New to me Turkey - A few questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by happymom99, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. happymom99

    happymom99 Songster

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    Hi there,
    I have a acquired a pet turkey from someone who had to rehome him. He is a male and he was hand raised as a pet. He is super personable and sweet and is following us around like a dog. Maybe he needs turkey friends??? Anyway, His variety is Black Spanish and he is about 9 months old. I've never had a turkey before and I have a few questions.

    First, about his food. The person who had him before me told me that I should feed him chicken feed because if I feed him turkey feed he will get so big he will not be able to walk. The person at the feed store told me this is not true and that I should be giving him more protein. Which is right?

    Next, I imagine he is a flock bird like my chickens and would like to have a couple of lady turkeys to be "friends" with. The guy at my feed store told me this is not necessary. What do you think? And if you do think I should get him lady friends, how many?

    Thank you so much! We are really enjoying our new turkey and appreciate any help! :)
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. FredsGobblers

    FredsGobblers Songster

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    At 9 months he would be ok with an all flock feed of 16-18% protein. If you feed a layer feed to your chickens he does not need the added calcium. You can feed all birds an all flock feed with free choice oyster shell for the calcium needed by hens for laying.
    If it is a he, you will want to keep separate from chickens so he does not try to breed chicken hens and accidentally squash a hen. It would be a good idea to get him 2-4 hens depending on his mentality. Some toms are ok with couple hens and do not over breed while others need more hens to divide his attention among them.
     
    penny1960, BeanBoy, memphis and 4 others like this.
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    If it is an adult turkey, it can have a quality chicken feed as long as it is not layer feed. A tom does not need the extra calcium they put in layer feed for hens. If it is a Black (APA does not recognize the designation Black Spanish) it is a heritage turkey and should not need the concerns that are required for feed for broad breasted turkeys. Personally I would give it a quality all flock or flock raiser feed.

    Turkeys are flock birds and do best with companionship of their own kind. I try to keep at least 4 to 5 hens for each tom but anything more than one hen is a step in the right direction.

    Good luck.
     
    penny1960, memphis, sourland and 3 others like this.
  4. PeacockNFlight

    PeacockNFlight Chirping

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    If you don’t want 5-7 turkeys, get him a few lady friends to start with. My tom was very happy with 2. He didn’t pester the tail feathers off the hens, but divided his time and protected them well. He also became friends with my other roosters and hens. Welcome to Turkey raising and have fun!
     
    memphis, NHMountainMan and happymom99 like this.
  5. happymom99

    happymom99 Songster

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    Thank you so much, everyone! He has been eating lay feed so I will switch to an all flock right away. He came with three laying hens that he lives with so I will for sure put oyster shell out for them. I don’t really see how I can feed it just to them and not him though. Do I need to worry about him eating it or will he not be interested?

    Once I can find a couple of turkey hens I will move the laying hens he now has as coop-mates/friends in with my other laying hens. Then they’ll just have lay feed with the other girls.

    My goodness, we just love him! He is so fun and such an awesome addition to our little suburban mini “farm”. I hope I can find him a couple lady friends soon.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  6. happymom99

    happymom99 Songster

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    Oh! One more thing... he doesn’t go into his coop at night like the chickens do. He wants an escort. . Is this normal?

    It is funny now, and really easy to do, but I could see how guiding him across the yard, especially once he has lady friends too, every night could get old. Sometimes he will walk over to his run on his own, but he never goes into the actual coop on his own.
     
    penny1960, memphis and NHMountainMan like this.
  7. PeacockNFlight

    PeacockNFlight Chirping

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    Did he roost inside or out before you got him?
     
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  8. happymom99

    happymom99 Songster

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    Inside. But his previous owner would also guide him into his coop.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  9. happymom99

    happymom99 Songster

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    I can’t let him stay outside in his run. It isn’t fully predator safe. I primarily worry about raccoons reaching in or coyotes digging under. Or bob cats digging in- but I don’t know if they do that.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  10. GotCoop

    GotCoop Songster

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    Enjoy him...they are fun.
     
    penny1960 and memphis like this.

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