Turkey Poults and Chicken Chicks and Duck Ducklings

This is our second 4-H season raising poultry and we kind of enjoy it.  Presently my living room is home to 11 turkey poults and one little Aracauna chick (my “too young to show animals” son’s pet).  No, they are not running all over like you just pictured in your head!  They live in a large dog cage that has had cardboard sides added some 6 inches up to keep their heads from getting stuck.  With a heat lamp hanging in the center, the little poults were still cold so we now have the outside covered in towels to keep the heat in and a blanket over the top (at night only now, since they are a week old today!)

Anyway- my point of today’s blog is to share our feed recipes with you.  You can buy pre-made feed at any farm store for Chickens and Ducks but you probably will have to go to a grain elevator for Turkey feed.  Turkeys need a special diet, different than other poultry so they get the nutrients needed to support strong legs that will support their large and fast growing frames.  Turkeys go from a few ounce baby to a 45 lb “turkey dinner” in a mere 4 months!  Children take up to 4 YEARS to get that size!

These recipes that we fed our birds last year proved successful with one Reserve Champion Turkey and Blue ribbon Chickens and Ducks.  All of these animals are in the meat category at the fair. We choose to make our own feed because we raise our own corn.  There is no sense in selling our corn to the elevator to turn around and buy it back from them in our animal feed!  This year will be our first attempt at showing fancy poultry so we’ll have to share those secrets later!

Turkey Feed (for turkeys more than 6 weeks old- prior to 6 weeks they must be fed Turkey Starter which is availabe at your local grain elevator or mill)

15 parts ground corn

4 parts soybean meal

1 part poultry mix (some elevators call it pre-mix or concentrate)

Combine and let the turkeys eat as much as they want.  It is best to have a feeder that can be raised up as the turkeys grow so that they don’t have to bend over too far to eat.  Keep the feed clean.

Meat Chickens Feed (to be fed after they are completely feathered- before that they need chick starter)

4 parts ground corn

1 part poultry mix

Instructions same as for turkeys except you don’t have to raise the feeder.

Meat Duck feed (to be fed after they are completely feathered, before that they need poultry starter)

4 parts ground corn

1 part poultry mix

1 part whole corn

Instructions same as for chickens.

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