Best breed for urban homestead?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by sahd, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. sahd

    sahd In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2013
    I'm sure this has been asked before, but is there a breed better suited for backyard/ urban homesteading?

    Thinking about what I want to do next spring. I've got an area about 20by 50 I could build a coop & covered run(s) on. I'm thinking about making a spot for a few turkeys. I run a home daycare so free range is out unfortunately- I can hear my license rep having a stroke just thinking about it.

    I was looking on line and comparing Blue Slate, Narragausut (sp?), or BB Bronze. Not looking to breed any right now, although that may come in the future. Basically wanting to get 3-4 and raise for freezer and holiday tables. I'm wondering how about size & time till butchering & handling being fenced in.

    Noise is another question. It's a long story, but I'm not 100% illegal but not really legal either- basically "don't ask don't tell" for animals.

    Thanks for looking

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If only raising for the table, any BB type will just eat and grow. I've only raised BB Bronze once and I LOVED them. They had awesome personalities. They were near 50lbs at 5-6 months if I remember right, and barely fit in our oven. LOL They are prone to leg issues as any meat bird though.
  3. junkprospector

    junkprospector Songster

    Nov 28, 2008
    Boise, ID
    i have my turkey within city limits. this has been my first one, a BB Bronze. I think first - consider you long you'd like to have them. If you're looking for rapid baby bird > Freezer, BB is the way to go, however the BB varieties are more likely to have health issues/leg issues/ etc, so it can be a bit dicey in the beginning i think. Overall disposition (at least with mine) is very friendly, but we held him EVERY day for the first 2-3 months and visit/pet/check on the birs(s) daily. When they start to gobble - maybe at 20 weeks... you know there is turkey around. i don't know how this noise level compares to other breeds though. I personally like it and my neighbors do, so i lucked out i think. I think next year i'd like to raise a sweetgrass, just to change it up a bit. My BB has been relatively healthy and looks great. Compared to chickens (which was my livestock experience before the turkey) the turkey has alot more personallity and isn't as noise as a laying hen or a crowing rooster. Having the turkey has been a great experience overall. I would suggest everyone tries it as they are a delight to have and really an amazing bird - to wander out in your backyard city lot and have a turkey fanning out and strutting is pretty sweet and an experience most won't get to have.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    OH, I wanted to add, I did not actually play with my BB bronze much, but they were lovely and so sweet and full of personality like junkprospector's experience. I have found meat chickens and meat turkeys to be the sweetest ones. LOL.

    The toms I had would gobble if you whistled at them, and when strangers came by, they would display and get between me and the strangers. LOL
  5. sahd

    sahd In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2013
    thanks guys
  6. popsicle

    popsicle Songster

    Personally, I would avoid heritage breeds with your set-up.

    I had a BB White this spring. Lovely guy, calm and lazy. He'd walk around the pasture a bit, but not far and fast.

    Now I've got 9 heritage. Holy smokes, those things are all over and they are naughty. Up on the porch, out in the road, almost into the part of the yard fenced for the dogs (thankfully somebody was able to chase the turkey off the fence before he did a kamikaze into one of my huskies).
  7. Fat Man

    Fat Man In the Brooder

    Aug 14, 2010
    I'm going to disagree with popsicle you can keep heritage breeds if you build a covered run.. You could also use a tall fence and clip wings, this is what I do.
  8. Jake Levi

    Jake Levi Songster

    Jan 14, 2011
    Harrisville, MI
    Most breeds of turkeys will tame up and 'range' up onto a porch, fencing is the best ways to control them, and with that you'll need to clip wings. But in a covered run/yard you have a lot more leeway. I have two favorite breeds, Narragansett, and Wishard, but Wishard are hard to find now, they look like a Bronze but can fly and free range. Most economical to raise as they free range and get most of their feed, they do come around for scratch grain.

    The Narragansett is a hardy breed, my next choice, attractive too. Not as large as the BB Bronze. After them is the Bourbon Red in my favorites but smaller then the Narragansett.

    When it comes down to it, all current breeds of turkeys can and will do well for you, go with your favorite. I had available to buy this year some Black Spanish and they are doing very well, nice temperaments and grow well. My favorite though is the Narragansett and thats the one I will raise next year.
  9. sahd

    sahd In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2013
    Thanks guys. I'll have to see which hatchery the farm store is using this year. Must be a sign- looked out the back window this morning to see a wild tom in my yard right where I was going to put the pen at. [​IMG] I'll have to see if he makes a habit of it. I think there was a couple of hens in the field next to us but couldn't see them.

  10. hdmax

    hdmax Chirping

    Jul 29, 2013
    Central Ohio
    Sence you just have a small area for turkeys, you may want to consider going with a smaller breed, such as the Royal Palm. They don't get large at all, so they eat less. The hens dress out at probably no more then 10-12 lbs, and a tom would go at maybe 18 lbs. (To get to these sizes, it will probably take a year or more.)
    I have 7 of them, and personally don't care for them, as they are very small compared to the Black Spanish, and Blue slate, I am after a much larger dinner bird, and the Royal Palm just ain't that.
    They are a flighty bird that likes to range, that don't bother me, but if penned in a low covered enclosure may effect the growth rate.

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