BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Meat Birds ETC › Best Turkey to raise for meat
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best Turkey to raise for meat

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am considering getting some meat chickens this year, probably the Cornish X chickens, but am also considering getting one or two turkeys to raise also for meat. What is the best breed to get for butchering? How old should they be to process? Thank you in advance for your suggestions.


Rammy

post #2 of 11

Balance of taste and size: Bourbon Reds. Butcher at 28 weeks. Steve of Sands Poultry is the pro on heritage turks.

Size and efficiency as well as clean processing: Broadbreated Whites, butcher at 16 to 20 weeks for optimum efficiency, or 24+ weeks if you like monster birds. I defer to Jeff Brunty's judgment on these, though.

"There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

 

What I'm reading now:  Aquaponic Gardening, by Sylvia Bernstein.

Reply

"There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

 

What I'm reading now:  Aquaponic Gardening, by Sylvia Bernstein.

Reply
post #3 of 11

BBW or BBB

Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can,
At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. JW
Reply
Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can,
At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. JW
Reply
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Okey dokey. Thanks for the info. I will probably order in another month when its warmer so I can keep them out in the barn. Too darn dusty keeping birds in the house. smile Thanks again!!

Rammy

post #5 of 11

If you're getting turkeys that you'd like to be able to eat fresh at Thanksgiving time, you should wait until August or so to start them.  If you start in the spring you'll be feeding tons of food to giant turkey in the fall.

post #6 of 11

If you get a broad breasted type they are ready in 4 months a heritage type takes 6 months plus. Broad breasted type are the cornish X of turkeys - all they do is eat, poop and grow. smile The heritage birds have a much better flavor. My fav is the Midget White or Bourbon Red.

Steve

post #7 of 11

I agree with Steve, but the BB's are fine and will taste better than the store bought, especially if you usually eat the "flavor enhanced" brands. Don't overfeed them because they can get ascites or something similar just like the CX. The worst thing about turkeys is they are fragile when young. You should expect some to die in the first two months. If you want 2, I'd get 4 and hope 3 make it.

Are you interested in having a small flock? Then you'd want a heritage breed. Turkeys are a LOT of fun to have around! Really friendly and sweet, and they'll forage much of their own food if you let them.


Edited by Klutzy - 2/14/11 at 3:31pm
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Actually, I thought about just getting two. One for me and one for my parents. So a Heritage breed is better? I was going to raise it and then freeze it after processing. I am not planning on doing it myself. I have been checking around for someone who is practiced in doing that and think I will use this Amish guy up in KY. I also am planning on him doing the chickens I am getting for meaties also. I just get too attached to my animals and dont think I would be able to do it myself. If I keep a detached attitude towards them then I will be ok. Its not easy, though.
I am currently looking at McMurrays cataloge and am considering the breeds everyone has suggested. If anyone else has any other suggestions, that would be great. Im still learning so any information would be very helpful!! smile



Rammy

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammy 

Actually, I thought about just getting two. One for me and one for my parents. So a Heritage breed is better?


Depends on what you mean by "better". They taste better, but they take longer and cost more to grow out than commercial turks like the Broad Breasted White.

Personally, I prefer heritage for eating.

"There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

 

What I'm reading now:  Aquaponic Gardening, by Sylvia Bernstein.

Reply

"There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

 

What I'm reading now:  Aquaponic Gardening, by Sylvia Bernstein.

Reply
post #10 of 11

Heritage turkeys are more like their wild cousins/ancestors.
As far as eating goes - well - ever wonder why the Indians brought fish to the first Thanksgiving?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Meat Birds ETC
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Meat Birds ETC › Best Turkey to raise for meat