Question on poults

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by chickymama32, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. chickymama32

    chickymama32 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new to turkeys and last week we brought home two 2 week old pouts. Its in the high 90's this week so they are outside in the day and inside in the evening. My question is when can they start running around outside and exploring? I do have chickens and they will be with them eventually. The chickens are still pullets....

    Has anyone done the natural route with their turkeys and how did it work? I am using chick start because its organic and going to switch them to scratch and peck turkey grower in a few weeks.

    When do you all put your turkeys outside for good? They will be dinner birds so we don't plan on having them that long. They have kennels they will be using as coops.

    So any awesome info for new turkey owners you can provide would be awesome!

    What do I look for in sick turkeys? POO wise. Is turkey poop generally softer? It seems like with turkeys I am having to change the bedding 2x a day where I didn't have to with the chicks.

    Anyways there are not a lot of helpful turkey sites out there so just looking for insight from someone who has raised them and particularly in the summer time,

    Thanks!
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Turkey poults are not quite as bright as chicks. You really gotta look out for them. I always raise my poults with chicks, because they seem to learn from the chicks that are much more active.

    So my answer is to let them out the same time you start to let your pullets out.
     
  3. MsPoultry

    MsPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two 1 1/2 year old turkeys and they've always been extremely healthy even though i read several times how weak their immune system is.On the other hand their intelligence is extremely dim.You have to care for them more than chicks and baby proof any area there around.When you don't they will easily injure them self's.Good luck![​IMG]
     
  4. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I can't say that I agree with you on turkeys. I've raised about a dozen varieties now, from wild to older and newer heritage strains to commercial turkeys and they are very inquisitive and quick to learn. I've never had to baby proof more than with chicks, other than ensuring feed bowls and waterers are heavy enough not to tip over.

    A neighbor's malamute ripped through chain link last year and killed 23 of my laying hens and two turkeys. One turkey was the lead tom, who was defending his flock, he was alive but mortally wounded so I had to put him down, the other was a blue slate hen who got herself trapped in the wire. The other 20 turkeys escaped to safety, then came back after the dog was gone. The chickens that survived were spread far and wide around the neighborhood and were a PITA to round up. All the birds had equal flight capability, they can all attain 8 feet vertical which was enough to get on the roof of the coop or into lower branches of the trees. The chickens just ran around in circles, making it easy for the dog to grab them.

    The ones that are stupid are broiler chicks. I've had them get trapped under the feeder because they can't figure out how to go backwards to get free. Or they repeatedly stick their heads through the chicken wire to look at the turkeys. Once, I can understand. But many peck marks proves they aren't fast learners.

    I've raised bantams and chicks with my turkeys because the chicken eggs fit nicely between turkey eggs in the incubator. They share the space once they hatch but they are not "birds of a feather" and interact only as much as they need to.

    As for the OP's two week old poults, they are fine to go outside under supervision during the day in dry weather. Be sure they have access to water and shade. Until their feathers come in and the body down is gone, they can't be out in the rain or they will catch a chill.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  5. Hounds51

    Hounds51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally agree with WalnutHill I have both turkeys and chickens and it is my opinion that Turkeys are far smarter than chickens.
    At least that's the way I see it. I never had any problems starting turkey poults. My babies always found the water and food fresh out of the hatch. Once grown they are one of the toughest birds. Problem is getting there. I think they are much more fragile in the peep stage than chicks.
    Just my opinion
    Dennis
     
  6. MsPoultry

    MsPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only reason i think turkeys aren't all that smart is because my female BBW has almost killed her self several times.We have 1 dog that has his area where his chain reaches and practically every bird we have knows he's bad knews.She had to test him and got severely mauled and barely lived.My BBB hasn't got himself in to any trouble so far.So maybe it's her as an individual that isn't smart.I've only grown up 3 turkeys all together.I don't let them out of the pen without supervision now.I just keep the 2 of them as pets.I shouldn't be so harsh to the intelligence of the whole specie.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  7. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Unfortunately, BBW and BBB have been selectively bred for feed efficiency and rapid growth for decades, not for any of a turkey's natural traits that would be selected by nature in a free ranging environment. I understand your position now, it's very much like my comment about commercial broiler chickens. They weren't bred for brains. In fact, being dumb makes them easier to handle.

    My heritage meat flock has access to my lawn within a plastic snow fence enclosure, which serves more as a visual barrier than a flight barrier. They often end up on the wrong side of the fence when playing around. The head tom has learned to pull back one corner of the fence to let the strays walk back in. I thought that was pretty clever! If he's not paying attention, they run around to that corner and wait for someone to let them back in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  8. MsPoultry

    MsPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow that is really clever!
     

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