Turkey Poults And How To Raise Them

Published: 22nd January 2010
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The four tips in this article will help you to take the difficulty out of raising baby turkeys, which are better known as turkey poults.

Tip 1
For the first few weeks of their life baby turkey hide under their mothers wings to keep warm. If you are raising turkey poults on your own it is important to have a good heat source for them. For the first week it is best to keep the temperature around 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit, then lower the temperature slowly by 5 degrees Fahrenheit per week until they are fully feathered. This should take around 6-8 weeks.

Here are a few ways to tell if the temperature is right:

1. Too cold - the turkey poults are huddled around the heat source
2. Too hot - they are far away from heat source
3. Just right - they will be spread out all over the area

Make sure that the area you are keeping them in has enough room for them to get away from the heat source.

Tip 2
Turkey poults need a certain amount of attention to keep them healthy, so make sure you keep them warm, dry and clean, which should also include their bedding. You never want to use newspaper or other slick surfaces for bedding because this can cause problems like spraddle leg. Ground corncobs or pine shavings make great bedding.

Tip 3
As mentioned earlier turkey poults have different feed requirements than chicks. They require feed with a higher protein level, around 28%-30% protein. You should budget for two 50-pound bags for every 25 poults.

When it comes to water you want to make sure that fresh water is available and that it is lukewarm, as the poults will get chilled if the water is too cold. It is also a good idea to add vitamin supplements to their water.

Turkey poults have been know to starve to death simply because they did not learn how to eat. Here are a few tips to help to teach them how to eat:

1. If you are also raising chicks you can introduce a few chicks into the group, as the turkey poults will actually learn what food and water is just by watching the chicks eat. You should only do this for a few days however because of the different feed requirements the two birds have.
2. Place shiny marbles in both the feed and water dishes to attract the poults.
3. Or simply dip their beaks into the water and feed so they learn what it is.

Tip 4
Roosting at night is natural for birds; it is their preferred way to sleep. Unfortunately without anyone to teach them turkey poults may not know how to do it. To introduce your poults to roosting you can place a narrow piece of wood a few inches off the ground under their heat source and the majority of them will get used to sitting on this makeshift roost. This way once they are older and it is time to move them away from the brooding area they will be more inclined to roost on their own.

The best way one can care for their turkey poults is to keep an eye on them. Looking in on them frequently will help you to identify any problems that occur, which will in turn enable you to fix them before they get too bad. With the help of these tips and a little attention you should have no problem raising healthy turkeys.


Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa.
This article was written with the help of the good people at Valley of the Moon Turkeys, a great site where you can buy turkey poults online.

Video Source: Youtube

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