raising turkeys

misfitmorgan

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i just finished the medicated chick starter so today they will be getting meat bird crumble. I have a turkey/gambird chick starter for the turkeys. I have been putting kale that i shred in pieces and the turkeys are right there with a look of "what you got??" I put the clump of dirt the kale has around the roots hoping to give them a worm and they don't seem interested. The chicks are too lazy to get some good food. Maybe i should put the kale in before the crumbles? When i move the run, it is quite a production since the chicks don't want to move, I am certain to squish one. The run is a bit to heavy, so i pull it with a rope hooked to the bumper on my jeep.
Since this is our first batch, we are learning and the next ones will have a box to put them into with a door so they move inside the run. The run is plenty big enough, I just have an old wooden box Dad had for firewood in the house for a coop. I have blue tarp held on with ziptiesover the whole fence area. It is truly a bonus to be able to stand up in the run.
and yep they go nuts over my rings. I went through my craft supplies and found some big fake jewels and they go nuts for them. I bought some marbles to put in there too. That seems to satisfy that urge for pecking at shiny things.
Cornish can be lazy but ours have always eatten grass and moved around. I'm surprised they are having feather issues on chick starter, that is normally 22% protein or better. Meat crumbles are usually only 20% protein.

We used gamebird starter for our turkeys as well.
Heritage birds: 28% protein for 8 weeks, then 24% until 14 weeks old, now they get 16% layer.
BBB: 30% protein for 8 weeks, 22% until 14 weeks, then 20% until butcher.

I made an entire spreadsheet with feeds and type for BBB, heritage, cornish cross, Bresse chickens, heritage ducks/meat ducks. Amount of feed, butcher age, cost to raise based on current feed price, etc. I then put all the dates in my google calendar color coded and printed out the calendar pages so I could keep them in the barn.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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I made contact with a guy in an Amish community to take my birds to for butchering this morning. None of those roads in the area have names on them so finding the right road was pretty interesting.

They are asking me to bring 2 or 3 coolers full of bags of ice, give them water as usual, but no feed for that day. I can take them down on a Friday evening and pick them up a little after 1 the next day. The kid I talked to today was impressed that i started with 2 turkeys and they both still survived so far....I must be doing something right!

I stopped at the local farm store to get more feed and they were out of gamebird/turkey starter. I was just about to leave and I noticed a 'clearance table' (which I seem to never be able to avoid) and I bought 3 electric fence chargers for $6.60 total! I think they run off a battery. I think I got a good deal here too.
 

misfitmorgan

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I made contact with a guy in an Amish community to take my birds to for butchering this morning. None of those roads in the area have names on them so finding the right road was pretty interesting.

They are asking me to bring 2 or 3 coolers full of bags of ice, give them water as usual, but no feed for that day. I can take them down on a Friday evening and pick them up a little after 1 the next day. The kid I talked to today was impressed that i started with 2 turkeys and they both still survived so far....I must be doing something right!

I stopped at the local farm store to get more feed and they were out of gamebird/turkey starter. I was just about to leave and I noticed a 'clearance table' (which I seem to never be able to avoid) and I bought 3 electric fence chargers for $6.60 total! I think they run off a battery. I think I got a good deal here too.

Excellant! Hope you enjoy our chickens.

I agree your doing more then a few things right!
 

BaBaaHMonica

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My Hubby found the chicken crate in the old barn that my Dad used. I remember it to be much bigger when i was 5 years old. I think it is antique since it was already old way back then. I don't think I can get all 18 cornish rock in there without cramming them in, but it think it will be just fine. Some of the rocks don't seem to be nearly as big as the others, so I think I can wait a couple weeks. Some of them kind of limp and can't stand up very well, and they don't bend their leg
 

Baymule

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Time for the big ones to go to slaughter before they start having heart attacks and keel over dead. I let mine get big, their breast gets so big, it’s heavy for them to walk. They stand, take a few steps, plop down. I package the breast meat, skinless, boneless, one half of the breast to a package. Yesterday I fixed chicken kabobs, using 2 halves, and fed 4 adults and 3 children. Even had leftovers.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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Update: When I took the chickens to the Amish lady for butchering, I could get only 9 of them in the crate, I had 10 ready, but there was not enough room. ;)....that was my first indicator of something good. Then when i get there she was like wow they are big! When i went to pick them up...she said they had nice livers and gizzards. I am so proud of myself! She said I gave them good feed and they nice and healthy!

Thanks you guys for your help! I can't wait for next week when I bring the next batch!
I know the turkeys are super healthy because they don't even want me to break the kale for them anymore! They just grab it out of my hands before i get a chance and eat the whole thing--roots and all!
 

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