Turkey Advice

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Chickenlover720, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Chickenlover720

    Chickenlover720 Songster

    82
    180
    111
    May 15, 2018
    W Central Indiana
    I just brought home four turkey poults yesterday. I think that they are drinking fine but they haven't been eating a whole lot. What is the best way to get the turkeys to eat? How much should they be eating at this point? I am feeding them a 27% turkey/gamebird starter feed.
     
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  2. Themagicone

    Themagicone In the Brooder

    29
    32
    49
    Aug 28, 2018
    Ramsey, MN
    Get a few chicks to put with them. I've been told that baby turkeys are dumb as rocks and will starve themselves to death unless they have someone to show how to eat. I got 10 myself few weeks ago and have already lost 4 of them.
     
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

    10,714
    30,328
    1,131
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Turkey poults are not dumb. They have different instincts than chicken chicks. Instinct has nothing to do with intelligence.

    I have no trouble getting poults to start eating. Their instinct is to peck at things on the ground. I use sand as a bedding material in the brooder. I sprinkle turkey starter on the sand. My poults usually start picking at the food and eating within minutes of being placed in the brooder. It can take them several days before they realize the food in the feeder can also be eaten.

    It can be more difficult getting just a few poults to start eating but I have never had any trouble getting large groups of poults to start eating.
     
  4. BirdsBeesTrees

    BirdsBeesTrees Crowing

    857
    2,906
    412
    Mar 10, 2019
    Iowa
    I put a few crushed up mealworms on their feed and make a tap, tap, tap noise to draw their interest to it. I do this several times a day. Also I give them a small lid of watered down feed, and draw their interest to it by dipping my finger and letting them peck it off. I give them a little bit of chick grit when I let them have some mealworms.
     
    Chickenlover720 likes this.
  5. Themagicone

    Themagicone In the Brooder

    29
    32
    49
    Aug 28, 2018
    Ramsey, MN
    Humm. My apologies. The hatchery I order from, Cackle, has told me that more than a few times. Also states it on their Turkey care instructions. They told me it was the reason I lost 4 so far.
     
  6. Chickenlover720

    Chickenlover720 Songster

    82
    180
    111
    May 15, 2018
    W Central Indiana
    Thank you all for the suggestions. :thumbsup
    I will be trying the mealworms trick and the wet food idea. I can get them to eat a little bit when I check on them by tapping in the food, but that seems to be the only time they eat.
    I don't think I want to put the chicks with them since they're so much bigger right now (my chicks are somewhere around four to five-ish weeks old) I'm also worried about the possibility of the chicks transmitting some disease to the poults.
    I did see them going to the waterer on their own--no coaxing so I am happy with that progress. I just dont want them to starve to death.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  7. BirdsBeesTrees

    BirdsBeesTrees Crowing

    857
    2,906
    412
    Mar 10, 2019
    Iowa
    They don't really eat a lot anyway. So as long as they're eating I'm sure they'll be fine. Make sure if you have them on wood shavings that they're the big kind. Our first batch of turkeys last year filled up on small shavings and several died. Now I keep them on puppy pads for several weeks.
     
  8. Chickenlover720

    Chickenlover720 Songster

    82
    180
    111
    May 15, 2018
    W Central Indiana
    I was wondering about that. I may actually need to change out the bedding since mine is the stuff that's a but smaller. thank you for mentioning it.
     
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  9. Chickenlover720

    Chickenlover720 Songster

    82
    180
    111
    May 15, 2018
    W Central Indiana
    Here is an update if anyone is interested:
    The turkeys seem to have gotten the hang of eating. I noticed that in the morning the level of their food seemed to have gone down. They all four seem to be acting fine--scurrying around. I have now numerous times watched them go to their waterer and feeder without me coaxing them. I have also exchanged their bedding to wood shavings with much less dust.
    Honeysuckle, Butterball, Jennie-O, and Ham doing great!
    20190503_151406.jpg
     
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  10. BirdsBeesTrees

    BirdsBeesTrees Crowing

    857
    2,906
    412
    Mar 10, 2019
    Iowa
    Awesome news! :thumbsup Cute turkeys!
     
    Chickenlover720 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: