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How to Hatch & Care for a Baby Turkey

Views: 2023     Author: LONGMU     Publish Time: 2023-07-04      Origin: LONGMU


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Brooding and caring for baby turkeys might be easy for some experienced turkey or poultry farmers. However, some people especially newbies or starter farmers have challenges taking care of a baby turkey. Some of these challenges include how to brood new baby turkeys, what to feed them with or how to vaccinate them or give them drugs.

What is a baby turkey and what is it called?

A baby turkey is a newly hatched or young turkey up to 4 weeks of age. A baby turkey is called POULT. A young male turkey is called JAKE while a young female is called JENNY. An adult male turkey is called TOM and an adult female turkey is called HEN.

What to do before the arrival of the poults

turkey (3)

In two weeks before the turkey poults arrive, check the brooder house for leaks or cracks where rodents or snakes can exploit. If there are, ensure that they are blocked. Wash, disinfect and fumigate the entire brooder

Cover the brooder floor with the litter materials

Spread old newspapers on the littered floor

Wash and arrange the turkey drinkers and feeders and ensure they are in good working conditions including other equipment

What to do when the poults arrive

Quickly unbox the poults and inspect them individually for defects and quickly placed under the brooder.

Add glucose or multivitamins in the drinking water and serve the poults immediately. Provide them with starter feed after.

Ensure that the heaters are on and the room temperature is about 95oF to 105oF and this should be maintained both day and night for the first several days then you can slowly drop it by about 5 degrees a week

Watch the poults for the best indication of how you need to adjust the temperature. Cold poults will huddle together, even smothering the ones unlucky enough to be on the bottom. If they are too hot they will get as far away from the source of heat as possible and lay out panting, acting listless. Poults that are comfortable will move around peeping quietly or sleeping peacefully.


How to Brood Baby Turkeys

Hatching of turkey poults is the same as brooding of chicks. Before you can brood poults, you will need to set a poult brooder. A brooder also called a poult brooder/brooding house is the place where you keep day-old poults providing them with artificial warmth, water and feed until they are about 4 weeks old. The equipment and materials required for brooding are:

Brooder guards





Electric bulbs or lamps

Wood shavings or any other available litter materials

Poult Feeders

Poult Drinkers

Poult Buckets and bowls

turkey farm

Other Baby Turkey Care Tips

Make sure there is plenty of starter mash in the baby-poult feeder tray, and that the poults have fresh, clean water at all times. The water should be about body temperature to guard against the turkeys getting a chill.

Twice a week sprinkle grit over the mash so that the poults can digest their food properly.

Watch for pasting up, an ailment in which the droppings stick to the backside of the bird and it cannot eliminate. If this happens gently clean the droppings off with some mineral oil or warm water. All the way through the growth process, ensure that the poults have a clean living space and humane treatment.

After about four weeks the poultry birds can go outside to an enclosed and protected area as long as the temperature stays above 70 degrees. Continue making sure that they have fresh water at all times and feed is plentiful.

Vaccination Schedule for Turkeys

Vaccination is very important in livestock production, especially in poultry production. Poultry farmers should vaccinate their flock (broiler, pullets, layers, turkeys, duck, geese etc.) against diseases to avoid losing them to these diseases and preventing high financial loss. Vaccination, in addition to proper farm hygiene and sanitation practice, enables you as a farmer to prevent diseases from taking over your flock, allowing you to get the best out of your animals and also producing wholesome or safe meat for human consumption.

The vaccination schedule for poultry backyard and commercial turkeys is as follows:

Age Vaccine Route of Administration

Day 1 1st NDV Lasota Spray or oral

Week 6 Fowl Pox Wing Web

Week 9-10 2nd NDV Lasota Oral


Week 12 Fowl Cholera Oral

Week 15 3rd NDV Lasota Oral

MDV: Marek’s Disease Vaccine

IB: Infectious Bronchitis

NDV: Newcastle Disease Vaccine

IBDV: Infectious Bursal Disease

Methods of Administering Vaccines

As the flock strength increased and commercialization of poultry keeping became the order of the day, vaccination by these conventional methods became tedious, time-consuming, labour intensive and a source of undesirable stress on the birds of the flock. Alternative routes of mass administration of vaccines were therefore explored. Some of the important points in this regard are:

Generally, mass vaccination methods result in reduced labour costs, time and stress.

A spray vaccination is more invasive and may give better results than an oral vaccination.

A fine spray is more immunogenic than a coarse spray, as it allows the vaccine to penetrate more deeply into the respiratory tract.

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