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What age to butcher turkeys - Page 3

post #21 of 32

Unfortunately, there is a recall on both the starter and the grow or I would be the first to tell you where you could get it.

post #22 of 32

Mine are BBB... this year, I specifically told the feed store I wanted standard bronzes, (after the massive BBB of last year) and they swore that's what they got. NOT! These guys are HUGE!

I only stall on slaughtering because I am a rather small single woman, and these turkeys are nearly half my size. I have to wait until I have help lined up!

But seriously, should I worry about my year-and-a-half old turkey being tough? He really doesn't do anything...

post #23 of 32

I butchered 3 heritage today they were small, 8.22, 9.70, 11.78 but they look good and hopefully they will taste great. Since they are so small I am not sure how I am going to prepare, maybe roast one, fry the other.

I loving husband, 1 Dogo Argentino,  1 Belgian malinois, several barn cat, 3 horses, 4 goats, lots of chickens, turkeys and guineas. Did I already mention the loving husband?!?!??! *****I'm a girl!!!!*****
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I loving husband, 1 Dogo Argentino,  1 Belgian malinois, several barn cat, 3 horses, 4 goats, lots of chickens, turkeys and guineas. Did I already mention the loving husband?!?!??! *****I'm a girl!!!!*****
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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDennis 

I butchered 3 heritage today they were small, 8.22, 9.70, 11.78 but they look good and hopefully they will taste great. Since they are so small I am not sure how I am going to prepare, maybe roast one, fry the other.


I would love to see any pictures you have of the turkeys when you cook them or even raw. How old where they and what breed?

If anyone else has pictures I would also like to compare breeds and ages in the finished product.

I had planed to do my butchering today but it is not going to work out. We are having snow the next two days. Lucky me.

post #25 of 32

I was wondering, do any of you have your turkey turned into ground meat? I am not a huge fan of turkey cooked as a bird, but I cook ground turkey several nights a week. I think I might even save money or break even from the store bought stuff at 3.78 per 1.25 lbs ( not sure why they sell it in that size). growing my own turkeys until the spring let them lay eggs, throw them in the incubator, butcher and grind up the year before turkeys, and then start the whole process over........  thoughts? feedback? 

post #26 of 32

i'd go for it. Ground turkey is so tasty and useful... i think we'd get more use of ground turkey than one roasted. i think next year i might do 2 turkeys - one for dinner and one for grinding. I thought about roasting half and then grinding the other half, but the butcher shops won't do anything less than 35 lbs...

1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 2 White Rocks, 3 Americanas, 1 Campine, 1 Golden Sexed-link, 2 Black Australorps, 2 Iowa blues, 2 Black Stars, 1 BBB turkey

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1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 2 White Rocks, 3 Americanas, 1 Campine, 1 Golden Sexed-link, 2 Black Australorps, 2 Iowa blues, 2 Black Stars, 1 BBB turkey

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post #27 of 32
We've had great luck making turkey sausage. I thought we would need to add pork fat, but didn't and it still turned out very moist (unlike a lot of the store bought turkey). We purchased the teriyaki jerky mix (dry) from Northwest Butcher Supply in Clackamas, Oregon, did a single grind and stuffed it in sausage casings. Planning to do some different varieties of sausage this year.
post #28 of 32

You may break-even if you raise the broad breasted variety.  If you raise heritage breeds, you'll probably lose money (especially if you factor in your time).  Turkeys can be difficult to raise and they need a higher protein feed which costs more money.  The broad breasted typically can not naturally breed so even if you get eggs, they most likely won't be fertile.  Heritage breeds will take at least nine months to mature, the broad breasted will take less (I think 4-6 months).  I've raised about 10 heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving, so I'm speaking from experience.  I simply highly recommend that you do your math/research because they aren't cheap to raise, not to mention that a heritage day old poult costs $10!  Good luck! :)

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by FourBlade View Post
 

I was wondering, do any of you have your turkey turned into ground meat? I am not a huge fan of turkey cooked as a bird, but I cook ground turkey several nights a week. I think I might even save money or break even from the store bought stuff at 3.78 per 1.25 lbs ( not sure why they sell it in that size). growing my own turkeys until the spring let them lay eggs, throw them in the incubator, butcher and grind up the year before turkeys, and then start the whole process over........  thoughts? feedback?

