Turkey starter feed question

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kywest, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. kywest

    kywest In the Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2009
    central Ohio
    I bought two 4 wk old turkey chicks from a guy who raises a lot of hatchery poultry to make extra $. He also sold me an unmarked bag of what he called "starter", but now I'm really questioning that it has the appropriate protein level for my turkey chicks. I have a feeling it is chick starter and not game bird, as he raises a lot of chickens. They are refusing to touch the "supplements" i give them (very scary meat, mealworms, egg, etc). Should I just go buy a bag of game bird? How much feed do you think two pouts will go through between now and thanksgiving? If this unknown stuff really is game bird starter, can i give it safely to my laying hens, maybe mixed with their layer feed?
    Also, unrelated to feed, these guys freak out whenever we come near! not that i want to make pets out of my dinner, but i do like calm birds that aren't stressed out by my presence. I've been picking them up every day for a week, trying to calm them down, but they still insist on crashing their little heads into the roof of the rabbit hutch we currently are housing them in whenever i try to open the cage, even just to feed/clean. Any thoughts on this? I'm afraid the stress will hinder their growth and maybe i should just leave them alone ....
    thanks for your help!
     
  2. OmaBird

    OmaBird Songster

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    May 10, 2010
    CA High Desert
    What kind of turkeys? It makes a difference when it comes to how much food. All turkeys need 28-30 protein for the first 8 weeks. Then BB turkeys can go to a lower protein about 20%.

    My turkeys are raised in my house. They can see me all day long. I am the food lady or momma. I don't want pets either but it makes it easier when you need to catch them if they come to you and don't run away. When you do pick them up don't go over the top of them like a peditor. Move slow and pick them up from the bottom. As they grow don't let them disrespect you. It is a fine line. I have a three year old grandson that likes to play with them. I don't want any mean birds and I don't want them to run from him. When he was a baby they where his babysitter when I got my chores done.

    When I have raised turkeys in my barn or garage they do not seem to be as friendly. I have not noticed any difference in breeds. Its all how they are raised. Even my runner ducks that some people say are afraid of their own shadow are calm and people friendly if raised this way.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  3. kywest

    kywest In the Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2009
    central Ohio
    one is a BB, the other is a blue slate. hahahah turkeys in the house. hubby would flip at this notion! I'll have to continue to just offer food and quiet company. Wish they liked treats so I had something yummy to offer. My chickens don't like to be picked up, but they will mob me for a treat!
    As i continue to read about turkeys (should've done this earlier, i guess) it looks like they aren't going to be very large by thanksgiving....should i plan on saving for them christmas, or just plan on small turkeys to roast? They are about 4-5 wks old now.
     
  4. OmaBird

    OmaBird Songster

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    May 10, 2010
    CA High Desert
    It would not be home without some farm animal in the house. It seems normal to us. My husband was raised without even dogs allowed in the house. I have changed him. If you Blue slate is a Tom it might be big enough by Christmas. I like them over a year to 18 months but I not sure many people raise them that long. I like them fully flavored and develop fat. 6 to 9 months seem to be the normal time I have read on this borad. The BB turkey will be fine.
     
  5. PatS

    PatS Songster

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    I try to keep the chick starter away from my laying hens, because it is often medicated. But to be honest, they often try to sneak into the babies' cage to get some because to a bird, anyone else's food is more delicious than their own.


    If you are concerned, get some gamebird starter. I would. They'll finish it. Turkeys eat a LOT as they grow. A LOT. I wish I could give you stats, but I just go to the feed store when the bag gets low. But I go much more often than I did when it was just a dozen hens.
     
  6. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2010
    Quote:I have never seen medicated food for turkeys. What are they being medicated for? I was feeding turkey starter from Universal Feed/ Kruse/Western Milling when 20 of my turkeys died. It looks like the feed manufacture makes medicated feed for other animals and does not clean out the bins and miss labels there products in a warning from the FDA last month. Read http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm221127.htm From what I read it seems to be common. You could be getting alot in your feed that you don't know your feeding. In my case it was deadly. This company even sells organic feed but they can't even clean out a medicated bin. I would worry with any feed that does not have anything on the label. What I know now, my food did not even have a tracking number or date made. Thats not legal. For me I would throw out anything that does not tell you all the information of what is in it and how to feed it.

    Here is another article about the feed company my food came from. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/08/fda-works-with-mill-to-get-medicated-feed-done-right/

    In 5 weeks they still have not called me regarding my turkeys.
     
  7. Shaun

    Shaun Songster

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    Sep 24, 2008
    SW Central Michigan
    Gosh, here in Michigan where I live try to buy UNmedicated feed for young turkeys! Can't be had unless you special order and are willing to buy a LOT - like a ton?
     
  8. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    I would throw out whatever you have that is unlabelled and find some unmedicated 28-30% protein gamebird or turkey starter. Its not so expensive that you can't get rid of 10 or 20 pounds of the stuff...especially if you don't know what it is. They won't eat more than about a bag a piece between now and thanksgiving, but if they're only four weeks old, the slate won't be ready for eating. Probably pretty good around easter though. The BB can be eaten whenever you want. Thanksgiving would put it at 15 or 16 week I think. That should be about right for a 15-20 lb bird.

    I had a hard time finding high protein starter around here. The only place I could find it was ar a feed store that sells chicken feed that some chickens refuse to eat, so I was a little nervous. Turkeys ate their feed. If you can't find high protein starter, your next best bet is probably meat maker for meat chickens. Its about 22% protein.
     

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