Raising turkey questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by jade0206, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. jade0206

    jade0206 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2013
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    i am looking at getting some Red Bourbon Turkeys, I never raise turkeys or chickens. I have chickens but got them at 16 weeks so they did not have to be inside. I need advise on what kind of brooder to get i would like to have one big enough so i could keep them in the same one till it was time to go outside. At what age can they go outside and what does the temp need to be outside. Also i would be putting them in with my chickens when they got outside, can i let them free range during the day and put them in the coop at night? I really wanted a male and female but it seem that they do not sex the turkeys since it is hard to tell. i will be picking up my poults i guess there is nothing i could look for when they are that young that would tell me if they are male or female. thanks for the help in advance.
     
  2. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, Bourbons are a fine, fine choice for a first time turkey breeder. They're so amazingly friendly and sweet and curious that you can just shut the TV off forever and watch their antics, very entertaining.
    Now for a brooder.....you didn't say how many babies you're getting so I can't really help there. We have a big closet type affair out in our garage where we keep the babies. There's a heat light pretty low down on one end and another higher up at the other end. So they can't get stupid and freeze themselves but they won't fry under the heat if it's too much. I put my babies on pine shavings (you'll get different advice from everyone on what to use for bedding) so that I can use the stuff in my compost pile when we're done with that batch. I start out at 98 degrees and and drop a couple degrees each week because it's winter and I want the whole process of them getting used to the climate to go slowly. I also always buy a baby chick to go in with my turkeys. The baby chicks show the turkeys where to go to eat and where the water is and if you get one of the nurturing varieties like Cochins the turkeys will look upon him/her as Momma forever if you let them.
     
  3. jade0206

    jade0206 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks i am thinking up getting 4, How many weeks till you put them outside? one more question right now it goes down to 25-30 degrees over night and maybe 40-50 during the day. i have a shed outside that i was going to block off and area but there is no heat so i can just put the lights and that would be fine? the place i am getting them from i can get them a little older so they would be like 1 week or 2 week old. would i still need a chick? thanks
     
  4. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 2 weeks old, you should not need a chick, but you will still need a heat lamp, a cover over the brooder and under the lamps, so they will not break the lights when they start to fly, and a accurate thermometer. I have my brooder at 90 degrees to start with and drop the temperature about 5 degrees a week, until it is at ambient night time temps. outside. Then they can go outside. that takes about 8 weeks or so. After that make sure their area is draft free and can not get wet when it rains. Adult turkeys are hard as nails and deal with adverse conditions very well, but as young poults, they are very delicate! They will die, overnight, if exposed to a chill, before they are fully feathered out. Yes, the person is right when he or she told you they cannot accurately be sexed. Even the professionals who sex chicks in hatcheries, can't, that's why they are sold as straight run, only. It makes me laugh whenever someone says they bought a breeding pair at 3 or 4 weeks old. It takes at least 3 months to tell, so if you want a breeding pair, I would suggest you get 3 or 4, as your odds would greatly improve! Good Luck with your turkeys!!![​IMG]
     
  5. Calebs Farm

    Calebs Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2013
    San Antonio, TX
    We have (6) two week old Rio Grande turkeys and feed them start and grow blended with oatmeal for the extra protein. Maybe once a day we will add 2 hard boiled chicken egg yoaks for a treat and the eat it right up...
     
  6. jade0206

    jade0206 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2013
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    thanks for the info.

    I have 19 chickens and 1 rooster, i was going to put my turkeys with them when theycan be outside. the ouside coop is about 20'x40' fence is 12 foot high. we will be putting nettting over top, but the only thing is the door is to small for the turkeys to get inside, what kind of outside housing should I do for them, or do they need to be able to go inside?
     
  7. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A 20'x40' is a lot of coup for just 20 chickens, but I would suggest you get another roo, because if anything happened you won't be able to hatch any chicks from infertile eggs and 1 to 19 is a hit or miss ratio. Most people keep 1 roo for no more than 10 hens, but that's just a suggestion, of course ! Turkeys would rather be out of doors, most of the time, so if you don't have a predator problem and if you are not going to put your poults outside until they are over 3 months old or until the night temps are warm, you should be alright! Can you enlarge the opening to accommodate the turkeys?
     
  8. jade0206

    jade0206 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2013
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    I could make the opening bigger but it would be a pain it is concrete. i was thinking of just having them in the outdoor coop which has netting over top and building maybe something they could go under outside if it is raining and then if we get alot of snow i have another shed i could put them in. from what i been reading adult birds can take the weather better then chickens is this correct?
     
  9. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, even though turkey poults are very fragile, as adults, they are hard as nails !
     
  10. turkeyguy123

    turkeyguy123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2013
    agreed
     

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