New to hatching, brooding and raising turkeys. Would love some advice :)

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Hope It, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Hope It

    Hope It In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2014
    Towns County, GA
    Hi, I'm getting my Beltsville White Turkey eggs in a couple days and will pop them into the incubator eagerly!! But then what? lol

    I currently breed, incubate and raise quail and love it. I can't have chickens (live in a forrest, little sunlight makes it through the towering trees and no grass around, just leaves everywhere, no real roaming ground available, so....), but am now ready to move on to a larger bird, so going to a turkey. I want to grow them out, eat some and keep some to breed.

    Here's what I need help with:
    * How do I brood turkeys? any pointers and best practices I should know about?
    * When do I move them out into the pen (outside)? It's getting to be cold overnight, here in north Georgia, around 40s. I will have an enclosed area for them with a heat lamp, as well as an open run in their pen. It gets as cold as 10-15 overnight on coldest nights, but usually stays around 25/30 in the winter.
    * What is the ratio (male to female) I should keep, once they are in the pen?
    * Do turkeys sit on their own eggs and actually hatch out babies (my quail don't.... needless to say). Or am I better off snatching those eggs and incubating them myself?
    * When do they start laying and what should I watch for?

    I know it's asking a lot, but if anyone out there with turkey raising experience has a few minutes to put down their expertise in writing - I would very much appreciate it!!! :)

  2. shaninsky

    shaninsky In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2014
    Hi there, I'm not familiar with Beltsville Whites. Are they a broad-breasted or a standard turkey? If they are standard, they should be able to reproduce on their own and raise their babies. I keep four hens and 1 tom.

    Standard turkeys are good flyers so a covering over the run is a good idea unless you keep their flight feathers trimmed.

    I am in a northerly part of Canada and my adult turkeys don't have any heat supplement. It gets to -20 average here in the winter. There is a solid wall on the north side of their coop and a good roof to keep the weather out. Ventilation is important.

    Best of luck on your new adventure
  3. Hope It

    Hope It In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2014
    Towns County, GA
    Much appreciate the info!!
    What about brooding? Is it a must to brood indoors the entire duration or would a covered hutch with a heat lamp do?
  4. Redbourbon

    Redbourbon In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2014
    central Maine
    Hello,we kept our 20- two day old poults in brooderfor 3 wks started at95 and lowered it 5deg. every week They did fine this spring and summer,Hoping to keep 7 thru the winter to hatch eggs from next spring,
  5. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chirping

    May 31, 2013
    Middle Tennessee
    We raise Heritage Bronze, Narragansett and Rio Grande...We incubate because our hens all went broody at the same time and fought over eggs and then squished 2 poults when they did hatch some. We keep the babies inside for 6-8 weeks with a heat lamp for the first month or so. Poults are not supposed to be exposed to any drafts for the first 6 weeks. The rest of their inside time, they are in the garage in a bigger pen.

    As for shelter, we built turkey hutches inside 10x30 runs (that includes chicken wire on the top of the run) and they don't go inside...just roost on top of it. We cover the end of their run with heavy mil plastic in the winter to give them protection from the cold wind, rain and snow.

    We have a ratio of 3-4 hens per Tom.

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