How to Raise Healthy Turkeys Without Losing Livestock

Healthy, delicious and dietary Turkey meat deserves the best care. But not everyone can grow large and healthy birds on their own. After all, small turkeys, whose care is quite troublesome, are much more helpless and weaker than other domestic birds. Their cultivation requires special conditions and careful, caring attitude.


Going to buy turkeys first, you need to properly prepare a place for them in the poultry house. To begin with, a small fenced area in the warmest corner of the room or the appropriate size of cells is enough. The advantage of raising birds in a pen is due to the minimal cost of the arrangement, but in cages, it is significantly easier to care for them, since it is easier to maintain cleanliness and sanitary conditions of keeping. For the safety of small Chicks, the side of the cage cell should be at least 2.5 centimeters.

The area of the enclosure is calculated based on the placement rate of 5 small birds per square meter of area. And turkeys over the age of 4 months should increase the “living” area twice.


The floor in the poultry house is preferably made with a hard surface, preferably wood. So the heat will be stored better, and it is easier to clean the paddock. When the birds grow up but remain in a closed room, part of the floor covering with litter is replaced with a planed or mesh floor, although this is not necessary.

As for the litter. For the first five to seven days, sand is prepared for the turkeys, gradually replacing it with a traditional litter of sawdust, hay, crushed straw or corn stalks. For disinfection, the floor is first sprinkled with slaked lime, with the calculation of 500-800 grams per square meter of area. Then a uniform layer of 12-15 cm is laid the litter.


The first rule in the question of how to care for small turkeys is to keep the pen clean. Timely change of contaminated bedding will prevent the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria and the spread of dangerous intestinal infections, which are so prone to babies, especially in the first week of life. If the standards of livestock placement are met and daily cleaning of wet and polluted areas with droppings is carried out, it is enough to completely change the litter once every five to seven days.

As for the feeders. In the case of nursing only hatched Chicks, the container for feeding is selected soft, because the immature beaks of babies can be injured. Therefore, for the first five days, use cloth rolled up like a pocket, rubber containers or old silicone molds for feeding turkeys. As soon as you notice that the beaks have become stronger, you can switch to conventional feeders. Flutes are considered the most convenient option, since birds have the ability to freely approach it from all sides, without creating a crush.


Drinkers for babies need to choose those in which they will not be able to climb or accidentally fall. Soaking small turkeys almost always leads to colds and their further death.

Place the feeder and watering trough in the pen in the most illuminated place, because the eyesight of hatched Chicks is poorly developed and they see poorly, especially at dusk.


Round-the-clock lighting of the poultry house is necessary only for the first 10 days of life of small turkeys, as bright light will help them find food and water easier. Later, observing the growth of birds and their physiological state, the intensity of illumination is gradually reduced.

At the age of six weeks, the bird is switched to an eight-hour light day, turning on and off the light at about the same time. In the summer, strong turkeys get enough sunlight during the day’s outdoor walking.

Caring for small turkeys requires strict compliance with the temperature regime. It is an inattentive attitude to this rule that causes the young to die. And if other broods of poultry are hard to tolerate the cold, then for turkeys-it is almost always certain death. Therefore, before placing the Chicks, the room must be thoroughly warmed up to 34-37 degrees.

Important! The air temperature in the room with young animals should be measured at 10 cm from the floor, that is, at the level of growth of turkeys!

With the age of Chicks, the norms of the temperature regime in the pen gradually change:

Age in days: When kept in a cage: When kept in a pen:
1-5 35-31° 37-35°
6-10 31-27° 35-30°
11-14 27-25° 30-28°
15-20 25-22° 28-25°
21-28 22-20° 25-22°
29-35 21-19° 22-19°
35 and older 18° 18°

As for the humidity in the places of keeping turkeys, at first, it should be maintained within 70-75%, and then-enough 65%.


The first time the Chicks are offered food 12-15 hours after they hatch. Previously, it does not make sense to do this, since they are still weak and not dry enough. But tardiness can lead to the fact that the turkeys will begin to peck at the stale bedding, so it is important to know how to care for the turkeys from the first day.

Feeding small Chicks without a hen begins with learning to peck food on their own. A soft tapping on the feeder usually immediately attracts the turkeys, and they will try to collect a distinctive color of food with their beaks. The fuzzy vision of babies highlights bright spots, so sprinkling the main feed with cottage cheese grains, crushed yolk, or chopped grass, you will significantly speed up the learning process. When getting used to drinking, lower the beak of each Turkey into the water and wait until it swallows the next portion. Usually, a couple of days is enough for all the Chicks to learn to eat and drink on their own.

