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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by chick dreamer, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. I am thinking of raising black spanish turkeys but i havea few questions
    1 Are they mean or agressive during any time of year?
    2 This will be the first time raiseing turkeysso are the easy to raise?
    3 do they eat a lot?
    4 Do they lay well but I would probable hustle their young in the freezer?
    5 are they good mothers?
    6 How much room do they need?
    7 Would I be better to start of with an old or a young couple

    This are all the questions I have for now.

    Can anybody post pics of yous or were you hold them
  2. loudraven

    loudraven Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2012
    I just started raising them. I started out with 5 black Spanish, 5 bourbon reds, and 5 wild. I'm down to 3,2,3 don't put them with the chickens they will kill them. Also the chickens will give them some bug that will kill them as well. But to answer your question they are the funniest and nicest birds I've had to date. I was raising them for food for my family and friends. But I have to admit the turkeys are becoming my friends. They come to me, sit on my foot. Watch me build their coop, etc.... I have to admit I like turkey's better then the chickens. I have only had my turkeys for 3 months now so I can't tell if their going to change in temper but hey you only live once.
    Another thing ever have a turkey egg? Me neither, I hope that changes soon.
    You should read the book
    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle By Barbra kingsolver. She talks about raising turkeys and what it was like for her and the family. Great book for people who use their back yard to live.
    Good luck, Mike
  3. diriel

    diriel Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 18, 2012
    N.E. Oklahoma
    I raised mixed fowl a few years ago, back in 2006 to 2008. We had Production RIR's, americauna's, Cuckoo Marans, 2 polish chickens, 2 turkeys, 2 geese, some quail, and ducks. My favorite chicken was the Marans, and my favorite fowl were the Bronze Turkeys. I allowed the fowl to mix and mingle and the only problems we had were when the utterly stupid RIR roosters would try to peck the turkeys!

    The one turkey I had was picking at the scratch when the really dumb RIR Rooster pecked him in the head. The turkey squawked and backed up then proceeded to pay that RIR back in kind! The turkey won that one hands down, but did not try to actually kill the RIR. I swear RIR roosters can be truly stupid :) Now I did not pen them all up in the same pen, but out in the yard it was all mostly good. I can see where a penned up aggressive rooster might piss a turkey off enough, while penned up, to get himself killed. Now that you mention it, I do miss Turk-Turk :)
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  4. would anybody post pics of them
    how much room does a couple need?
    does a 15 feet by 30 feet building suffise
  5. galstew1

    galstew1 Just Hatched

    Mar 7, 2013
    I have been raising them for a year. They are not aggressive ever, you can go up to the males and pick them up if you are fast. If they start to roost somewhere that you don't want them to, stop it right away, or they will never break the habit. They are very easy to raise, but if you have chicks, do not let the poults be with them, or when the chicks start to replace their fuzz with feathers, the poults (baby turkeys) will peck at their anis area (because it is pink/red) until it is basically almost inside out, and they will die. The reason I say they are so easy to take care of is because we just let ours out and they will roam around and eat things, come inside their coop, and just barley eat anything, a 50lb. bag of food will last us a month sometimes. In the winter, they will scratch at the snow if it is not deep and eat the grass, or find a place that was sheltered and eat the grass there. They will eat snow in the winter if they don't have water, but i would not let them live off of the snow, we still water them. I do not know about laying, but i do know that they will lay. You would be better with a young couple to start off with, but only let them live to about 6 years of age, or the meet will start to get tough, and they start to decrease in laying. I would only keep about two males, just in case one dies from a coyote, wolf, ect. If you do keep more than one male, you will see them fighting in the winter/fall primarily, but also in other parts of the year. The reason for this is because they are trying to be dominant over one another to decide who will mate. Do not try to break them up, sometimes they lock onto eachother's mouths and "french kiss." I tried to break it up, and i ended up lifting them off the ground. If you would have any chance of stopping it, it would be the first time one hits the other with it's wings, the only solution would be to seperate them. This is the only time they are agressive, but still, you could do anything you want when they are doing this, and they will not hurt you. Do not think that you need them in a green house or a sheltered area, ours wouldn't go in last year when we had a blizzard, the snow drifted about 5-7ft, and they didn't go in once. I would keep a place where they are safe from predators though. We have about an 8ft by 8ft area with five turkeys in it, we originally had 7 in there, but we lent one to our friend because he ended up getting three females and no males, and once they wandered off(which they used to do a lot when we let them out all day) and one of the hens didn't come back. We do however let them out as much as possible. The females can and will fly. You will know when they are ready to be put up when they start to roost in a tree or other high up place, for us it's the back board of our basketball hoop. Overall, I think they are a great breed. They take care of there young, build there own nests, and are very socialable with other turkeys and humans. They aren't terrified of our dog, but they do kind of jump when he runs by. The only bad things about them are that they wander after about eight hours and go in the road to get grit, which will help their digestive system. They almost always come back in the evening though. The only thing you really would need to worry about with wandering off is weather your neighbors will mind or not. They also poop on our deck, which they have a habit of getting on and peering in our glass door to see what we are doing. They would come in if we let them.
    If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to answer them for you.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Glor

    Glor Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2013
    I just hatched a turkey, they are as loudraven says friendly, about 15 years ago my father in law had 3, 2 females and a male they were pretty neat and very friendly to him, I loved looking at them because he had the ones that looked like the fancy Pigrim turkeys in photos. I was much younger then an they appeared so much bigger then, that I didn't want to mess with them but enjoyed looking at them and in the fall here in New England they did make October and November more harvest time avience (sp?). But they weren't aggressive he had a big fenced in area with a lean tube type area which worked great until foxes and coyotes came along, they did have access to a coop but never used itHe use to throw them grain, 1 got hurt very badly and he hard to put her down and made dinner of her. Everyone said it was excellent thank goodness I had to work that day. I will keep mine in a more controlled/safe area. Good Luck
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013

    AUNT KAT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    Lebanon, Pa
    Hello all from PA!
    I am in the middle of a crash course on Turkeys. A whole flock of Black Spanish decided they liked it here on my little farm, and after a ton of investigating, they came from a person who raised them to walk around (this isn't a good area for that- loads of traffic). The guy decided they are too much work and gave them to me (he's older). they are EXTRMELY TAME, very loving. I have adopted out 2 females and a tom to a friend, another tom to a nice lady who wants a pet, and am keeping at least the last 2 females and 1 Tom. There are 4 more toms left in the group. Poor things are just babies too.
    So my plans of getting turkeys next year or two years after learning about them has been bumped up. Can you guys give me some advice? Can I keep more than 1 tom , and must they have their own space so they don't hurt each other when they get older? I want them to stay alive after all I went through to get them off the road and out of harms way.
  8. Glor

    Glor Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2013
    My father in law had a few turkeys even a couple toms at the same time along with a couple females and they were all fine with each other,
    But they did have a big fenced in area don't think it made too much a diffrence as long as they have room enough to stay out each others way.

    I hatched my black Spanish on July 3rd! Think it's a girl. It is a sweet bird, had to make an enclosed area because a foxes and yotees here in mass.

    Congrats on your turkey family

    AUNT KAT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    Lebanon, Pa

    Thank You! Am hoping to get these guys loving homes, and whoever I can't d that for is going to stay with me. Funny how attached you can get to these lil suckers!!!
  10. Glor

    Glor Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2013
    Wish I lived closer I would take 1 off your hands, my girl (I think is a girl) would like company I think. She likes my company,
    But i think she would like a real turkey friend . They have very good eye sight too,

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