Sunday, 4 October 2015

Taking Poults from Hen

A day-old poult

The incubation period for the turkey is 28 days. Turkeys are pretty good natural incubators meaning they can pretty well take care of their eggs until it hatches. However they are not as good mothers. When it comes to mothering their young, I am tempted to believe that turkeys and guinea fowls are the lamest!

Turkey eggs are pretty precious and expensive. Well needless to say the poults are much expensive and precious. Day-old poults are very much a delight to watch. They are quite bigger than chicken at birth. They look fluffy and all but they are also very fragile. They are not as strong like the chicken. A poult can virtually die for no apparent reason at all!

After the hatch, most farmers are left with the question of whether to allow the turkey hen take care of the poults or take them away. Taking the poults from the hen is a crucial decision because it can be the difference between having a horrible poult mortality and raising a lovely flock.

As a rule, I always take my poults away from the mother. At the start of the hatch, the poults usually hatch out after three days. When the last poult come out, the hen indicates the readiness to move out. At that, time, I take the hen out gently to the 'recovery room'. In that room, I have high energy meal consisting of glucose powder and grains. After two days, the hen seems fine and is allowed back to the flocks.

The poults are however taken to the 'nursery'. In the nursery, I have a setup of lamps for heating the area. The poults are immediately fed on mashed nuts. The extra cholesterol is good for them. After a week, they are fed their normal feed. I ensure that the poults also get as much leaves as possible. After about three weeks, the poults are again moved to another area called the growing room where they integrate with the other flock gradually until they become adults.


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