Raising and Caring for Turkey Poults

Many backyard farmers choose to raise turkeys for a variety of reasons, not only can raising your own turkeys provide a source of healthy meat for your table but turkeys can calso produce a plentiful stock for your backyard.

Turkeys are not any harder to raise than chickens or ducks, but they do require some special considerations:

Domestic Turkeys vs. Wild Turkeys

- Domestic turkeys generally lack the ability to fly, so you will generally only need to make sure they are protected from predators. However, wild turkeys usually have the ability to fly, so you will want to consider a covered run to prevent them from flying.

- Domestic turkeys are generally larger than wild turkeys because they are raised for meat. In general, domestic turkeys have as much as 2-3 times more breast meat than wild turkeys. So if you choose to raise your backyard turkeys for their meat, consider choosing domestic turkey breeds such as the Broad Breasted White Turkey, Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey, Narragansett Turkey, Bourbon Red Turkey, and Midget White Turkey.

Backyard Turkeys for sale at Californiahatchery.com

















After you receive your day old turkey poults from Californiahatchery.com, it is important to make sure you have provided proper bedding, heat, food, and water, and to make sure you have protected your turkeys in an enclosure that protects your turkeys from predators.

Heat for Turkeys
You should keep the brooder for day old turkeys at 95 – 100 degrees for the first week then drop it by 5 degrees each week until they have all of their adult feathers. Creating a brooder for turkeys is almost the same as for chicks. Make sure to provide enough room for your turkeys to move comfortably to and from the heating lamp so that they can regulate how much heat they are receiving. We recommend giving your turkeys the option of having a heat lamp even after they have developed their first line of feathers.

Enclosure for Turkeys
It is important make sure that your turkey poult enclosure is draft free, and does not have any entry path for predators. If your turkey enclosure allows drafts to pass through, your turkeys may not have adequate enough heat for survival. Also, make sure there is enough bedding for all turkeys in your enclosure. Lastly, it is important to use a different enclosure for turkeys than chicks. If you choose to use an enclosure for your turkeys that was previsouly used for raise chicks, make sure to disinfect the entire enclosure, and use new bedding and supplies. To follow full precautions, it is best to create an entirely new enclosure for your turkey poults.

Food and Water for Turkeys
To provide a healthy start for your turkey poults, we recommend adding vitamin and electrolyte supplement to their water supply once you first receive them, this will help them to recover from any stresses they may have encountered during shipment. Also, we recommend making sure the water you provide to your turkey poults is luke warm in temperature, not too cold or too hot. Provide non-medicated Turkey Grower Feed to your turkeys for optimum performance and growth. If you want to maximize turkey egg production, add some calcium supplement to your turkey feed once they reach egg laying age.
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