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Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Jesusfreak101, Oct 19, 2016.
What turkey breed is best for meat not looking for commercial ready by reasonable feed ready.
The broad breasted will grow fast and give you a good sized carcass pretty quickly, where heritage varieties will take a lot longer and the carcass will always be lean compared to the broad breasted. Broad breasted come in bronze and white, white will look cleaner when butchered, bronze will have dark spots where the feathers were plucked from.
Broad breasted can't reproduce naturally, and share the same problems as meat chickens, mainly Cornish crosses, they can have leg and heart problems, and shouldn't be kept long termed, and are best butchered.
Heritage varieties, are lighter of weigh, come in many different varieties or colors, are slower growing, can reproduce naturally, fly up on things and should generally live 4-12 years.
Those in stores are all broad breasted.
So if I want to breed them I need the slow growers and how slow are we talking
According to my turkey book heritage can be ready for butchering at 12-24 weeks of age, or 4-6 months. We usually wait until they are a bit older, about 7-12 months or even older to get a full sized bird of 15-20 pounds for toms. I think broad breasted will be 30-50 pounds by that age, but don't know for sure.
Turkey poults can be tricky for some people to raise, I haven't personally had any troubles. I feed my poults a non medicated chick starter with daily scrambled eggs to get the daily protein content up. Otherwise a good quality gamebird starter is recommended with a protein content of 28%, stepping down the protein after the first month or so to 18-22% to optimize growth.
I feed the hens and ducks a game fees 28% and mix with wild bird seed 8% protien.
Yeah, surprising enough it is cheaper then the regular 26-18% protien which is 17.99 per fifty pound bag as to where the game is 14.95 for a fifty pound bag