Turkey Problems and Fixes

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Pastors Chicks, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Pastors Chicks

    Pastors Chicks In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2017
    We have raised turkeys for about six years now. The first four years we bought them with new laying hens or meat chickens and raised them together. However, someone strongly advised us to not raise them together because they can pass viruses to one another. So last year we separated them. The first couple weeks we lost baby turkeys almost daily (died). I ended up calling the hatchery that the store we bought them from uses, and they suggested not feeding them chick starter, but feed them wild game starter because of the 28-30% protein. We did that and they seemed to do better.

    This year we decided to double up our turkey flock so next year we can have the summer of by not raising them. So we bought 22. In the first week we have lost 12. They are not raised with chickens. They are getting wild game bird feed (30%). Plenty of space, plenty of red light heat, insulated coop, fresh water. Still dead birds daily. Called the hatchery, no ideas. So we search and search the internet. One guy, (sorry I don't have the source) raises turkeys and explained that even though you dip their beaks in food and water when you first get them, baby turkeys are not so bright, they still forget, so he dips them once an hour for the first few days or so AND he puts some baby chickens with them. The chickens are smarter, show them once and they eat and drink, so they end up teaching the turkeys where the food and water is. SO we put six chicks in with them and am hoping that cures the daily dying problem

    Here is where a question finally comes to you all. I have one baby turkey (about a week old) that just constantly walks around pecking every other turkey and chicks eyes. Every time I sit with them and feed them or check on them this one is walking from bird to bird pecking at eyes. I grab its beak, I take it out and hold it upside down for a second, i bop it on the beak, doesn't matter, as soon as I put it down it goes around pecking eyes. Any ideas to stop this?
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  2. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

    Jul 13, 2017
    Northport WA
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you could join the Flock! Let me know if you need anything!:love:wee:welcome:goodpost::highfive::yesss::woot:celebrate
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    What chicks do by instinct and turkey poults don't do by instinct has nothing to do with being smart. Turkey poults learn very quickly which is why putting a chick in with them can be helpful in their learning to eat and drink. If all you do is stick the poults in a brooder with a feeder and a waterer, it may take them awhile to learn where the feed is.

    I have been raising turkeys for 30 years. I have no trouble getting my poults to eat and drink. I use sand as the bedding in my brooder. I sprinkle a quality turkey or gamebird starter on the sand. I dip each poult's beak in the water when I first put them in the brooder. I also supply them with a full feeder. Often within seconds of putting them in the brooder they are finding and eating the food that was scattered on the sand.

    A large group of poults will do a lot better job learning to eat and drink than a very small group will.
    There is no reason that the methods that you are using to discipline the poult have any meaning to it. Stop treating it so badly. It does not understand why you are doing this and it will never understand it. If you want to prevent it from pecking at eyes, separate it from the others.

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