You have Your Baby Turkeys: Now Give Them a Brooder
Before your new turkey poults arrive, you need to be ready to care for them. They will immediately need food and water, heat, light, and protection. Be prepared with food and water and a cleaned, disinfected, dry and well lit brooding area heated to 95 degrees F when your poults arrive.
We have a separate page about food and water so check there.
Day old poults need a constant source of heat. For their first week of life, a temperature of 95 degrees F is recommended. As they grow they will need less heat. So you can lower the heat by 5 degrees F per week, over a 5 week period, down to 70 degrees F and maintain that temperature until your birds are 6 to 8 weeks of age.
It is best not to raise poults on a slick surface such as newspaper because it can cause leg problems, especially straddled legs. For young poults textured paper towels work well.
Try to round the corners of brooders with fencing or cardboard so that poults will be less likely to pile on top of each other in a corner when they are frightened or cold.
Here is a resource to prepare for brooding them: http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/PDFpubs/2187.pdf
Please share with us not only your pictures of your baby turkeys, but your experience of getting them through the first few weeks of life. What lessons have you learned that you can share so others could benefit? What will you do differently next time? What books or internet resources have helped you?
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