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Turkeys item created by Super Admin, Jan 10, 2012
Pros - Pretty, flashy, never actually flogged me
Cons - chicken killer, tended to 'wing beat' humans
Bought two of these from Cackle, one died a mysterious death in the brooder, and that should have been my first clue. The one that survived never stopped strutting, all year long. He was pretty for about a year, and then something happened. I found a dead hen in the house, obviously from cannibalism, so I bought some pick-paste, made sure to loose the birds early every morning, kept their feed and water full ect. But it kept happening. The rooster seemed to defend the hens, but when he died from a raccoon break-in, everything just went downhill. The last one standing was the turkey. Then he took to pacing the fence, wondering where everyone had gone! I have had turkeys before, but had never had a single problem with cannibalism. However, this has boosted my enthusiasm for Turkey Season.
Pros - Sweet, Pretty , and calm
Cons - Can be bossy, and bossy about her eggs
Royal Palms are great I really don't have anything bad to say about them. They can be a little bossy to other birds by chasing. They get along with mostly anything or anyone. I would 100% buy another Royal palm turkey. Hope this helped!
Pros - Pretty, relatively non-aggressive, chivalrous for the most part
Cons - Prone to sinus problems and always seems to be sick or injured
I bought a 1-yr-old Royal Palm tom from a BYC member, but it turned out that he was horrendously ill. He escaped quarantine after a few days of rigorous antibiotic treatment, and finally (weeks later) seems like he might be more or less recovered (we had to find where he was roosting and continue dosing him nightly). We named all of our turkeys this year for dragons, so his name, due to respiratory issues, is Puff the Magic.
Puff's about 3ft tall and at most 10lbs. His lovely plumage is starting to come back in (former owner tore a bunch of it out when the luckless boy tried to escape as he was changing hands). He is a very pretty bird. After raising only broad-breasted birds, he seems almost more like a flamingo than a turkey to me He has such delicate features--especially his long, skinny legs and toes! He's like a pianist trying to mack on body-building drummer babes. We have roosters who are bigger than this tom. Reportedly, Royal Palm's clean like giant old flat-chested hens, so it's a good thing we didn't buy him for his ample muscles.
Hopefully, he'll be able to get his manly duties done with our three pet broad-breasted hens because they're antics trying to make baby turkeys are pretty noisy, pathetic and sadly funny all at the same time. He's largely ignored their attempts to get his attention, but as he feels better, he does seem to be taking more of an interest in them (but now they don't know what to make of him). We're hoping that a crossbreed will have merit as a table bird, lawn ornament and pet while having a slower muscle growth and (typically) better health of the Royal Palm.
His personality does seem to be coming around as rather friendly, but he wasn't handled since he was a chick at his previous home, and likely distrusts us given our insistence at shoving needles into his chest and sinuses. Thankfully, table scraps, bread and pancakes, along with liberally loving on the other birds and speaking in soothing tones around him seem to be helping a great deal, and he now gets within a few inches of my outstretched hands. Within a few weeks, he might even take treats from my hands, which is pretty quick progress considering the circumstances.
***Royal Palms--even ones in poor health--can beat you pretty badly with those wimpy looking feet and wings***
***They can also FLY***
*Just something to keep in mind*
We've found that, while he does sometimes fly over the fence, he won't be gone long (if he can help it) because the other turkeys can't fly, and he can't bare to be alone.
Pros - Toms are Friendly, Most Hens are Friendly, Great Foragers, Very Beautiful
Cons - Fly, Hens are Jumpy, Very Small
My Royal Palms are wonderful. We have two toms (Gerald and Jeffery) and then five hens (Pepper, Poppy, Posy, Pansy and Penny). Gerald being the most friendly, fallowed by Jeffery and then Pepper. The most skittish is Poppy. When buying your turkeys, make sure that you buy them from a reputable owner/breeder! A Royal Palm will not make a great meal for the table and is mostly a pretty lawn ornament. As I have said, they are friendly and easy to train. Only draw back is that these guys love to roost. Depending on how good these guys fly, your neighbors may be calling you to come retrieve your birds off of their house and out of their trees. Clipping the primary flight feathers off of their left wing helps a lot on keeping them contained.
