Turkey feed question

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by dd33, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. dd33

    dd33 Hatching

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    May 28, 2019
    I have 8 Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys that I started on Purina Game Bird Starter (30% protein). They are 8 weeks old now and I think I need to transition them to a grower or conditioner diet between 20 and 24% protein. I can't find anything like this around me. My feed store is suggesting I use chick starter at 19% protein. Will this be ok?
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there, welcome to BYC! :frow

    You could always mix the two feed to get the ratio where you want it. That's what I do sometimes. Before raising turkeys, my preferred feed was the Purina flock raiser 20% protein.

    Otherwise I might stick with the higher protein feed UNLESS you want to slow their growth. :confused:

    @R2elk please offer your suggestions if you have the time? TIA
     
  3. dd33

    dd33 Hatching

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    May 28, 2019
    Hi, thanks for responding. I was thinking it might be best to slow their growth a bit. I have read that these broad breasted birds can get way too heavy for their legs pretty quickly.
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Chick starter does not have the levels of lysine, methionine and niacin that they need. A good all flock feed at 20% protein will have much higher levels of lysine, methionine and niacin than any chick starter will have.

    You can help out the thiamine and niacin situation by mixing a vitamin B complex at the rate of 1/2 tablet or capsule with one gallon of water. Make it the only source of water and do not add anything else to the water. It should be made fresh daily.
    The famous leg issue is because too many people think that slowing their growth down by using poorer quality feed (lower protein) is the way to go. What they don't understand is that it isn't all about the protein levels. The leg issues are usually due to perosis which is caused by a deficiency of thiamine and niacin. Proper turkey or gamebird feed have the necessary amounts of these vitamins but chicken feeds do not contain them at high enough levels to prevent the problems.

    I raised BB turkeys on proper turkey feeds and never had any leg issues. My turkeys did also get lots of exercise and free range time.
     
    casportpony and EggSighted4Life like this.
  5. dd33

    dd33 Hatching

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    May 28, 2019
    I will stay away from the chicken feeds for sure then. Would it be ok to keep them on the 30% game bird starter then?
    I just moved the turkeys from their 10x20 pen to a 3/4 acre fenced pasture. They are loving the grass and the space.
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    At their age, an all flock feed will be better for them. Some companies call theirs all flock while other companies may call it flock raiser instead. The 30% game bird starter is way above and beyond what they need plus far more expensive than an all flock feed.
     
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  7. dd33

    dd33 Hatching

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    May 28, 2019
    Ok, thanks. The feed store I use doesn't have a flock raiser product, so I checked Tractor Supply and they have the Purina Flock Raiser Crumbles. I think its about $4 per bag more expensive than the game bird starter I am currently feeding but I can live with that.
     
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Is this also your preference for heritage breeds?
     
  9. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Absolutely, the only thing I no longer do that I used to with the BBs was to use a turkey finisher.

    Now, I only raise heritage turkeys. I start them with a 28% protein turkey or gamebird starter and switch them to a 24% protein turkey or gamebird grower and then they go on a 20% protein all flock pellets. Once they are old enough to be integrated into the general population they get all the free range they want.
     
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  10. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Here a 28% protein turkey or gamebird starter costs me about $24 for 50 lbs. The 20% protein all flock feed is $14.50 for 50 lbs.
     

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