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New to Turkeys!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by FowlPrincess, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. FowlPrincess

    FowlPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I just got 2 little turkeys (1 palm 1 bourbon) and am not sure what to feed them. I was going to do chick starter but I read they might need more protein. Any suggestions? Also, when can I start supplementing their diet with greens? Same as chickens?

    Thanks!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    How old are they? It's recommended to feed a game bird starter for the first 4-6 weeks before stepping down to something with 20-22% protein for another 4-6 weeks, than an all flock ration with 18-20% protein. Supplementing the hens with oyster shells during the laying season.

    I have raised poults on chick starter, they do okay but grow more slowly. I wouldn't raise birds grown for meat on it solely.

    This year's poults I fed a chick started and gave them a daily helping of scrambled eggs to boost the protein a bit and they grew a bit faster. So that's how I plan to raise mine from now on.

    Game bird starter is hard to find around here and often the bags are older as people don't buy it as often, where chick starter is more fresh.
     
  3. CarlisChickens

    CarlisChickens New Egg

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    Our feed store sells turkey poult starter. It's a 26% protein ration, and can be medicated or unmedicated. Since turkeys are so susceptible to bacterial infections as poults, the medicated feed is recommended for the first 6 weeks. Like the pp said, the turkey poult starter is very similar to the wild game starter. Chick starter doesn't have enough protein and could leave your birds more vulnerable to infection or bad habits like pecking.
     
  4. FowlPrincess

    FowlPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I assume from the feathers on the wings they are about 2 weeks old. I think I will go ahead and use the chicken starter with the eggs, that sounds like a great alternative. They are pets, so fast growth is not my goal. Just happy health pets ;)
     
  5. CarlisChickens

    CarlisChickens New Egg

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    The point of having an appropriate starter (i.e. turkey starter) isn't to ensure fast growth, it's to ensure optimum growth, in other words, optimum health. Chicken starter doesn't provide enough protein, but if you're diligent with providing them with eggs, it's probably just as well. Just more work and expense for you, and you won't be sure they're getting all the other minerals they might need that could be different from a chick. I don't know a ton about poultry diets, but I do know that turkey poults sit around and dream up ways to die, so I like to be sure that I follow all the recommendations I can to make sure they don't die of something preventable by me. Good luck!
     
  6. FowlPrincess

    FowlPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have checked at all 3 feed stores and no turkey starter. just chicken. Can they have greens at 2 weeks?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have never lost a turkey poult. I raised a few batches on chick starter only and didn't really see any difference. These are all my own experiences. I get my poults outside on some grass as soon as possible, and they stay outside all day in a fence that is moved daily. This year's batch was recently integrated with the adults at about 9 weeks of age.

    People don't like me saying they can be raised on chick starter, but I have seen it can be done and that they do okay. This year's batch with scrambled eggs added in, about 1-2 eggs daily for my 4, seems to be a good combo. They were a bit stinky with their poop, but grew a bit better, and I stopped the eggs after about 2 months and now they just have the chick starter. They are healthy and strong as are all mine.

    The poults were quite eager each day for their eggs and would get excited to see me, so it also made them more friendly.
     
  8. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's probably there, just not very well advertised, you're basically looking for a high protein percentage chick starter. Like oldhenlikes dogs wrote, you need to supplement with higher protein stuff if you can't find an appropriate feed.

    We get the 30% wild game starter when available from the local feed stores, and then fall back on TSC's 24% chick starter when not available (notice that none of those mention turkeys). A wally world starter feed probably never was the sole cause of a turk death, but it sure makes them grow slow if that's all you give em.

    Good luck!
     

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