Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Preparing for Turkeys

Today I finished the last of the preparations for the turkeys, which should arrive tomorrow night. The brooder has fresh bedding, the waterers have been thoroughly cleaned, and the chick feeders are clean and filled with feed.

Speaking of feed, my plan was to take my custom broiler feed (which is about 18% protein) and just add fishmeal to bring it up to 26% for the turkey poults. The only kink in this plan is that the feed store doesn't carry fishmeal, and they looked at me like I was insane when I asked for it. They were supposed to get back to me about if it would be possible to order it, and how much it would cost, but they never did and I haven't had a chance to follow up on it. I've had absolutely no luck finding an internet source, either, unless I want to buy wholesale from the fisheries. Yeah, not so much. At 76% protein, fish meal would have been very useful with these fast growing turkeys.

Apparently, dried earthworms are also 76% protein by weight, so I'll remember that in the future. I don't think I have enough earthworms to spare right now to make enough to make a difference, but I can start harvesting, drying, and storing them for next year's turkeys. In the absence of both fish meal and worm meal, I had to go with roasted soybeans, which only have 37% protein. I had wanted to find something other than soy, since that was already the main protein source in my broiler feed. It will take 8 parts of roasted soybeans to 11 parts of the broiler feed to get 26% protein.

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