Feeding turkeys is not that dissimilar to feeding chickens in that turkeys require a starter crumb, then a grower’s pellet and a maintenance diet once they are mature. Turkey poults however have a much higher protein requirement than chicks and most poultry feeds will be unsuitable for turkey poults and may even lead to growth problems.
It is critical that turkey poults feed and drink as soon as possible after hatching and it is always a good idea to observe that all poults know where to find their food and water. A turkey starter crumb with a protein content of between 22 – 24% is ideal and most starter type feeds can be fed from hatching until the birds reach 5 – 8 weeks depending upon the manufacturers recommendations.
At the 5-8 week stage most turkey poults can be gradually changed on to a Grower/Finisher ration with a lower protein content of approximately 20%. Birds being reared for the table can remain on this ration while birds being kept for breeding or show will require a different diet once they reach about 18 weeks of age. A maintenance diet of approximately 16% protein is usually adequate for most adult turkeys while a breeder ration should be introduced several weeks before the commencement of the breeding season.
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