Edited by kfacres - 11/23/11 at 5:19am
The three Bronze birds on the left, are the next step in our breeding program. We have had these Bronze genetics for nearly 15 years, even though I'm certain there is a cross with an Eastern Wild in there somewhere- about 8 or 9 years ago. When we first moved to our new house, our gobbler got killed, and for 2 months the hen was a loner.. She finally disapeared, and we decided she too was lunch for something. But nonetheless, she came up one day with several poults following behind-- so she either carried fertile eggs for nearly 2 months, or it was a wild gobbler that bred her. Since, I'm also certain our growth rate, and breast muscle has been lacking. This line has reproduced itself very good for us- usually hatching out 10-12 in a hatch, usually twice a year. This year, b/w 2 hens, we hatched out 18 poults the first time around (One hen disapeared this summer), and this fall, the last remaining old bird hatched out 12 more a few weeks ago. My parents have the old gobbler left, and an old hen... They plan to keep one young trio-- as have I (pictured). I'd say the baby fall's will also remain around for quite a while. I think these were hatched in May- notice the size difference and stoutness b/w them and the BBW birds, which are about 2 months older- same ration.
This is a new project for us- since our Bronze hen disapeared this spring, we decided we were done in that breed. We then decided to try and getting some meatier type birds, and had to purchase 15 poults at a time. Instead of stopping at 15, we went ahead and bought 20 of the BBW birds- well a little while later here came the bronze hen with a bunch of poults behind her- and so we raised about 40 young turkeys this summer. My parents will be retaining back a pair of them to try and get fertile eggs out of in the spring- if nothing else they'll let the old Bronze gobbler breed the white hen if the white gobbler can't cover her. I'll keep this pair.
I've got these 3 at my place, but one gobbler is destined for dinner. I originally brought up a pair, but had decided that my male was a dud- he never gobbled, displayed, or let his snood hang- even when my hen squatted... Well once, I brought the new tom up-- away he went acting like a male should.... Too late, dinner he's going to be. We'll see if this works... They are real late March's.
Anyone else ever try getting the BBW birds to reproduce?