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Same age, very different size -protein % or disease?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by chickennamedpoe, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. chickennamedpoe

    chickennamedpoe New Egg

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    May 27, 2011
    So I have 2 approximately 8 week old bronze breasteds. One is definitely twice the size as the other. I am concerned about disease or wrong feed.

    Here's the back story:

    Some friends and I went in together and bought a batch of turkey chicks all the same age. I took 2 and put them in the brooding box that we had used for our chicks a week earlier. I didn't clean it out very well, which now I've learned blackhead is a concern. The chickens were all healthy. I lost one to slipped tendon so my friend lent me one of hers to raise with my remaining turkey. The remaining one looks perky, no drooping head/wings, eating/drinking fine. Stool is a bit loose and dark, but no blood/mucus or yellow. I've fed mine 18% chick starter crumble.

    When I got the loaned turkey chick from my friend, I was surprised by how big it was -almost double. I've had them together about 5 days and I think it's even bigger. Mine doesn't seem to be growing much at all. Now my friend did have hers on a 20% chick starter and supplement some raw milk. The new turkey does have some diarrhea, no blood/yellow though, and perky/eating etc. I added some vinegar to the water and it seems to be improving so I chalked that up to stress.

    Would the 2% difference in protein make that much difference in size over 8 weeks? Should I be worried about blackhead from the used chicken brooder (though we're beyond incubation time and the bird would supposedly be dead by now from what I read...) or another disease? I don't think it male/female difference as all my friends chicks were about twice the size of mine.

    Thanks for the help! this is my first time with turkeys!

    ~Sonia
     
  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    A turkey raised on 18% is like raising a puppy on corn. Turkeys need 28-30% for the first 12 weeks or so and 20% after that. Yes, the 2% from 18 to 20 is huge. Jut think if you had it on the proper 28-30%, yours would dwarf his.
     
  3. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Escanaba, MI
    I have my turkey poults on gamebird starter crumble, which is 28%. The 2% difference between you and your friend's feed could certainly make a difference. They need a lot of protein for feather and muscle growth.
     
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Is there anything out there I can buy in the way of an ingredient that is very high in protein? Something like some kind of meat meal or perhaps alfalfa meal?

    The local manufacturer here only makes a 26% protein gamebird starter, so thats the highest protein content food I can find.

    What can I add to it or feed instead of at some times to up the protein to the 30% level suggested?
     
  5. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    The 26% would be much better than the 18% you are feeding. FYI, soy meal is very high in protien and you could mit it to get the right ratio but the 26% will be fine for the age they are now.
     
  6. chickennamedpoe

    chickennamedpoe New Egg

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    May 27, 2011
    Great! thanks for the quick replies. I guess I'll go find myself some higher protein feed!
     
  7. MissTurkey4

    MissTurkey4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2011
    If you add 1 lb. soybean meal to 5 lb. 26% gamebird starter you will have a feed at the correct protien for a turkey. Soybean meal varies in protein, but most are between 45 to 55% protein.
     
  8. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:Well, that's excellent. Thanks.

    And, can I just grind my own soybean meal for this -- don't see why not? I've already got dried soybeans at home, I keep them for use in baking -- small amounts of soy flour augment the protein content of baked goods without adding too much flavor. Of course, I don't know what kind of soybeans they are, just plain little yellow organic ones from Whole Paychecks Market.
     
  9. MissTurkey4

    MissTurkey4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't see why you could not grind your own. I just buy it at the feed store. I mix alot of feeds.
     
  10. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2010
    Crestview, FL
    I have my poults on dumor 24% starter is that good enough or should I up it some more? If so how much should I add of what?
     

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