Prepare the ring and light the brooder at least 6 hours before the Turkey chicks arrive.

  Check the temperature is correct and steady at 37 degrees
Centigrade (100 degrees Fahrenheit) under the brooder.

  Use a wire ring 13 x 25mm mesh, 16 gauge, 7.5metres long and 900mm
deep for a draught proof house, or a solid ring (hardboard) if the house is

  The ring should be about 4m across with a maximum of 350 Turkey chicks under a brooder. (depends on the type of brooder)

  Use clean, soft wood chips for preference, about 10cm deep and trodden flat.

  Chopped straw is not advised as, if dusty, it may contain fatal mould spores, and it is sometimes eaten causing compacted gizzards and death.

  Give plenty of food and water points - six of each per 350 Turkey chicks, 300mm outside the rim of the brooder.

  Beware of drinkers that can drown the Turkey chicks.

  Reputable "turkey starter" is essential.


  minimum 100 lux for the first 5 days

  minimum 50 lux for the remaining weeks





  Place boxes according to strain or sex outside the appropriate ring and then
shut the door of the shed/housing.

  Immediately place the Turkey chicks under the brooder.

  The sooner they have the opportunity to find warmth, feed and water, the lower the mortality

  Leave them alone as soon as possible.

  Any talking or movement will attract the Turkey chicks away from the heat and feed.

  Come back in one hour to check that no Turkey chicks are on their backs, none are
huddling around the edge of the ring and the brooders are running correctly.

  The poult's behaviour is a better indicator than a thermometer.

  They should be loosely scattered over the whole area of the ring.

  Crowding under the centre of the brooder or loud chirping means danger! The Turkey chicks are cold. Gasping Turkey chicks around the perimeter of the ring indicates too much heat.


Assumes that the house temperature is 22-27 degrees Centigrade



Too hot

Reason: Thermostat set high or brooders hanging too low.

The Turkey chicks move well away from the brooder, congregating around the circumference of the
surround. In extreme cases they pant and their wings droop.




Too cold

Reason: Thermostat set lower brooder hanging too high.

The Turkey chicks cry and crowd together, jostling for position under the brooder.





Turkey chicks are evenly distributed over the entire surround area. (see below)




         DAILY ROUTINE up to 10 days

  Feed and water at 8am, 3pm and 10pm to be perfect

  Clean the drinkers by

1.     emptying drinking water into a bucket

2.     wipe with a damp sponge soaked in detergent

3.     rinse the detergent with water into a bucket


  If the drinkers are not automatic, then fill any drinker that is less than a quarter full

  Tip two feed trays into one and pick off all hard lumps of droppings and shavings.

  Put new feed on the empty trays. This routine ensures there is fresh food introduced to at least half the feeding points.

  Spend a few minutes just looking at the Turkey chicks. This way you will learn from their behaviour how to look after their needs.

  Record the house temperature.
The Turkey chicks feed off the yolk absorbed at hatch time.

  A few deaths at this "starve-out" time are normal. Target mortality is 3% to 7 days and 5% to 14 days.

  Make rings bigger as Turkey chicks grow to avoid overcrowding.

  When moving Turkey chicks from rings ensure this is done in the morning and keep a close eye on the Turkey chicks all day to avoid clustering/smothering.





Stocking Density (Intensive) 2.5 sq. feet per 20lb turkey, however the more space the better