Best breed for eating

chickenmomma6

Songster
Apr 23, 2018
104
98
111
st helen, michigan
I have chickens and other animals but I'm thinking about turkeys for meat. What is the best breed. Are they hard to raise. Will they get along with my chickens or should I keep them in separate pans. Is the processing difficult.
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,295
161,906
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I have chickens and other animals but I'm thinking about turkeys for meat. What is the best breed. Are they hard to raise. Will they get along with my chickens or should I keep them in separate pans. Is the processing difficult.
Domestic turkeys are all the same breed. There are many different varieties. I have found that how they are raised is more important than which variety they are. If you are solely looking at them for meat, my recommendation is a broad breasted white as white turkeys present the most appealing carcass after processing. Broad breasted turkeys were developed for the best feed conversion to meat. They require the shortest amount of time to raise to the point of processing. They are readily available as day old poults anywhere that turkey poults are sold. They are available as day old poults all year through online companies.

Processing is the same as for chickens only on a much larger bird. It depends on how big you allow the turkeys to get before you process them as to how difficult it can be. Processing a bird that has a live weight in excess of fifty pounds can get interesting.

If you are in an area that has blackhead, raising turkeys with chickens can be a death sentence to the turkeys. Some people can keep their chickens and turkeys together. Others have found that the turkeys can be harmful to the chickens once they get much larger. Turkeys require much more individual space than do chickens.

Broad breasted turkeys are dangerous to fowl lovers as they are far too easy to become too attached to.

Read the threads in the Turkeys Sticky Index.
 

chickenmomma6

Songster
Apr 23, 2018
104
98
111
st helen, michigan
Domestic turkeys are all the same breed. There are many different varieties. I have found that how they are raised is more important than which variety they are. If you are solely looking at them for meat, my recommendation is a broad breasted white as white turkeys present the most appealing carcass after processing. Broad breasted turkeys were developed for the best feed conversion to meat. They require the shortest amount of time to raise to the point of processing. They are readily available as day old poults anywhere that turkey poults are sold. They are available as day old poults all year through online companies.

Processing is the same as for chickens only on a much larger bird. It depends on how big you allow the turkeys to get before you process them as to how difficult it can be. Processing a bird that has a live weight in excess of fifty pounds can get interesting.

If you are in an area that has blackhead, raising turkeys with chickens can be a death sentence to the turkeys. Some people can keep their chickens and turkeys together. Others have found that the turkeys can be harmful to the chickens once they get much larger. Turkeys require much more individual space than do chickens.

Broad breasted turkeys are dangerous to fowl lovers as they are far too easy to become too attached to.

Read the threads in the Turkeys Sticky Index.

Thank you for all the info. Very helpful
 

jeffnolan

In the Brooder
Jun 22, 2016
8
34
42
I researched turkeys in anticipation of Thanksgiving and wanting something different. The truth is that I really don’t enjoy turkey and always plan on cooking something in addition to the turkey for Thanksgiving. This year, I purchased a Narragansett heritage turkey from D’Artignan and it really turned me around on turkey. I was thinking about adding a few of these birds to our farm after eating one.
 

aliciaplus3

Free Ranging
Oct 24, 2016
2,908
10,462
562
Colorado
I researched turkeys in anticipation of Thanksgiving and wanting something different. The truth is that I really don’t enjoy turkey and always plan on cooking something in addition to the turkey for Thanksgiving. This year, I purchased a Narragansett heritage turkey from D’Artignan and it really turned me around on turkey. I was thinking about adding a few of these birds to our farm after eating one.
Be careful they are like potato chips you can't have just one
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,295
161,906
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I'm unclear what you mean by this. Are you saying BBW and BBB are the same breed, or literally all domestic turkeys?
All domestic turkeys and the wild turkeys other than Ocellated turkeys are all the same breed. BBB, BBW, all heritage turkeys and the wild bronze turkeys are different varieties of the breed Turkey. All of these turkeys are the same genus (Meleagris) and species (gallipavo). They differ only in their subspecies.

The Ocellated turkey is the only one that differs at the species level (Meleagris ocellata).
 

shedinator

Songster
5 Years
Apr 17, 2016
110
136
156
All domestic turkeys and the wild turkeys other than Ocellated turkeys are all the same breed. BBB, BBW, all heritage turkeys and the wild bronze turkeys are different varieties of the breed Turkey. All of these turkeys are the same genus (Meleagris) and species (gallipavo). They differ only in their subspecies.

The Ocellated turkey is the only one that differs at the species level (Meleagris ocellata).

They're all the same species, but they're not all the same breed. A breed is a group within a species with distinctive attributes. Dogs are all the same species, but we still recognize that a toy poodle is a great deal different from a Malamute.

As far as turkeys, the main differences are rate of growth, size at maturity, ratio of dark to light meat, and appearance after processing, which I think are all important for someone asking what the best turkey is for raising meat. If I want a lot of meat quickly, it probably doesn't make sense to raise a midget white when BBW are available. Likewise, if I don't like white meat, the BBW isn't going to offer the same advantages as a Bourbon Red or Palm.

I agree with you that husbandry is ultimately more important than breed selection, but assuming @chickenmomma6 will have good husbandry practices, breed selection does still matter.
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,295
161,906
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
They're all the same species, but they're not all the same breed. A breed is a group within a species with distinctive attributes. Dogs are all the same species, but we still recognize that a toy poodle is a great deal different from a Malamute.
Whether dogs are called separate breeds or not has nothing to do with turkeys just as chicken breeds have nothing to do with turkeys being one breed.

Turkeys have only about half of the gene pool that chickens have. If I take a Bronze tom and breed it to a Narragansett hen, the offspring will all be Bronze turkeys. The female offspring will all be pure Bronze turkeys and the male offspring will be Bronze turkeys that are carrying a hidden Narragansett gene. If they were separate breeds you would expect to get a hybrid and not the same kind of turkey that one of the parents is.

In the U.S. the APA only recognizes the one breed which is Turkey. They do recognize 8 different Varieties of turkeys. There are many more varieties than just the 8 that the APA recognizes.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom