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Turkey-raising for profit?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Questions for those of you who market your turkeys?

Do you raise and breed them all year or do you just buy either eggs/babies a certain time of the year, raise them all at once for the Christmas/Thanksgiving feasters?

How do you market and who to?  Do you sell live, butcher yourself or send first to a processor?

We are looking to profit as much as possible.  What is our best route?

Many questions.

Connie

post #2 of 8

We sell hatching eggs and poults local in the spring. We have a route set up with some local feed stores and we go each Saturday morning to a different store and we sell from the farm as well.

We tried the holiday turkey route and for us it was more trouble than it was worth, nobody want to order a turkey in the spring when you are hatching so you don't really know how many to hatch. Plus people will cancel if you can get them to order.

Actually this year we turned a nice profit on our birds.

Steve in NC

 Midget White, Standard Bronze turkeys, Muscovy ducks, India Blue, White & Spaulding peafowl, Buff Orpington, Copper Black Marans Chickens, Corturnix quail and Ringneck Pheasants

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 Midget White, Standard Bronze turkeys, Muscovy ducks, India Blue, White & Spaulding peafowl, Buff Orpington, Copper Black Marans Chickens, Corturnix quail and Ringneck Pheasants

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post #3 of 8

To make your highest profit you will need to breed and raise your own poults each year, unless you are doing a small scale under 25 birds a year.
  What we do is keep all of the early hatches for our selves some for the market and others to replace our breeding stock for the next year. After we have what we need for grow out and breeding stock replacements we then sell all of the poults. This usually starts in late spring early summer. We also sell hatching eggs in this same time frame.

Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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post #4 of 8

We used to buy broad breasted poults every spring and raise them up to butcher .  We have started hatching out our own heritage turkeys.  It can be rather profitable.  The heritage breeds are much better than the broad breasted ones.  We have white holland and bronze.  We hatch them out in the spring and butcher in the fall.  We let them free range, and market them as pastured heritage turkey.  When the heritage turkeys are aloud to free range they do not eat very much feed.  We get $3.00 per pound.  They are fairly easy to dress out.  The
one problem as someone else mentioned is people who order one and then back out.  We usually sell all of ours because right before thanksgiving lots of people call and want one.  Heritage turkeys are far more profitable than broad breasted turkeys.

  Please choose Life! Proud conservative tea party member! 
....the right of the people to keep and to  bear Arms shall not be infringed.  The second amendment.  Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy strength.

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  Please choose Life! Proud conservative tea party member! 
....the right of the people to keep and to  bear Arms shall not be infringed.  The second amendment.  Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy strength.

Reply
post #5 of 8

Great topic!  I just raised 6 turkeys this year, kept two for ourselves and sold the other four.  My husband wants to up it to 12-15 next year.  We sold them for $2 per pound, and we weren't profitable, but that's most likely due to the racoons breaking into the coop at night and eating all the food... defintely need to improve the coop next year...

The people that purchased our birds this year were VERY impressed with the size (our smallest dressed at 23# and the largest at 33#).  And after hearing the stories after Thanksgiving, I have plenty of others interested for next year... we purchased ours from McMurray in one of their "barnyard packages" so we didn't have an option on breed.  We ended up with (2) white giants, (1) chocolate, and (2) black ones that I couldn't identify.

post #6 of 8

If you buy your poults and take them to a butcher you can expect to cost you around $ 2.50 a lb to raise your self. You can cut these costs down by hatching your own, do all the butchering yourself,and growing quality grains and foods for the turkeys to eat. I would say you could almost cut that in half to close to 1.25 a lb, if everything went right as it never does.

Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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post #7 of 8

Great questions, Connie! I am into planning right now for next year too I had the SAME questions smile
Thanks for the responses, guys!!
Christina

Christina, wifey, mom to two, writer of historical fiction, chicken and duck farmer, pygmy goat mama, Sebastopol geese herder, Narraganset and Royal Palm turkey breeder...

The rooster may crow, but it's the hen that delivers...
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Christina, wifey, mom to two, writer of historical fiction, chicken and duck farmer, pygmy goat mama, Sebastopol geese herder, Narraganset and Royal Palm turkey breeder...

The rooster may crow, but it's the hen that delivers...
Reply
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harp Turkey Ranch 

If you buy your poults and take them to a butcher you can expect to cost you around $ 2.50 a lb to raise your self. You can cut these costs down by hatching your own, do all the butchering yourself,and growing quality grains and foods for the turkeys to eat. I would say you could almost cut that in half to close to 1.25 a lb, if everything went right as it never does.


Envy...envy...envy. droolin I wish I had enough land to grow my own feed.  I also wish it were legal here to slaughter and sell off the farm.  Right now, the most accessible USDA processor is in Mississippi.  We're trying to push for one here though. If it works out, I have at least two farms willing to buy poults.  In the meantime, I'll breed what I can, send them with some other birds to the processor and sell to restaurants (fingers crossed).

I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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