think I'm somewhere in the area of 200+ birds) I'm sure special feed wont be cheap. However I feed some of my laying hens something called layer pellet.

    I think it is higher in protein. I will give them something else for a few days and see if there are improvements.

    How long should i feed them high protein?

    I have always done turkeys free range but this year seems to be different.

    Thanks
     
  6. SuburbSpurs

    SuburbSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    When I was at fair a lady who raises turkeys told me that you need to show turkeys how to eat by putting a chick in there who will immediately recognize food. She told me turkeys wont recognize food and need to see it eaten to realize what it is. Well this doesn't really seem to be the problem. I recommend trying the chicken thing. Even if they can see other turkeys eating.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    If I am understanding you: the 4 Royals are eating the chick starter without issue? (not ideal protein/but will suffice - I'd augment with crushed hard boiled eggs and meal worms/wounded crickets). It is the scratch grain/ranged bunch that are not eating? Were any of those turks Started on commercial crumbles/pellets? (turks are creatures of habit on food choice - early exposure makes getting them to eat it, simpler, later on). Could be your forage (grasses/insect/small reptiles) was better in previous years (weather variation, etc.) has diminished in quality. Could be the limited diet has made them susceptible to some disease(s) and poor/no appetite is an early sign. Grab some moths, etc. from around outdoor lights first thing in the morning and offer the fluttering things to the puny turks. If they grab them right up then, yes, crush up some hard boiled eggs and drop some fluttering moths on top of the pile. Here is a good reference on pastured turkeys: http://www.albc-usa.org/downloads.html In 2011 we had a hatch that consumed just about as half as much Starter, as did others, owing to the flush of cicadas that year (same with our Wild Eastern population - exploded - next year - drought - and population crashed). [​IMG]
     
  8. guineafowlguy

    guineafowlguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes all my turkeys were stated on chick starter as they were all raised with chicks.

    I will offer them some bugs and see what they do. It is hard to resist a giant juicy grasshopper. [​IMG]
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    All my poults get 22% pellets. THe chicks with them get 22%.

    maybe the population of insects that was available in passed years is not avaialbe this year for what ever reason. THis year they need a protein source and a 22-30% protein feed would be helpful if they also free range.

    My birds cruise the farm stealing every pellet they can find. Usually this is 16-18-22% commercial pellets.

    Feeding animals by freeranngiing takes a bit of management that is not so obvious until you are in the middle of it.

    Good luck.
     

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