4 sq. ft. of floor space?! Seriously?!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kitchwitch, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. kitchwitch

    kitchwitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2009
    Greensburg, Pa
    Hello! I was debating on getting a few Bourbon Reds this spring and in preparation for the happy event I did what every expectant poultry-mother does: I bought Storey's Guide to Raising Turkeys.
    They don't really go into great detail about how much room the birds should be given, just a small blurb stating the following:

    For Heavy varieties, provide 1 square foot of floor space per poult up to 6 weeks of age. From 6 to 12 weeks, increase the floor space to 2 square feet per poult; from 12 weeks to 16 weeks, allow a minimum of 3 square feet. Mixed sexes grown in confinement need 4 square feet for floor space per bird from 16weeks to market.

    To be clear I give my chickens 4 square foot per bird in their coop so I was struck a bit dumb when reading that Turkeys could apparently be kept like that as well.

    For housing I was planning on using semi-permanent hoop houses (moving them for 3 seasons and keeping them stationary during winter) and doing the math, if I have an 8x12 structure I could have 24 turkeys (and 16 turkeys in an 8x8)?! It just doesn't seem right to me.

    Personally I was figuring on keeping 3 hens and a tom in an 8x8 hoop house (only 1 hen and 1 tom would be wintered over), is that appropriate?

    Thanks for your help!​
     
  2. SED

    SED Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    North West Alabama
    What you are doing should work. The 4sf per turkey is for meat birds. If you were planning on raising them to butcher then you may go by the Storey's Guide to Raising Turkeys suggestion because they would be butchered between 4 and 6 months. But just remember, the more room, the better.
     
  3. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    SED is correct that square footage is for meat birds, Broad Breasted types. They don't really move around alot especially once they get a bunch of weight on them. Bourbon Reds will be alot more active so the more room the better but if you are growing them out the freezer it would work. Remember you are going to need at least 6 months grow out time for a heritage variety. I'm thinking that you wantint to raise your own next year is the reason for wintering over pair? By only keeping a pair if you loose one you are out of luck for breeding your own unless you can find a replacement localy. Just something to keep in mind.

    Steve
     
  4. SED

    SED Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    North West Alabama
    I agree with Steve. I would at least keep a trio and probably keep on the lookout for who may have an extra Tom just in case something happens to him.
     

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