Turkey Care

The care you give turkeys will determine the adult production of them.

Turkeys are the fasting growing of all fowl. The feeding of turkeys is very important as the feed to meat ratio meaning the amount of feed it takes to make one pound of meat on the fowl makes the difference. If you intend to put eight pounds of meat on a turkey in eight and one half weeks it will take thirteen pounds of feed. During this eight week period the turkey exceeds any other fowl in growth.

Many commercial growers prefer to raise the tom turkey as they will get more return for their money even if the toms are butchered earlier to avoid their being too large for the market. You could consider just growing all tom turkeys as you can cut down on feed costs because of the factor involving the feed conversion factor. A tom of up to eighteen pounds requires forty two pounds of feed. The hen of eighteen pounds will require fifty seven pounds of feed to reach the goal.

When you are growing turkeys, especially on a small scale, there will only be a few strains. There are about two dozen main strains of the large and the medium white turkeys that are usually grown. That does not mean that all of the strains will grow the same as heredity is a factor and also the hatching egg has a lot to do with growth. The small eggs will produce small pouts.

You can increase the energy of fowl by using carbohydrates and fats and also be allowing the correct amount of nutrients from a balanced ration. When you add fats into the feed for a turkey you can regulate the amount of feed and also the nutrients the turkey will consume. If the bird is very large it will take more energy to maintain the body and also to produce eggs. The younger turkeys do not need the energy by feed increased. It is wasteful to feed very high-fiber feeds as the crude fiber has no food value, is indigestible and is passed in the droppings.

Energy is measured in calories and the calorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water from 16.5 degrees to 17.5 degrees. Studies have proved that the energy available to turkeys from various feeds by burning the feeds and measuring the heat produced during the process. About one fourth of the energy produced by feeds is lost in the droppings. The usable energy is called the metabolize energy (ME) value of a feed, this is the means by which values of energy in feed is measured.

The temperature in the environment of the turkey has an effect on the amount of fat that they require. If the temperature is cold, then the bodies will require more fat and they will consume more food. If you can keep the area the turkeys are in at a temperature of 61-75 degrees F. the feed intake will be adequate and the nutrition will be suitable.

You will find by looking at commercial feeds that the feeds are not mixed for either a high or a low temperature but for a sensible medium. Fats are useful in feeds as they will improve the consistency.

A well-balanced ration supplies the amount of fat needed according to the age of the turkey and also the type of turkey in rlation to how much energy the body of the fowl will require. Check out the labels and inquire at your local feed store as you will need to feed a certain amount to each turkey poult up to eight weeks of age, then you will feed a different amount over eight weeks of age. The more nutrition in the feed the more the feed will cost as when feeding the proper nutrition you will be able to market the fowl earlier and thus save money.

Every three to four weeks after brooding the nutritional needs will change. The nutrients necessary are: Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Niacin, ad Chlorine. Also needed in the nutrition of feed for turkeys will be the following: fats, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and water.

Most of the commercial feeds have both plant and animal proteins in the poultry feed and most rations consist mainly of cereal-type grains. Soybeans are very high in protein and are used in poultry feed as they are considered plant protein.

Be sure to provide enough water for your turkeys to drink as water provides some trace minerals and the function of water is primarily to help maintain body temperature. If they do not have enough water then the body tissues will dry out and they will have dehydration. Be sure to notice carefully when there are times of excessive humidity and heat as they will need even more water than usual.

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