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which heritage turkey breed for meat?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I would like to get heritage breed turkeys. Which is the best for meat production? I would like for them to be nice and large.

homeschooling mama to 4 (so far) and feeder of an ever growing number of birdies
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homeschooling mama to 4 (so far) and feeder of an ever growing number of birdies
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post #2 of 10

The best one I have seen is a Giant white turkey. The toms will tip the scales at 45 pounds.

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RSL, PR, BR, GL, EE hens... more chicks to come.
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post #3 of 10

Like cornish x for meat chickens, for heavy meat meat types like  you see on tables will be bb bronze or whites... who need to be artificially inseminated. Don't know about what heritage type will be best though.

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Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've thought about the bb turks. I might get them this year. I want to get something that will breed though. I was thinking about bourbon reds, but not sure.

homeschooling mama to 4 (so far) and feeder of an ever growing number of birdies
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homeschooling mama to 4 (so far) and feeder of an ever growing number of birdies
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post #5 of 10

I don't think the broad breasted bronze or white count as Heritage breeds, do they?

I recommend going with a single-breasted variety that can breed naturally. Turkeys are giant enough for me to not worry about not having double breasted birds.

Most of your Heritage turkeys get to be around the same size except for the Royal Palm, which is a little smaller (and the Midget White). I don't know whether the Beltsville is considered a Heritage or not. If it is then that one is "tiny" with a nice large breast, but is _extremely_ rare.

Honestly, your best bet is to probably go with whichever Heritage looks the best to you. The Standard Bronze seem to get the largest, but I've heard mixed things about their personality. The Red Bourbon comes in second - a breed I have that I have no complaints about at all.

If you've never raised turkeys before then you're in for a treat. Once you get through the hassle of learning the tricks they're great to have around.

Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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post #6 of 10

Giant whites are broad breasted, not heritage.  The palms are the smallest, some larger types are the bourbon reds, narrigansett, jersey buff, standard bronze... Bourbons have a nice temperament, as do the lilacs.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

no, the bb bronze and giant whites are not heritage. they are enormous though! I knew palms were the smallest-- so pretty though. I'll prob. go with the bourbons. Can anyone tell me how they compare in size to wild eastern turkeys? That's all I'm familiar with other than the bbs.

homeschooling mama to 4 (so far) and feeder of an ever growing number of birdies
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homeschooling mama to 4 (so far) and feeder of an ever growing number of birdies
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post #8 of 10

Don't go with the royal palms, they don't have much breast meat. Try the Bourbon reds or even the blue slates. Narragansettes are nice too.

Stacy

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~ Henry Ford
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"No unemployment insurance can be compared to an alliance between man and a plot of land."

~ Henry Ford
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post #9 of 10

The first and hopefully last smile time we weighed our Blue Slate Tom he was 25lbs.  Our eastern wild was about 17lbs, but he was only a year old, and Thumper was at least 2 years at that time.  Our girls run 15-17 lbs.

Birds: India Blue Peafowl & Mute Swan
Dogs: 2 Cairn Terriers & 1 Cairn x Jack Russell (we think)
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Birds: India Blue Peafowl & Mute Swan
Dogs: 2 Cairn Terriers & 1 Cairn x Jack Russell (we think)
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post #10 of 10

Our blue slates have wonderful temperments, are not jumpy, and are quite heavy.  I have not eaten one so I don't know what the dressed weight of one is, but I know when I have to handle them for anything they weigh more than my child and she will be 3 next month.

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For all things chicken go here: http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/index.html
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