Poult help?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by BillyRocks, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. BillyRocks

    BillyRocks Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Jun 5, 2009
    HI all,

    I recently had 2 hens a bronze and Bourbon sitting on eggs between the two of them hatched 15! on the second day we had a death. On the third day the bronze hen claimed the remaing 14 as her own and the red hen just follows her around. she has been sitting on all the poults with the BR sitting practicly on top of her. Day 4 we lost another baby. Found it laying upside down writhing unable to walk.
    Today day 5 i have just found another doing the same thing.
    I live in Australia over the last week it has been hitting 43 degrees celcius here (109.4 F) I have been hosing the grass where have been staying and making sure they are in the shade.
    What is the average mortality rate of poults with there mothers?
    How badly does heat affect Turkeys? Its usally around 26C (78F) here and has been unsually hot.

    Last year we only got 1 poult and was always strong. This year with the weather and 15 poults i am close to a nervouse wreck!

    Any help would be greatly appreaciated.
    Billy
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    You must pen up one mother hen with the poults, or split them in half and give half of the poults to each hen but in separated pens. The hens are probably fighting over the nest and squashing the babies by accident. Even with one mother hen, she will be extremely careful exactly where she places her feet in order not to step on them, and with the confusion of two mothers that is likely the problem.

    Poults like to be very warm at first -- 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week, so it may be adding a bit to their stress to have it so hot, but make sure they have water very close to the nest so they can drink (they will learn from their mother how to drink). A note of caution on the water -- the poults can drown in less than an inch of water, so either give them a poult water which is shaped so they can't drown, or give them a pan of water filled with pebbles, so they can only reach in between the pebbles for water and can't drown in it. I had a baby drown in a small amount of water and i was very upset at my thinking they'd be ok.

    Also, make sure you give the poults very high protein feed made specifically for turkeys or wild game birds. Poults are different than chickens, in that they need 24-26 % protein feed for their first 2 months. If you can't get any you can substitute hard-boiled egg yolks. It will take them a day or two to begin eating, but once they taste them, they'll go nuts for the yolks. Not enough protein can equal mortality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  3. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    7,401
    64
    288
    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    Yep,
    I dont believe it's the heat, It gets that hot here in s. Georgia all summer long, and we have no issues with them. But one step by 2 moms, and they are done. I always put mine in a brooder and raise them myself too, just to assure nothing like this happens. You may want to think about building one for yours too. Take this scenario out, as well as feeding, preditors, etc. Way more controled way to raise them.
    Ours are 3' wide, 2 ' tall and 8' long for turkeys/peafowl. one end is fully boxed with plywood, except the interior wall which is left open. We also have them on 2-3 foot tall legs to keep them off the ground too and alows the pop to fall away from the poults to avoid disease issues.
    Hope this helps. I know it stinks to hatch out a bunch and slowy watch them die off.
    Good luck
     
  4. BillyRocks

    BillyRocks Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Jun 5, 2009
    Thanks guys, I am taking your advice!
    I really appreaciate the help!
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Let us know how it goes.

    By the way, if you have one hen raising the chicks, they do great! Just to disagree with the above poster, I do not think it is necessary to brood them, in fact I have done both, and I think the ones with the hen are much happier, healthier, and smarter. They eat and drink very fast as poults because mom shows them everything and they are great imitators. She also teaches them about danger, about what grass and bugs are good to eat, and how to fly and where to roost. If you brood, it takes a while for them to "get it" and they dont' learn as much. JMHO
     
  6. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    7,401
    64
    288
    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    HA, well just to disagree with the above poster as well. I have never let a mother raise them, for the same reason as the problems you are having. They arent stupid, they figure it all out very quick, and there is no risk at all of loosing one to predation, bullies, fighting parents, etc. Brooding is a much safer way. I never loose one to any of these reasons in a brooder. If teaching them is an issue, which it's not, toss a chicken biddy in there with them. all it takes if for 1 to start to eat, then like you said, they imitate and learn very quick. All I ever do is tap my finger in the feed once or twice, they will run over see what I am doing, then start eating, as for water, dip their beak when you put them in the brooder, then they know how to drink. As for life in the outside world, they pick all that up in a heart beat to from the other birds that are already out there.
    Basically, either method will work, brooders are much just safer, controled, and avoid unnecessary losses
     
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Quote:[​IMG] OK, another big difference here is that one way YOU do all the work, the other way mother HEN does all the work. (Had to toss that in!!). My hens are awesome with their little ones!!
     
  8. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    7,401
    64
    288
    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    I'd still rather spend 5 minutes a day feeding and watering them and keep them all alive myself. Free ranged babies around here are picked off like flies from preditors...But to each his own
     
  9. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Billy,
    You said in your first post you are wetting the grass they are on? A damp wet poult = a dead poult pretty quickly. They can get various respiratory problems from the dampness also when raising them on the ground you have to watch for Cocci. check out this link -

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/200800.htm


    There is nothing wrong with letting a hen brood poults in fact all our breeder turkeys are hen raised. Hen raised results in stronger, more healthy poults over all. For hen raised you do need to take a few extra steps. We isolate the hen and poults in a covered "maturnity" pen, before we put them in we add a couple inches or centimeters in your case [​IMG] of clean fresh sand and feed medicated feed as a Cocci preventative. If we can be of any other help feel free.

    A couple days old
    [​IMG]

    same poults a couple of weeks old

    [​IMG]

    Steve in NC
     
  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Quote:Your position is completely understandable if the predators abound.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by