Best Heritage Turkeys for newbie

Hplayer13

Hatching
Jan 15, 2020
8
7
8
Michigan
I’m wanting to raise meat turkeys for the first time, and want everyone’s input on what bird I should get given my wants.

5-6 turkeys
Cooped up, no room for foraging
Naturally reproducing (good mothering skills as well)
Good tasting!
 

FortCluck

Purple Minion Wrangler
Sep 9, 2019
10,857
44,372
937
Central Virginia
When you say cooped up and that they can't forage, how much room do you actually have for them?

Turkeys require a lot of room and that's just to live and to prevent them from attacking each other.

I'm not an expert, but I'll tag a few people who know turkeys
 

Hplayer13

Hatching
Jan 15, 2020
8
7
8
Michigan
When you say cooped up and that they can't forage, how much room do you actually have for them?

Turkeys require a lot of room and that's just to live and to prevent them from attacking each other.

How long do you plan to keep your turkeys before you turn them into meat?

Most of the time they don't reproduce before you butcher them unless you plan on keeping a breeding pair or breeding group.
Length of time I keep them is just dependent on what breed and how long it takes for maturity. I’m building an 8x8 hoop run and an 8x8 coop. I will keep two for breeding if it works out like that
 

FredsGobblers

Songster
Oct 15, 2017
248
1,032
180
north Missouri
For that small of an area I would do the 8x16 area with half covered 3 sides and top. I would suggest a small variety like midget whites. You would want 4-5 hens per tom. You can do just 3 but be very vigilant in watching for possible over breeding. A tom will try to breed a hen sitting on a nest. This can lead to serious injuries. Their mothering skills are not variety specific and varies from bird to bird in any variety.
If I was raising just for meat I would probably just buy 5 or more BB (broad breasted) each year for such a small area, butcher them and start again each year. They grow quicker and can be butchered sooner.
 

FredsGobblers

Songster
Oct 15, 2017
248
1,032
180
north Missouri
can only get them unsexed and will have a minimum qty you have to buy. You could get lucky and most be hens. My orders in past have been close to 50/50 most times heavy on the toms.
 

Molpet

Crossing the Road
Premium member
Sep 7, 2015
7,902
29,781
872
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
My Coop
Outside of space can you give other advice for my quesoton
I have had narragansett and 2 of the 4 jakes were aggressive with me. R2elk pointed me to a link that explains turkeys need turkey feed, https://www.hybridturkeys.com/en/news/aggressive-behaviour-nutrition/
When fed turkey feed they were not aggressive. I ended up not using them for breeding ...tasted good though
Currently I have a calico Tom, semi colored nari and calico hens... red bronze and calico Jakes. The calico seem to be a couple of lbs lighter. At 6 months the jakes dressed out 10-12 lbs
At 11 months, last year, red bronze 17 lbs.
 

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