We have at least 10 mature toms to process this year @ about 16 to 18 months, which is when they reach their full mature weight for a Heritage turkey. Last year we only had 2 this age to dispatch for Thanksgiving and they weighed out at 34# 12 oz. and 35# even not counting giblets. We raise Holland Whites, the largest heritage breed. They were tender and juicy and the best tasting turkeys we ever ate. They had more than enough meat for over 50 people and a better flavor than the 8 month old, that weighed only 20 # after processing, and a lot more meat on the

older birds. It seems that for the first 8 to 9 months they grew a large frame and put most of the meat on the second 9 months. All our flocks are cage free and free range, so during most of the year bugs and grasses are plentiful, plus fruit that fall off the trees are gobbled up quickly, plus any scraps like pasta or rice that the dogs do not eat, the birds devour. Most of the carrot tops, chard stems, broccoli leaves, etc. go to the rabbits, but when the garden is finished producing for the table, the turkeys are allowed to forage in there, too. I didn't keep tract of fed costs, because I sell most of the eggs and poults, as I usually keep a minimum of a dozen hens for breeding and that offsets the price of feed to winter over the year old toms, until they reach max weight and taste. This year I am up to over 40 turkeys, a few are Midget Whites, for breeding stock next year, for small everyday roasted turkey dinners and one BR hen that I will be getting more to make a trio or quad to be able to offer more colorful poults for sale and have medium size turkeys to bridge the gap. So we will also be selling and have sold year old pairs for $100 a pair. Since with just the 10 mature toms are more than a large chest freezer can hold, whole, most will be cut into roasts, cutlets, stew, parts and a lot will be skinned instead of plucked(a lot quicker and easier) and ground or made into sausage and some of the sausages will also be smoked, before freezing. We process all our own birds, because there are no processers near us, so we can only handle 4 of 5 in a day, as we are elderly. I hope this answers some of your questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by junkprospector View Post
 

i'd go for it. Ground turkey is so tasty and useful... i think we'd get more use of ground turkey than one roasted. i think next year i might do 2 turkeys - one for dinner and one for grinding. I thought about roasting half and then grinding the other half, but the butcher shops won't do anything less than 35 lbs...

I hope the info above will be of some help and you might think about processing them yourself, just having a couple to do? Small electric grinders can be bought under $50. at Harbor freight TOOLS THIS MONTHON SALE AND COMES WITH THE SAUSAGE MAKING ATTACHMENTS. I listed the ad in the turkeys for 2013 thread about a week ago and several people on there bought them. If we can do it being elderly and disabled, you can probably handle it too. I hope this answer helps!

post #30 of 32

this year I am expanding a bit..last year I had a half dozen broadbreasted whites--all my boys dressed out at 56# my only girl dressed out at 23# -and I got them end of April first week of may--the corker about all this is that I also had geese,Toulous and ducks [Pekings]-and the geese were monsters  as well as my pekings-I harvested the goose fat-we call it butter where I come from--rendering the fat was a long process but it has to go very very slow as you want it to melt to a beautiful light light yellow-I gave a pint to this old timer for xmas and he thought he had gone to heaven and back-he took a bit of it seasoned it with just a pinch of salt and white pepper and toasted his dark rye bread and spread this butter on -I bake with it as well as do frying--any way getting back to my big boys and big girl they enjoyed eating not just their grain but also enjoyed themselves eating bugs,and a lot of greenery as they would follow the geese and ducks in pasture==when I first got them I confined them to there fenced in area-and only in late afternoon would I let them out for a spell and bring them back to their enclosed area after about half hour-they learned very quickly were their home was--but also birds have a tendency to imprint --and as they got older all I had to do was call them -here baby-baby baby and they all come running--folks say that the big whites all they do is sit and eat--well -maybe its because I raised mine with geese and ducks-I don't know -but they all put on weight-but I mix my own grain-white wheat,oats,corn,and finish them off with barley-just before slauder time I start giving them barley--this really cleans them out----but they all loved to roam the area--they stayed out of the gardens [fence around them] but end of growing season I let them all in to feast to their hearts content--I am also a believer in bleach--some say I over do it -but every 2 days I go inside their coop and clean and once a week I hose it down with bleach top to bottom--by the way about- big boys every one said they were better than store bought-the flavor and juicey-were great-but this year like I said I am going just a bit bigger as quite a few folks wanted the big ones for large gatherings and yes folks are ordering toulous geese as their meat is fab!!but I had one women who wanted 2 large turkeys so she can quarter them- and have quite a few meals with it as she has 5 children-the ducks I am parcial to their meat-in this part of the country northern Minnesota I will not subject my birds to the cruel winters-so come November I am thinking of putting them all down by turkey day I have them all done-the geese and ducks I do first week of December--and contray to those raised in confined area by the thousands with dislocated legs wings and you name it mine I do not debeak,nor do I take their spurs off=as they are quite content,and not borde, and I do not give any of my birds medication with their food-and since I do not use pesticide on my fields my birds are doing just grand -I try to keep it as natural as can be--hope this helped

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