The thread where I ask stupid questions about poults.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by CrazyTalk, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been keeping chickens and ducks and geese for quite a while. Turkeys are a new thing to me though. Last night I had 8 Beltsville Small White turkey poults hatch out (and I think there's one more coming today - egg has pipped). I've got the 8 out of the incubator and into the brooder under light (after giving them enough time to get their feet under them).

    So far, they seem to be much more alert and responsive than chicks are at this point, and they don't seem to be nearly as skittish (I keep Spitzhauben and Runner ducks mostly, and they're terrified of everything).

    Is there anything beyond giving them access to water and starter ( I have a 28% 'sporting bird' starter) that I need to be doing? I've heard you need to teach them to eat and drink - is this true?

    Some of them seem to have more pronounced snood-bumps than others - is this a sign of a particular sex, or just variations in birds?


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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  2. mamachick8405

    mamachick8405 Out Of The Brooder

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    So cute! Yes, it's true. While they are the cutest, they are also very simple minded and have to follow something to learn. Without Mom, you need to guide them. It's easier to throw a couple same age chicks in with them for a coulple days until they catch on. They will instinctively follow them. You can try marbles, shiny, things in their water, or just keep dipping. Turkeys are also pretty sensitive to the temp. Make sure they stay comfy, and you should do fine:) They have the best personality, and are very comical to watch especially at that age:)
     
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Newly hatched poults should not be on shavings. They can and do eat the shavings and cannot digest them without having grit. Most people who use shavings cover them with paper towels for the first couple of weeks.

    I use sand for bedding and find that sprinkling the food on the bedding works well for getting them to start eating.

    Here is the link to Porter's Rare Heritage Turkeys information on how he starts poults.

    http://www.porterturkeys.com/poultstartingtips.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  4. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks - paper towels have been added to cover the shavings. I put a couple of little mounds of food in there - and they seem to be pecking at them.
     
  5. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some of them are definitely eating at this point, and I've seen a couple of them drinking - so good signs I guess. The 9th one hatched out last night, and the remaining egg looks like its about a week behind, so probably junk. Ordered a dozen eggs - got 18, 9 hatched out. That's pretty decent I think (once you factor in the shipping losses).


    Anyways, these are very different from chicks - way more inquisitive and aggressive at this age. I've got a singleton Spitz/EE cross chick that hatched out 7-10 days ago who got pecked up and had to be separated from its hatchmates, so I figured I'd throw it in with them to help teach them to eat/drink/etc. I was a little worried it'd pick on them (being 3 times their size).

    That wasn't what happened at all - I had to separate it after about 5 minutes because they were running up, grabbing him by the beak and pulling him around by the face. Pecking him in the feet, chasing him around, etc. The chick was so stressed out.
     

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