Show

Strategies for Feeding Modern Turkeys

Animal : Poultry

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Purina Animal Nutrition

Key Practices
Observe and follow all show rules and regulations regarding the purchasing and showing of turkeys. Use Honor® Show Chow® branded products. Follow recommended management practices during the entire brooding and growing period. Keep records on all expenses and receipts. Cull birds closely and select the show entry properly. 

House Set-up and Pre-brood
It is best if you inform your dealer of your feed program/feed types and at which age you will need them. Inform your Purina® dealer 2 weeks prior to your needs. This allows the dealer to plan his order and ensure fresh, quality, feed throughout the grow-out period
  • Allow two square feet per poult for the first four weeks of age
  • Allow at least six square feet per poult from four to eight weeks of age
  • Allow a minimum of seven square feet per hen from eight weeks to show
  • Allow a minimum of ten square feet per tom from eight weeks to show
  • Place at least 4 inches of litter (pine shavings) throughout the house
  • Place a cardboard brooder guard around feed, water, and heat lamps for the first 5-7 days
  • Adequate house lighting is needed - 24 hour light is necessary through 12 weeks
  • Hens - remove all artificial lights in houses - lighting will increase rate of sexual maturity.
  • Toms - continue to light houses - Tom turkeys will not sexually mature at the rate of hens
  • Place 2-125 watt RED heat lamps per 50 poults
  • Have house set-up complete and begin heating the house 3 days prior to receipt of the poults
  • Brood temperature (litter temperature) should be 92ºF - 95°F at floor level, 12” from the brooder lamp
  • Water temperature should be 80ºF for the first 3 days.
  • Bird performance will be negatively impacted if the poults become too warm or cold
  • Keep fresh air in the houses but avoid cold drafty air on the poults
  • Time spent in the turkey house is a major key to the success of your project!!
  • The more the birds are stimulated, the better performance you gain at the show
  • Turkeys do not know they are supposed to eat as much as they can and grow as big as they can
  • You (along with the help of family members) have to make them do it!!
  • Each time someone enters the house, shake the feeders, and slowly walk around the house (stirring the litter), and making the birds get up and eat/drink/exercise. The more time spent in the house, the better the birds perform.
It takes time.
 
Pre-brood Dates
  • 2 weeks prior: visit with your Purina® dealer about feeding plans
  • 1 week prior: set-up and equip the broiler house with litter and all equipment.  
  • Test all equipment including lights, heat lamps, feeders, waterers, etc.
  • 3 days prior: begin heating the broiler house - the key to a good start
  • 2 days prior: check progress of pre-brood temperatures. Make final adjustments if needed.
 
NOTE: 12 hours prior to receiving birds, add feed to feeders
  • Prepare vitamin/electrolyte solution and place in waterer.
  • Remember water temperature needs to be 80ºF
  • Receive birds and confirm band numbers at time of placement in the house. Call Ag Teacher/CEA within 24 hours of placing the birds if there are discrepancies with band numbers and/or bird health issues.
  • De-snood the poults at a day of age to help reduce future social and cannibalism pressures in the house.

Week 1
Feeding  Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
Management 
Maintain brood temperature at least 90ºF
Change water every 24 hours after placement of poults.
If birds are dehydrated upon receipt: Add vitamin/electrolytes to water at recommended dosage on package for first 48 hours

 
Week 2
Feeding Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
Management
Maintain brood temperature at 85°F
Keep fresh water available at all times
10 days of age - spread wing bands open.
Weather permitting allow fresh air into the house
Stir the air with fan if weather does not permit you to ventilate with fresh air. Avoid creating a cool draft on the birds.
 
 
Week 3
Feeding Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
Management
Maintain house temperature at 80ºF reducing to 75ºF toward end of week.
Keep fresh water available at all times
Weather permitting - allow fresh air into the house.
If weather does not permit fresh air ventilation, stir air with fan. Avoid creating a cool draft on the birds.
Look at litter condition. Add 2-3 additional bags or clean entire house out and replace with minimal 4” deep throughout house.
Vaccinate poults for Fowl Pox - contact CEA if you need help.
 
 
Week 4
Feeding Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
 

Week 5
Feeding For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 15 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
  • 5 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating a cool draft on the birds.
 

Week 6
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 15 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
  • 5 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Look at litter condition - clean house completely out if not done at three weeks of age. Add 3-4 additional bags of litter if the house was cleaned out at 3 weeks of age (depending on litter condition). Use your best judgment…..Make sure litter is always clean and dry!!! Cull or separate birds to allow for additional floor space (At least six square feet per bird)
 

Week 7
Feeding For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 10 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
  • 10 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 
 
Week 8
Feeding For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 10 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
  • 10 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
Vaccinate Turkeys for Fowl Pox - contact CEA if you need help.
 
 
Week 9
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 5 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Prestarter
  • 15 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 

Week 10
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 5 lbs of HSC Poultry Prestarter
  • 15 lbs of HSC Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
Read show rules, regulations and guidelines for showing your Turkey in the show. Contact your CEA if you have questions.
 

Week 11
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
Cull birds or separate birds to allow for additional floor space requirement (continue through 12 weeks of age)
Hens - At least seven square feet per bird
Toms - At least ten square feet per bird
 
 
Week 12
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
Cull birds or separate birds to allow for additional floor space requirement (continue through 12 weeks of age)
Hens - At least seven square feet per bird
Toms - At least ten square feet per bird
 
 
Week 13
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 

Week 14
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 

Week 15
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 14 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 6 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Grow-Fin
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 

Week 16
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 6 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Starter
  • 14 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Grow-Fin
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
Cull birds or separate birds to allow for additional floor space requirement
Hens - At least seven square feet per bird – Minimum 5 birds remaining
Toms - At least ten square feet per bird – Minimum 5 birds remaining
 

Week 17
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Grow-Fin
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 

Week 18
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Grow-Fin
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 
 
Week 19 (continue through till show date)
Feeding
For every 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® feed blend the following:
  • 20 lbs of Honor® Show Chow® Poultry Grow-Fin
  • 8 oz High Octane® Power Fuel® Supplement
  • 8 oz High Octane® Champion Drive™ Supplement
Management
Maintain house temperature at 70ºF
Keep fresh water available at all times.
Weather permitting, allow fresh air ventilation. Stir the air with a fan. Avoid creating cool draft on the birds.
Monitor litter condition - the cleaner the house litter, the cleaner the birds will be at time of show.
 
 
Day Before Show
You probably have a good idea of the bird you are taking to the show at this point. Look at your show quality birds one last time and make a decision based on overall frame size (length, width, depth), fleshing, conformation, and breast taper of the turkey. Be sure to eliminate birds from your options with defects that will cause you to be disqualified from the show.

Pen Selection
Do not over handle the birds. Too much feeling, squeezing, and hanging upside down creates stress on the birds and causes birds to soften and possibly die. Remember, prior to pen selection look for defects that would result in disqualification. Remove those birds if any and select the top turkey in your pen to take to show. Mark your first choice Turkey on the leg with magic/paint marker. Mark your alternate Turkey with a different color or mark for quick identification. Avoid tie wraps, string or leg bands for identification purposes.
 
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