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Blue slates??

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by rockin5t, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. rockin5t

    rockin5t In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2015
    Hi, I have two blue slates that are approximately ten months old. Originally, they were purchased for Christmas and Thanksgiving, but they never weighed in very large. At nine months, they were about 11 pounds each. They have started laying eggs, sometimes doubles. Does anyone know at what age they normally would reach a weight that would ready for the dinner table? Or are they there already? Since they are laying, it would make sense to me that they are putting all that energy into egg production and much less into muscle building.

  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Since they are heritage turkeys and hens at that, they are never going to get very big.At 10 months they might dress out at about 6 - 8 lbs. Their maximum dressed weight when fully mature is likely to only get to about 8 - 12 lbs.
  3. rockin5t

    rockin5t In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2015
    Thanks for the info. The turkeys are interesting animals but much different from the chickens. Surprising how much they defer to us as soon as we go in the pen, how they are how they are not always at the top of the pecking order. I'm still undecided about getting more.
  4. katsdar

    katsdar Crowing

    Jul 21, 2012
    Armuchee, Georgia
    for meat you need to get broad breasted turkeys
  5. turksinmaine

    turksinmaine Chirping

    May 28, 2015
    I would encourage you to get a blue slate tom asap to mate with the hens. But that is whether or no you have any desire to continue for years to come. they will mature at at least year old. if you save and slaughter them by next thanksgiving they may dress to 14 lbs. In my opinion finished product would be more appreciated by the wait for the bird would develop more taste over time.
    In my opinion, broad breasted turkey is too fast of a growing bird to give the desired time needed for that flavor that is in part what makes it worth while that separates it from any of the store bought birds out there.I speak not as a turkey farmer for my experience as one is limited and am still in the learning phase of things. But I speak in culinary arts, Which in the kitchen I am more than qualified to comment on this subject. Too young of a bird the flavor is of the same with the development of the bird. not fully developed yet. Also nore meat to less fat ratio over time. I have seen not only personally but on here amongst other sites ones commenting on how tough the meat on the older birds. Yes, no argument there will be a difference between those store bought turkeys that most of us all know in here, which is one of the reasons encouragement for me to grow my own, That those birds were done with speed not perfection.( put in lighter words) Which yes it is very tender, "BUT TASTELESS" Most flavors are from the spices put into it. There are ways to make your bird come out with perfection. One thing also, do not overcook. They roast faster than store bought turkeys.
    1 person likes this.
  6. rockin5t

    rockin5t In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2015
    Thanks! Originally I wanted bigger birds but did not want to order twenty. All they had locally were these blue slates and they were a month old. That meant they were more out of the danger zone -- that first month for turkeys has more mortality than chicks. I'm happy we tried it and the eggs are nice. I don't know if I want a Tom since I know a couple places I can get more poults and my coop isn't really set up for lots of turkeys. I figure we will let them grow until they seem to top out in weight.

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