You suggest on your site to use your chick starter for backyard turkeys from start to finish, its only 18% protein when a typical turkey starter is about 26-28% protein and a grower usually 20-24%. I would think a turkey, particularly a commercial variety, would be stunted and might have bone development issues with such a low protein feed. Has the use of the starter on turkeys been tested to make sure it doesn't have any adverse effects on the health of the birds?
Thanks for your question. Raising turkeys in a backyard environment is quite different to a commercial setting as there are a lot less "stressors" involved. Our turkey rations are generally suited for commercial operations and so therefore those rations do contain much higher protein levels. (starter 28% - Grower 22% - Finisher 18%)
The one thing about commercial production is that there is greater competition for feed, and this places greater importance on having a higher specified ration in that environment
Our recommendation is purely for those with one or two turkeys in a backyard environment who want an organic option.
A lower spec feed, such as our chick starter grower will mean that the turkeys will consume more feed per head per day to try and meet their daily nutritional requirement. Its also important to note that a high protein diet is useless if it is not balanced correctly - and will simply end up passing through the bird. in other words, protein is only a small part of the story.
We have been conducting an extensive trial on turkeys and broiler birds adopting an "out of the box" approach to formulating diets. This has seen us develop lower protein diets that are in some cases out performing some of our standard rations. This trial has been on going for over 2 years and to date we have not had any issues with bone formation. This approach does have a longer growth cycle by a few weeks, but i am told the meat quality is much better.
I hope this helps