Some people are afraid of turkeys, but I am not. They aren't the smartest birds to raise, not quite as stupid as quail, but they are up there too. Someday I want to raise them again, but more of a free-range, rather than cooped, and not just day-old turkeys, aka meat turkey.
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Raising Day Old Turkeys
When we talked about getting turkeys to raise everyone told us that they die easily in the first week or so. So I bought ordered eight. I figured that we hadn't raised them before so the chances of losing a couple were high. I was wrong.
What Do You Need for Day Old Turkeys?
Raising day old turkeys isn't much different than raising chicks. They require a heat lamp in their brooder, feed, water, and of course shavings. If you are raising turkeys for meat, they are often listed as day old turkeys on sale sheets, then you want to take into account how fast they grow when you plan your brooder.
Turkey poults grow rapidly, and will need a larger brooder after a few weeks – they should never be overcrowded.
Feeding Day Old Turkey
If you are already raising Coturnix quail then you already have feed for your turkeys on hand. In fact, our quail feed label says “wild game/turkey starter”. It doesn't get much easier than that.
Starving poults is a particularly typical issue in turkey. What this means is that some poults will get pushed away from the feeder or hang back, and will starve to death despite the food being available.
Keep a close eye on poults while they're feeding to make sure this doesn't happen.
Moving Turkeys Outside
By three weeks, they can have access to an enclosed sunny area on nice days but keep them inside on rainy or cold days.
Be certain they are prepared to move to their new outdoor habitat before they are put out and that their feathers are fully grown. They are usually about least eight weeks old before you can permanently move them outside.
Turkeys will forage. They, like chickens, like treats too. They just really like food when it comes down to it.