To see our prediction of feed consumption, please eneter your order in either the FarmGate Formula or the order page and this will give you feed usage predictions, based on our performance over the last few years, your performance may vary, due to the conditions on your farm.
PREPARING FOR BROODING
Prepare the ring and light the brooder at least 6 hours before the poults arrive. Check the temperature is correct and steady at 37 degrees Centigrade (100 degrees Fahrenheit) under the brooder.
Use a wire ring 13 x 25mm mesh, 16 gauge, 7.5metres long and 900mmdeep for a draught proof house, or a solid ring (hardboard) if the house is doubtful.
The ring should be about 4m across with a maximum of 350 poults under a brooder.
Use clean, soft wood chips for preference, about 10cm deep and trodden flat. Shredded paper and peat moss are alternatives. Chopped straw is not advised as, if dusty, it may contain fatal mould spores and it is sometimes eaten causing compacted gizzards and death.
Give plenty of food and water points - six of each per 350 poults, 300mm outside the rim of the brooder. Beware of drinkers that can drown the poults.
Reputable “turkey starter” is essential.
- minimum 100 lux for the first 5 days
- minimum 50 lux for the next 2 weeks
- natural daylight thereafter
Place boxes according to strain or sex outside the appropriate ring and then shut the door.
Immediately place the poults under the brooder. The sooner they have the opportunity to find warmth, feed and water, the lower the mortality.
Leave them alone as soon as possible. Any talking or movement will attract the poults away from the heat and feed.
Come back in one hour to check that no poults are on their backs, none are huddling around the edge of the ring and the brooders are running correctly.
DAILY ROUTINE - up to 10 days
Feed and water at 8am, 3pm and 10pm to be perfect
Clean the drinkers by
- emptying drinking water into a bucket
- wipe with a damp sponge soaked in detergent
- rinse the detergent into a bucket
If not automatic, then fill any drinker that is less than a quarter full. Tip two feed trays into one and pick off all hard lumps of droppings and shavings. Put new feed on the empty trays. This routine ensures there is fresh food introduced to at least half the feeding points.
Spend a few minutes just looking at the poults.This way you will learn from their behaviour how to look after their needs. Record the house temperature.
The poults feed off the yolk absorbed at hatch time. Even if they do not find food and water, they will live for 4 to 5 days. A few deaths at this “starve-out” time are normal but even these can be reduced with our Poult Saver Kit. Target mortality is 2% to 7 days and 3% to 14 days.
FREE RANGE MANAGEMENT
PREPARING THE RANGE
Spray 0.5 metre wide with weedkiller on the prospective route of the electric fence three weeks before erection. European legislation dictates that free range turkeys must be stocked at no more than 2,500 birds per hectare on the range.
Depending on the condition of the range, an apron of hoggin or stone rejects may be needed outside the doors / popholes to avoid a build-up of mud.
Lime should be scattered around the popholes each spring to prevent a build-up of parasites (at the rate of 0.5kg per square metre)
If the whole range needs treating (worms etc) this is equivalent to 5 tonnes per hectare.
Use one feeder and one drinker for every 100 birds.
INTRODUCING THE TURKEYS TO THE RANGE
Covered housing should be a maximum of three birds per square metre (3.5 square foot per bird).
By four weeks the poults should be off heat and hardened off by about five weeks (summer weather) and be ready to let onto the range.
Avoid inclement weather for the first days on the range.
FIRST JOB IN THE MORNING
Turn electric fence on. If a night predator problem is suspected, it may be wise to leave the electric fence on for 24 hours a day to deter them from coming near.
- Open all the popholes or doors to let birds on to range.
- Check fence is working.
- In the building, litter down with fresh straw - a little everyday is better than a lot once a week.
One proven system is to place bales, spread at 3m intervals over the floor. The bales must be very firm, otherwise they will soon open up and disperse.
They are welfare friendly as they enrich the environment for the turkeys. As the birds peck the straw out the straw gets ‘chopped’ becoming more absorbent. The turkeys get exercise and the timid birds can ‘hide’. Check and correct any feed and water spills.
LAST JOB AT NIGHT JUST BEFORE DUSK
Drive birds from range into shed and shut all the popholes.
A light in the shed coming on at 16.00 hours or at dusk, whichever is latest will draw most of the birds back into the shed.
A low light - about 15 or even 40 watts on all night - is very helpful to stop panics and spooking.
Housing -.....1-5 weeks 10 birds per sq metre
Housing -.....5 weeks+ 2.5 birds per sq metre
Free range - 6 sq metres per bird