Temperature is extremely important for the first week for turkey poults.
Keep the temperature at 92 - 95°F (32 - 35°C) head level of the bird for the first week.
• The temperature can be decreased 5°F (3 deg°C) each week until you reach 70°F (21°C)
Turkeys are extremely sensitive to chilling so it is very important to keep the heat constant. Always check for any draft as turkey are particularly sensitive to any drafts and tend to go to the draft rather than away from it.
• Allow 3 infrared heat lamps per 100 poults or enough lamps to maintain proper temperature.
• Lamps should be set 18" (46 cm) above the floor for the first week and raised approximately 3" (7.5 cm) each week until a temperature of 70°F (21°C) is reached.
• Turkey poults are twice the size of chicks. Allow 1 to 2 square feet per bird.
• Place 18" chick guard in a diameter to prevent poults from straying from the heat.
• Chick guard perimeter should be sufficient to permit poults to eat and drink at the edge of the heated are and return to the warm brooding area for the heat.
• Before allowing the poults the run of the whole brooder house make sure the corners of the house are rounded so the birds do not pile into corners.
• Watch the flock carefully for signs of litter eating.
• DO NOT USE RUBBERMAID TUBS AS A BROODING SPACE. This does not provide sufficient ventilation, poults need space for movement to and from heat. Constant direct heat can lead to suffocation and health issues. This is also a fire hazard. Slippery surfaces can also cause leg problems in poults.
• Allow 2" - 4" (5 - 10cm) of feeder space per bird
• One 36" (1 meter) feeder will feed approximately 50 - 75 young birds. About 25 adult birds.
• Turkey should be fed a 25 - 28% Turkey Starter for the first 6 weeks.
• NEVER dilute a starter with grains as it drastically reduces the vitamin and mineral intake and the full nutrition needed for a turkeys strong start.
Prepared Feed Ration
• After 6 weeks of age an 16 - 18% Grower ration can be fed straight. DO NOT DILUTE WITH GRAINS as this is a complete ration meant to be fed straight.
Farm Grain Feed Ration
• After 6 weeks of age use a 35% Supplement mixed with 3 parts grains to 1 part supplement.
• Recommended grain mixture is 60% wheat, 25% oats and 15% barley. 3 parts of the grain mixture to one part 35% Supplement.
Note: Grains alone lack several essential nutrients needed for steady growth and to maintain healthy turkeys.
• Provide calcium grit from 3 - 4 weeks on as free choice.
• A form of calcium such as limestone is also recommended to strengthen bones and joints and reduce any leg problems.
• Allow 3 or 4 - 1 gal (4.5L) waters for every 100 poults
• Use Poul-Vite for the first 5 days at 1 tsp per gal of fresh clean water.
• Add vitamins in the water from one week of age throughout the growing period to help reduce leg problems.
• Use clean large marbles or ball bearings in waterers as this attracts turkey poults to the waters.
• Ventilation is always important, it provides fresh air and removes stale air, it controls temperature, it controls humidity, it removes dust and regulates ammonia and carbon dioxide levels as well keeping the floor drier and the chicks healthier.
• Rubbermaid tubs as brooding areas DO NOT provide enough ventilation to keep poults healthy. NEVER USE THESE FOR BROODING.
• Have full light available for the first week to ensure turkeys find the feed and water.
Tip: Have some chicks mixed in in with the turkeys for the first few days to help teach the turkeys to find the food and water. Chicks will automatically go to the food and water and the turkeys will follow.
• After turkey poults have been on feed and water for the first week reduce the light intensity to limit the possibly of picking problems.
• Lights from infrared heat lamps can be enough lighting in many cases depending of the building if necessary supplement a low wattage light bulb. If the lighting is too bright it can promote picking problems.