New Poults on the Block

      15 Comments on New Poults on the Block
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Five little poults!

Five little poults

New Turkey Poults

Look who hatched Friday evening! We have five new Narragansett turkey poults in the brooder box. I’m disappointed in the hatch rate; only 5 out of 14 eggs hatched. I candled the rest and only one of the unhatched eggs had an embryo that must have died about halfway through development. The rest had no signs of blood vessels or embryos.

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This hatching business is hard work!

This hatching business is hard work!

 

I am happy to have all of these little ones doing so well. I didn’t realize that the humidity tray in the incubator dried out and all of the poults were stuck in dried out membranes. All of them needed help hatching, but I’m glad to announce that none of themΒ died because of the complication. One more reminder for me to check the humidity trays more diligently, especially in the incubator with a circulating fan.


Hello! Nice to meet you. :)

Hello! Nice to meet you. πŸ™‚

 

The hatch started a day earlier than I expected, so I had to move the chicks in the brooder box out to the room with Merggie and Oz quickly last night. They are all doing well this morning, although the new chicks scared the daylights out of Ozling the gosling. Oz is scared of his/her own shadow and tried to hide under me when I gently placed the chicks under the heat lamp. That gosling cracks me up!


A little privacy, please?

A little privacy, please?

 

I have 8 more turkey eggs in an incubator that should hatch in about 2 1/2 weeks. I candled those eggs yesterday and it looked like most of them had blood vessels starting to form. Hopefully I will end up with at least a dozen turkeys this year.

I know it’s hard to think about these cute little fluff balls as ‘dinner,’ but most of them will be processed for our table. I’d like to save one or two hens to add to my flock, but the rest will be butchered humanely here on our homestead.

Do you raise heritage turkeys?


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15 comments on “New Poults on the Block

  1. Carlos Rees

    We are having an issue with poults that hold there head back and flip over on their backs. Sometimes they get over it but it takes a few days.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn

      Hi Carlos,
      This sounds like a condition called wry neck or stargazing. There are different thoughts about what causes it, but it may be from a vitamin deficiency…vitamin E, B, and/or selenium.

      Starter feed usually has all the nutrients they need, but some don’t…so check to see what vitamins are added…it should have a list on the bag.

      If the feed wasn’t very fresh, the vitamins can break down…causing deficiencies. Sometimes the feed sits at the store for months before you purchase it…look to see if it has a date that it was manufactured.

      The best thing to do would be to either use Sav-A-Chick electrolytes with vitamins or pick up brewer’s yeast from the store and sprinkle it on their feed to increase the vitamins and selenium. If you can pick up fresh feed, that would be a good idea too.

      Save A Caf Sav A Chick Electrolyte Vitamin Supplement (Disclosure: This is an affiliate link to an Amazon product…if you purchase through this link I earn a few cents, but you don’t pay any extra.)

      If you can’t do either of those, and you have some vitamin E capsules, break one open and put a small amount on the tip of the poult’s beak to see if it will swallow some. Or mix it into the feed for all of them…for about a week. You don’t want to overdo it because too much vitamin E isn’t good either.

      I hope this helps…best wishes.

      Reply
  2. Deborah A

    I’m glad you at least got some to hatch this go-round. A friend found some poults and picked up 4 for me to add to my lone hatch. I had given mine the smallest broiler chick for a friend, after you wrote about adding a gosling to yours. The sized differential wasn’t as great as yours, but it was still pretty big! I just seem to be having bad luck with mail order eggs. Only a 30% hatch on quail, 1 of 6 on turkeys and none of the Muscovy hatched. On a brighter note, all of the duck eggs from our own ducks hatched, so we have 8 new ducklings as of yesterday.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Deborah,
      I’ve never ordered fertile eggs by mail…I’ve always wondered if there would be too much jostling on the ride. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t had very good luck with all those eggs…but so glad that your little ducklings are hatched! Best wishes with the little poults! I’m sure that your little loner will do much better with a chick and some other poults to keep it company. πŸ™‚ Keep me posted!

      Reply
    1. Laura R

      I think Meyer Hatchery sells fertilized eggs of many types of poultry. They have a great website and will send you a free catalog.

      Reply
  3. Lisa Lynn Post author

    Hi Lucky Robin,
    I’m so glad you found my blog πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting and taking time to leave a comment…I’m happy to have you here!

    I started by butchering rabbits too and I find poultry to be ‘easier’ to butcher, emotionally. It is tough to do, but when you see how much they eat, it becomes easier πŸ˜‰

    Royal Palms are such beautiful birds and I’ve always been interested in raising them, but couldn’t find any available locally. I have a breeding pair of Narragansetts and I find it difficult to collect enough eggs for the incubator. The hen is laying around 5 eggs a week and eggs should go in the incubator before they are 2 weeks old for best results. So most of my clutches in the incubator have been around 10 eggs. I’m wondering if one of the reasons this hatch had a low rate of embryo development might have been because some of the eggs were too old.

    But anyway, if you end up with a Tom and two hens, you might like to keep a breeding trio and just butcher one turkey this year…especially if you are hoping to have extra poults to sell or if you want to put a lot of turkeys in the freezer next year. πŸ™‚

    I will warn you, it was harder for me to kill my ducks and turkeys than my chickens. They just seem a little bit smarter and more aware. Best wishes with your birds this year! Stop back with updates when you have time. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  4. LuckyRobin

    I am raising turkeys for the first time this year, Royal Palms, a heritage breed. I am hoping I will have a breeding pair out of my four and the other two will be dinner. When I went looking for how to butcher them, I found a link to your blog. It’s been so helpful. I was happy to see how to butcher ducks, too, as we are raising some Pekins for meat this year for the first time. Hopefully we won’t fall in love with them and want to keep them all, but I suppose if we can butcher rabbits, we can butcher turkeys and ducks. Anyway, I am really enjoying what I have seen of your blog so far.

    Reply
  5. Lisa Lynn Post author

    Hi Vickie,
    I raised Broad Breasted White and Bronze turkeys 2 years ago and it took about 4 months from hatch to butcher. Some people let them get a little bit bigger, but mine ranged from 12 to 19 pounds at that point (hens were smaller). I will find out this year how long my heritage turkeys will take πŸ˜‰

    Thanks! I’m planning to candle them today to see how they are progressing. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  6. Vickie

    They are cute, but when they grow up they will be beautiful – on your Thanksgiving Dinner Table! How long does it take to raise a turkey to butchering age? Or does that vary depending upon the breed? Good luck with the second group. Hopefully you will get a better ratio.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: New Poults on the Block | Around The Cabin

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