Baby Turkeys- How To Raise, A Beginner's Guide

Baby Turkeys- How To Raise, A Beginner’s Guide

Turkeys are among the most prevalent birds in North America, so much so that Benjamin Franklin proposed making them the national bird of the United States rather than the Bald Eagle. Even farmers and ranchers, though, are unfamiliar with newborn turkeys.

“This article will teach you all you need to know about turkey poult, including baby bird care and nourishment.”

Name of a Baby Turkey

Are baby turkeys referred to as chicks?

Chicks are more generally used for newborn chickens, although baby turkeys have a more distinctive moniker. Having said that, many people still refer to baby turkeys as chicks, which is okay.

What do you call a baby turkey?

Baby turkeys are known as “poults” for the first 28 days after hatching. A baby female turkey is known as “Jenny,” and a baby male turkey is known as “Jake.”

Poults should be directed and safeguarded by their mothers at this period because they are still too weak and easily become prey for predators.

Color of a Baby Turkey

Is it white or yellow?

Newborn birds are typically brown, grey, speckled, or white. However, most baby turkeys, especially farmed ones, are yellow. They are partially yellow in the case of wild poults.

Of fact, there are few occasions where newborn poults do not have a yellow pattern on their body, but the yellow pattern is more typical.

Color of a Baby Turkey

Baby Turkey Sex

When can you tell whether a turkey is male or female?

When a newborn turkey is three weeks old, you can determine its gender. At that point, a jake (male baby turkey) begins strutting, although a female turkey does not.

The jakes will begin to fan their tail feathers, drop their wings, and reveal all of their feathers in the contour to make their bodies appear larger. They may also hold their heads close to their bodies and remain upright in front of them.

If you see this, you can be certain that it is a male turkey. As the jakes grow older, their tails and heads will turn bright red with blue and even burgundy flecks as they strut.

Can you detect a turkey’s gender by its poop?

The response is unexpected. YES, you can detect the gender of a turkey by its droppings. Male turkeys have spiral-shaped excrement, whilst female turkeys have droppings that look like the letter J.

Baby Turkey Sex

Determine a baby turkey”s gender by its poop. Source:

Baby turkey vigilance

Is a heat light required for baby turkeys?

Because turkeys are small, thermophilic birds, they require a heat lamp when they are young. Before placing the poults in the incubator, set the temperature to 95° to 98°F.

You should keep a watchful eye on their activity in the incubator. They are chilled if they are cowering in front of the light. They are too heated if they are attempting to avoid the core. If they’re behaving properly in the light, it suggests the temperature is just right.

Reduce the temperature by 5°F per week until the temperature outdoors matches the temperature inside the brooder. To accomplish this, simply raise the heat light higher.

Do not allow the poults to become damp or chilly. Adequate airflow is permitted, but no draughts are permitted inside the incubator.

heat light required for baby turkeys

How long will they remain with their mother?

After hatching, baby turkeys should stay with their mother for at least 8 weeks. They are easily chilled when their feathers are not fully developed. As a result, they must have a fully-groomed feather before they can live outside, which occurs when they are 8 weeks old.

If the weather is too cold outside, you should postpone their outdoor excursion. A heat light will be required in that case to keep them dry and comfortable at night.

Where do they spend their nights?

During their first several weeks, wild newborn turkeys sleep on the ground under the mother turkey’s wings. They will join their parents around a month later, lying on a low limb at night, snuggling under their parents’ wings.

Raising a Turkey Child

Are they difficult to raise?

Producing turkeys is much more difficult than raising ducks or chickens because they are more delicate and vulnerable to nutritional and environmental mismanagement.

As a result, if you want your newborn turkeys to develop safely, you must ensure their sanitation, feeding, and disease prevention.

Furthermore, because turkeys live in flocks, you cannot rear just one. You can keep your turkeys with chickens, but you must ensure the chickens’ sanitation because they can spread infections that are dangerous to your turkeys. Furthermore, because turkeys live in flocks, you cannot rear just one. You can keep your turkeys with chickens, but you must ensure the chickens’ sanitation because they can spread infections that are dangerous to your turkeys.

What is the best way to rear newborn turkeys?

First and foremost, they enjoy the heat. As a result, as noted above, you should ensure that your poults are warm enough by using a heat lamp in their coop.

Second, make sure your poults are clean and dry. Pine bark or rice husks are excellent bedding materials. Make certain that you never offer them cold water.

Finally, turkeys require more protein than chickens. For the first 6 to 8 weeks, baby turkeys will require 28% of the beginning protein. We propose that you look for specialised turkey or wild bird food.

Food for Baby Turkeys

What should Baby Turkeys eat?

You can feed your poults according to the following schedule:

  • Feed them a starter of 28 percent protein for the first 8 weeks.
  • 8 weeks – 6 months: 24-26 percent crushed protein turkey grower.
  • 6 months and up: 16-18% crumbles, layer pellets, or mush.

Greens, bread, garden trimmings, and scratch are good treats for baby turkeys, but they should be limited. If your poults are fed too much of this, they will get overly stuffed and unable to eat nutritious meals.

Food for Baby Turkeys

Can they consume bananas?

As a snack, they really like little chunks of banana. Aside from bananas, they enjoy bread, grapes, raisins, and acorns.

Read Also

Baby Pigeons: Everything You Need To Know (With Pictures)

Baby Hedgehogs Growing Up-Watch Me Grow

Complete Guide To Baby Hamster Care And Development


What should I not feed?

Here are some things you should never feed your poults:

  • Calcium sources such as oyster shells, breeder mash, and chicken layer pellets: high calcium levels can cause bone, liver, and kidney issues in your poults.
  • Rhubarb leaves, potato peels, and avocados can all be hazardous if consumed in large quantities.
  • Scratch: Do not feed this to your poults until they are 8 weeks old.

Observations on additional Baby turkey issues

Lethargic, flustered skin with droopy wings and blood in droppings is one of the most typical concerns with turkey poults. This could be the result of coccidiosis, an infectious protozoan.

Antibiotics will not totally treat it; only sulfa medicines such as Sulmet will. It is best to avoid this common sickness by practising good sanitation.

Poults should also be kept apart from adults. They will develop a natural immunity to coccidiosis as they mature.

Young turkeys are also frequently addicted to selecting newly growing feathers. Overheating, overpopulation, a lack of protein, too much light, and other factors can all contribute to this. This must be halted as soon as possible because breaking this undesirable habit might be difficult.

Why are my baby turkeys chirping so loudly?

There are numerous explanations for this. If your poults are chirping so loudly and regularly, the temperature may be too hot for them. As a result, ensure that they are comfortably warm, neither too chilly or too hot.

Another possibility is that they are chirping for food and water. You should ensure that your poults have access to food and water at all times. By any possibility, the containers should not be turned upside down at night.

Finally, your poults may chirp if they are unhappy or in pain. Their immune system is still weak, and they are susceptible to illness. As a result, you must ensure their sanitary as well as physical and mental wellbeing.


To summarize, there are numerous considerations to make when rearing a baby turkey. Raising and caring for them is a difficult and time-consuming task. As a result, we hope that after reading our post, you have gained some important knowledge that will help you on your quest to being a good rancher.



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