BBB turkey grow outs, gaining?


Free Ranging
9 Years
May 29, 2013
Can anyone take a look at these weights as let me know if they seem ok? I've been comparing them to the Meyers BB white chart and the Penn Extension chart because that's what I can find online. They came from Hoover's Hatchery and are probably a different strain than Meyers. I have 1 BBW and 3 BBB. I've been weighing them weekly. Based on those 2 charts they seem to be gaining ok.

They get a locally produced turkey feed. I think it's 28% protein. After they've finished this bag I was going to buy the "meat bird" feed till they get processed. Which has a lower protein content, 24% off the top of my head, and the mill said it's ok for turkeys. They will be grown out to 17 weeks old. I hope for 15-20# carcass weights. What do you think? Do we seem on track to hit that?

Current weights @ 6 weeks 6 days are 4#8oz, 4#2oz, 3#9oz, 3#2oz

Here are the previous weights:
5week 6 day
3#5oz, 3#, 2#9oz, 2#5oz

4week (not sure how many days)
2#3oz, 2#, 1#10oz, 1#9oz

Here they are a few weeks ago.
Feeding lower protein just equals more carbs to me... which equals energy but not necessarily nutrients. Energy can only come from protein, carbohydrates including fiber, and fat. They will still consume the same amount of calories to meet their (energy) need. I personally would stick with the turkey feed since they will do several mini molts and feathers are made from 90% protein and it's amino acids. Protein supports muscle growth while carbs support adding fat. Unless you need to try and slow down the growth, then I MIGHT go lower protein.

If you do switch to meat birds feed... double check amino acid content.

I honestly don't know if you're on track or not as I didn't weigh my birds. But if you're feeding correctly, that's really about all you can do as far as I know.

Cute babies. :love
Thanks for the input. I'll have to double-check both labels. Is it common to leave turkeys on the higher protein feed? Most of the info I've gathered online says to bump it down. I don't have a problem feeding them either feed. Just trying to figure out what's my best option.
Just thought I'd update on these grow outs. They're 14 week and all 17-18lbs. Still 3 weeks to go. Should hit the target weight of 15-20# carcass perfectly.

I'm very impressed with the density and compactness in 3/4 of the birds. They're going to look great on a table. The 4th is the same weight but doesn't have as much breast meat around the keel. It'll be interesting to compare them when processing.

Lastly their gaining seemed to plateau for a couple of weeks when they got moved into a large garden area at about 10 weeks. I switched them back to the higher protein starter food. So I wouldn't have to restrict their movement. Seemed to have done the trick. They get to roam and will hit the target weight as mentioned.

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Just a final update. We processed 3 out of 4 turkeys today. Their carcass weights were 15#7oz, 16#8oz and 16#14oz. I'm very happy with the size and quality of the carcasses. The individual pics are of the medium sized one (a bronze).

There was plenty of wiggle room if I wanted them heavier. By this I mean diet change and restricting their movement. But I knew about 3 weeks ago they were going to hit target weight so I didn't worry about any of that. They got to pretty much do what they wanted.

The fourth turkey gets a brief reprieve. Our helper bailed so we just needed to do the bare minimum until next months processing. We left the smallest one to do more growing.

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Did you look at their feed conversion? How many bags of feed did you give them?

That's an excellent question that I don't have the answer to. I intended to track feed and cost but I'm a terrible book keeper. When people ask in person I tell them "It's a labor of love. You couldn't pay me to do it." 100% accurate.

I can say that turkeys grown in my area sell for $3/lb when raised similarly by FFA kids or backyard farmers. There was even one guy getting $7/lb for his "heritage birds" (he was getting it!). We only raised 4 four our family. These little piggies stay home. Hopefully that give an idea of their end value in my area.

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