Turkeys are fascinating creatures that can be found in the wild as well as being domesticated for human consumption. Native to North America, these large birds exhibit distinct characteristics for each gender, such as the male turkey, also known as a tom or gobbler, and the female turkey, called a jenny. Baby turkeys, commonly referred to as poults or chicks, present an opportunity to learn more about the turkey world, offering interesting insights into their development and behavior.

Whether it’s the wild turkeys roaming the woods of the United States or the domesticated turkeys that have been bred for consumption, like the Royal Palm Turkey, these birds share similarities with other poultry species such as chickens and ducks. In this article, we’ll uncover five fun facts and showcase five captivating images of baby turkeys that will provide a glimpse into the lives of these remarkable birds.

1: Baby Turkeys: Poults or Chicks!

Baby turkeys are known as poults, but they can also be referred to as chicks. This term is shared with several other birds such as pigeons and chickens. Once these little ones grow up, they will become toms or gobblers if they are male, and hens if they are female. Additionally, it’s interesting to note that a group of turkeys together is called a rafter.

2: Turkey Chicks: The Social Stars of the Bird World

Turkey chicks are quite remarkable when it comes to their social skills. In fact, they’re considered some of the most social birds around. They cherish the company of their fellow flock members and thrive in group settings.

Baby turkeys, or poults, easily form lasting bonds not only with other turkey chicks but also with different animals in their flock. Comparatively, their socialization skills are on par with a dog. In addition, turkey chicks are known for being particularly:

  • Friendly with people
  • Trusting of their owners
  • Affectionate toward their fellow creatures

These intelligent birds have the ability to memorize the details of over 1,000 acres of land, making them extraordinary navigators. As they mature, male turkeys boast stunning feathers, while female turkeys are appreciated for their egg-laying abilities.

In groups, known as rafters, turkeys enjoy roosting together and engage in playful behavior. Their impressive social aptitude and trustworthiness often lead people to keep turkeys as pets. So, next time you think of animals that love companionship, don’t forget the charming turkey chicks and their remarkable social skills.

3: Turkey Chicks Have a Unique Voice

While many people associate turkeys with the famous “gobble” sound, these birds are capable of producing over 20 different vocalizations! Interestingly, only adult male turkeys can gobble. Turkey chicks, or poults, have their own unique set of sounds.

  • High-pitched Yelp: When poults are lost or need help from their parents, they let out a high-pitched yelp. Adult turkeys also use the yelp, but for them, it usually signifies a search for a mate or a way to inform other turkeys of their location.
  • Kee-Kee: Poults make a “kee-kee” sound when they get separated from their flock. Hunters often take advantage of this vocalization by intentionally separating a flock, making it easier to catch their Thanksgiving meal.

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples of the diverse range of sounds that turkeys can produce. Their vocalizations are a fascinating aspect of their behavior and help them communicate with each other in various situations.

4: Baby Turkeys are Unrecognizable as Turkeys at Birth!

Baby turkeys, known as poults, have a surprisingly different appearance compared to adult turkeys. An adult turkey showcases vibrant feathers and large fan-like tails, while a poult looks much smaller and more like a chicken.

Poults are born with a light layer of downy feathers, known as a “preen.” As they grow, their adult feathers will eventually replace this layer, but initially, their small size and yellow, fluffy appearance make them almost unrecognizable as turkeys.

Size of baby turkeys:

  • Smallest variety: Royal Palm turkey, usually under 1 pound
  • Larger varieties: up to 4 pounds

Adult turkeys can grow up to 24 pounds, which makes these newborn poults seem even more tiny. One unique characteristic of male turkey poults is the presence of a fleshy flap of skin called a snood. This snood changes color based on the turkey’s mood – blue indicates excitement, and red signifies anger. The color of their head also corresponds with these mood changes.

In summary, baby turkeys or poults are quite distinct in appearance from their adult counterparts. Their small size, yellow downy feathers, and short tails make them difficult to identify as turkeys when they are first born.

5: Turkey Chicks Love Heat

Baby turkeys, known as poults, greatly enjoy warmth. A cozy environment is beneficial for them, as it helps maintain their body temperature and encourages easy digestion. In a domestic setting, a brooder is used to provide the necessary warmth for these young ones, mainly through the use of a heat lamp.

Being omnivorous in nature, poults require a diet that includes:

  • Seeds: Serve as an excellent source of food for baby turkeys.
  • Insects: Provide the much-needed protein for their growth.
  • Greens and Garden Trimmings: Supply essential nutrients for their well-being.

As they grow older, their diet can be supplemented with:

  • Breeder Mash and Layer Pellets: A combination that helps enhance development.
  • Calcium Sources: Such as crushed oyster shells or insoluble calcium grit for their bone health.

However, it is vital to avoid certain foods like rhubarb leaves, potato peels, and avocados, which can have adverse effects on the poults’ health. Providing a continuous supply of clean water is crucial for their nourishment as well.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Naming Baby Turkeys: Baby turkeys are called “poults” or “chicks” during their initial four to five weeks. After that, they are known as “Jakes” (young males) and “Jennys” (young females).

  • Weight of Baby Turkeys: Depending on the breed, newborn turkeys can weigh anywhere from just under a pound to more than four pounds.

  • Baby Turkeys’ Diet: These young birds enjoy feasting on small insects, berries, and seeds.

  • Habitat of Baby Turkeys: They are native to the United States and can also be found in Canada.

Raising Baby Turkeys and Disease Prevention

To successfully raise baby turkeys and prevent diseases such as coccidiosis, it is essential to maintain proper sanitation. Some key points to consider for a healthy flock are:

  • Separating the turkeys’ sleeping area from their feeding space to avoid contamination of food and water by droppings.
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting the living space of turkeys.
  • Monitoring for any signs of disease in the flock and taking prompt action.

Keep in mind that turkeys, especially baby ones, may be vulnerable to predators like snakes and other reptiles. Ensure their living area is safe and secure.

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