What is better to choose for feeding turkeys? How to provide them with proper nutrition and the necessary amount of vitamins and trace elements?


It is most practical to use the same compound feed as for feeding chickens and broods of other poultry. Suitable granule sizes, balanced composition and convenient dosing of the finished product significantly facilitate the care of young animals, which already require a lot of attention. But if it is not possible to buy a suitable compound feed, you can try to prepare it, while taking into account that the needs of turkeys vary depending on their age.

For the preparation of feed, take a mixture of grain flour, where the main part of it falls on nutritious corn. In wet bags for small turkeys add milk (fresh, yogurt or yogurt), ground bones, fish oil, crushed or small grains of cereals, as well as cottage cheese, eggs and fresh greens.

Important! For grown-up turkeys, mineral additives in the form of chalk, gravel or shells are more convenient to leave in a separate container.

Especially in this need white broad-chested turkeys care and cultivation of which requires additional trace elements.

The approximate composition of the diet for turkeys up to two weeks:

(in grams per chick)

compound feed – starting from 7 days from 2 to 14 g in proportion to age;

feed mix – from the second day incrementally from 1 to 12 g;

wheat bran – in the period from 2 to 6 days of age for 3-4 g;

boiled eggs-added to the feed from the first day, at the rate of 1 egg per 10 turkeys;

millet – from 0, 5 to 3.5 g gradually increasing the dose every day;

low-fat cottage cheese-from the second day of life starting from 0.5 g and bringing up to 6 g per day.

Baker’s yeast and fish oil are mandatory components from the age of 5 days, from 0, 05 to 0.1 g of each;

obrat (for wet mixes) – from the 3rd day of life gradually increasing the dose from 1 to 16 g.

The approximate composition of the diet for 14-60-day-old turkeys:

(in grams per chick)

compound feed – from 14 to 130 g in proportion to age;

forage mix-from two weeks of age 12g, gradually reduced by the 20th day of life;

cottage cheese-from 7 g per day, gradually reducing to 2 g;

zolen – from the 20th day of life -10 g, gradually bringing to 20g;

shell fish and bone meal – from 3.5 to 6.5 g;

fish oil-we continue to give 0.1 g per person;

Baker’s yeast-give 0.1 g until the 20th day of life;

boiled eggs – in the same amount as before (1 PC. per 10 Chicks);

obrat (for wet mixes)-from 18 to 25 g, finishing to add to the 20-day age.

It is very useful to add fresh grass to the feed – clover, yarrow, dandelion and others. For the prevention of many diseases, it is especially important to feed turkeys chopped green onions, young nettles and wormwood.

Drinking water for birds of any age should always be available. Small, newly hatched Chicks are given water to drink, warmed to 24-26 degrees, and starting from the daily age, the water temperature will correspond to the temperature of the surrounding air.

It is necessary to wash the drinking bowl daily, or even several times a day, and fill it with fresh water.


Walking is also caring for turkeys! Walking in the fresh air, healthful exposure to sunlight and the opportunity to diversify your diet is useful for any poultry. For the growth and development of large turkeys, it is especially important to be able to obtain additional nutrients in the form of juicy green grass and captured insects and worms. When can I release my Chicks into the yard without putting them at risk?

If your turkeys grow up under the supervision of a mother Turkey, then they can be released for walking when they reach two weeks of age, of course, provided that the weather is warm, dry and the air temperature is above 20 degrees. Without a hen, the turkeys do not feel protected in the open air, so depending on weather conditions, you should wait until the little ones are strong enough and gain weight. Usually, by 9 weeks, you can no longer worry about the health of young animals, even in humid and changeable weather.


Once in the open for the first time, the turkeys immediately scatter. Therefore, it is important to gradually accustom them to the open place, expanding the area of fences every day. This way, babies will be able to adapt more easily to changes in ambient air temperature, natural light and a change in the microclimate of their place of detention.

The area for walking young animals is allocated dry and protected from the penetration of predators. Before releasing the chick, carefully study the vegetation on the paddock site to prevent the turkeys from eating poisonous or harmful greens for them.

At the place where the turkeys are walking, it is necessary to arrange a small wooden floor with a canopy. This will be both a shaded area from the sun and a dry place where you can hide from the rain. When the weather is good outside, the turkeys are left in the fresh air for as long as possible, organizing a place for feeding in the shade and placing water drinkers with fresh water.


Now you know how to properly care for turkeys, I wish you success and healthy livestock!


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