In the video is my Royal Palm tom, Gerald, walking in his harness and leash. I have taken him to the pet store, to 4-H meetings and just down the road. Very friendly and easily trained to do about anything.
Pros - Friendly, Heritage Breed, Good Foragers, Good looking addition to the farm
Cons - Small body size
I have six Royal Palm turkeys that are now about 5-6 months old. Thus far, I have not butchered any of the toms, but will once once we are through the rough part of our Minnesota winter. They are very good at foraging for their own food and come a running when some corn is scattered about for the chicken prior to roost. They roost most often on a fence rail, but sometimes in a large pine above the chicken coop. They get along with the rest of the critters; guineas, geese, goats, chickens and a Maremma, but sometime don't see eye to eye with one on my ganders. They seem to be handling the Minnesota climate just fine. Right now the temps are at a daytime high of 0 and nighttime around 15-20 below. No signs of frost bite. The toms are just learning they can gobble, which to me is a cool sound indeed.
We enjoyed watching the six of them hunt for grasshoppers and such in the hay field right after a cutting. I am looking forward to hatching a few out come spring and adding to the flock. If interested, I might even have enough eggs or chicks to sell in the spring. Let me know if interested!
These are not large turkeys, so do not expect to find large meaty breast at butchering time, like those of those over-breed, chemically feed store bought's. They are friendly enough to pet when on roost, but do not like to be picked up.
They have been a good addition to my hobby farm!
Update: We here in NW Minnesota (Jan 2014) just experienced a bitter cold Polar Vortex that pushed the temperature down into the -30° and lower range and wind chill down into the -50° range. Only one of the hens decided to use the coop to roost at night, the rest roosted in a large pine. Not one issue, thus far, with these turkeys and bitter cold weather.
Pros - Pretty birds, good foragers, great parents.
Cons - Dresses out like an old laying hen.
I raised a group of 8. They were all flighty and could get over a 5 ft fence even with clipped wings. After processing a couple of toms I sold the rest as breeders due to poor carcass quality. If you are looking for an excellent meat bird I recommend looking elsewhere. The toms I had processed were 8 months old and weighted 11lbs dressed out. The flavor was good but the meat was tough, the carcass looked like a larger version of some old laying hens that we processed a while back. They were allowed to free range and had ample access to grains and a high protein grower pellet from the local feed mill.
If you are looking for something pretty to run around your property and breed like crazy, these would be a good pic. If you are looking for a good freeranger that is also a great table bird, look elsewhere.
Pros - Beautiful, Great forager, Could make a decent pet
Cons - small dressed weight, light weight bird flys well even with clipped wings
I had ten+ of these bird last year (2011). We raise them for meat. I won't do it again. The hens turn out just bit larger than a rooster and the Toms left something to be desired. I also over feed my birds. They had nearly a 1/2 inch of fat covering the breast. Just too much labor for a smaller carcass. However, they ran through the wizbang without bogging it down.
Personality wise - if left alone the Toms get a little snotty. They constantly challanged and chased my Border Collie while strutting for mates with the other Toms.
I had the neighbors get tired of a pair and gave them to me. He said it lived on his back deck and would look in the house all day and strut for his 2 year old daughter. He got tired of the mess. I am keeping that Tom. He is mellow and non-agressive unlike the other 3 I had. I assume it was hand raised, mine are not. The hen flew out of the pasture and lives in the woods. Sustaining herself quite well and she roosts in our sawmill shed; and from her nighlty droppings I can see she is eating well. I do believe they would make good pets if someone spent a lot of time with them. I think they make great free range birds if you have good fence and keep wings clipped and don't mind or need a smaller finished product.
Pros - friendly, curious, beautiful, good broodies
Cons - hard to find, expensive
I have 5 Royal Palm turkeys. I had a pair two years ago, but when my tom died and I couldn't find another one, I sold my hen and got eggs and poults. They are very sociable, curious birds, and very friendly. My hens like to fly up on my bird feeder (an Amish-made, large, wooden one) and peer in the window to see what is happening inside. If the door gets left open, they all walk in the house! I am working on building up a nice flock and then raising some for the freezer, too. Turkeys are the most fun bird on the property!