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Old 04-24-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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so if i want turkeys...

so if i want turkeys, which i'm not sure is a great indicator of sanity, at this point in my life, what would be your main pros and cons, turkey experts?

any favorite breeds?

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Old 04-26-2013, 09:18 PM   #2
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

nobody?
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:15 PM   #3
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

These will be my first turkeys if they hatch, so I'm right there with ya.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

well, i will watch and learn. i wonder how loud they will be.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

Quote:
Originally Posted by joyjoy View Post
so if i want turkeys, which i'm not sure is a great indicator of sanity
I don't know that anything we do is a great indicator of sanity.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

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Originally Posted by babysniffles View Post
I don't know that anything we do is a great indicator of sanity.

oooh. sad but true.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

This is my third year.. The first year my 12 week old chicks all drowned in a short rain shower...the next year my chicks were a heritage breed and we hatched out many...in an incubator because my hens didn't seem to know what to do with them as they were hatching and were killing them! We got 15 and when they were 8 weeks old they all jumped in the horse trough and drowned... Turkeys are VERY stupid. They are hard to keep alive. And are expensive. If you are planning on keeping them in a barn stall or other full enclosure til they are grown then you have no problems. Mine are in a grow box til they are 6-8 weeks and then I let them out with the other free range turkeys...so after several years I have 5 hens and 1 Tom... Most Heritage breeds are supposed to be better meat and are smarter but they are also smaller.
I have Royal Palms
Chicks also require turkey feed...chick start for chickens is not good enough...they are beautiful to watch and keep... Great to eat... Must be butchered before a year to taste best or it gets tough. Sometimes they can get mean as they get older too.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

I like Standard Bronzes, Chocolates and Jersey Buffs. Those seemed like the hardiest on my parents farm growing up. They can self breed, are pretty predator smart and are able to get away (fly) into the trees to avoid dogs and such. They are slower to grow, but most people agree they are more flavorful.

Chocolates are heavier/meatier, but not as flavorful.
Buffs are smaller, more docile, and have a clean look when butchered because of the white pinfeathers.
Bronzes are the sturdiest, but make sure you get the "standard bronze" as they are the self breeders.

We did try meat turkeys and it was just sad. They grew to fast to support themselves, were dumber than a doorknob and ended up with a multitude of health problems.

ETA: We never had a problem with our wilder "heritage" hens raising chicks. They did an excellent job, with a high success rate and they were free ranged on the farm. We did throw out some grain once a day to have some people interaction and always had fresh shallow water available. One year we had a hen hatch out 20 chicks and 18 survived to adulthood.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicanashville View Post
This is my third year.. The first year my 12 week old chicks all drowned in a short rain shower...the next year my chicks were a heritage breed and we hatched out many...in an incubator because my hens didn't seem to know what to do with them as they were hatching and were killing them! We got 15 and when they were 8 weeks old they all jumped in the horse trough and drowned...
omg ... i did not realize they really were that dumb! i thought it was just an exaggeration. they don't breed 'em for brains. we have a pond on our property. i can picture them all drowning themselves one after the other like lemmings.

so heritage breeds it would have to be.


@rumblepurr how many acres did your parents have/need to sustain free range turkeys? how does the butchering compare with chickens?
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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Re: so if i want turkeys...

I have been playing with the idea of a couple midget white turkeys to blend in with the chickens. Anyone have experience with them?
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