Breeding meat turkys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Rachel's Hobby Hatchery, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Rachel's Hobby Hatchery

    Rachel's Hobby Hatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    North West Michagan
    Hi, I got a pair of those white hybreed meat breed turkys from a friend. I was going to eat them but Im thinking about keeping them. I have herd that it is not possible for a male to breed a female naturally, is this true? what kind of eggs do they lay? I guess I could always just keep them and not breed them. IDK. any info on this? anyone tryed? I think they are cute, even tho people say they are ugly [​IMG] you cant please everybody. Im just worried they wont be able to live through the long, cold MI Winter... I loose sevrel chickens and rabbits each year.
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I have a BBW turkey that became a pet and lived through the IN winter here last year...however, she did get sick, and we had to give her Tylan injections to help her get through it. It was terrible. I felt so bad for her...but now she's fine-the weathers warmer [​IMG] I don't look forward to another winter with her but like I said, she's a pet now and it comes with the territory.

    She's a big girl, about 30 lbs. I've had to make special accommodations for her like her very own roost which is a 15x15 platform with side rails for her toes to catch on so she wouldn't slip off (she got too big to roost and turn around on a 2x4), and only up about 10 or 12 inches off the ground with a special ladder for her. I have meat turkeys now and 2 of them (out of 4) are boys and she's trying to get them interested and it's just not working. I feel so bad for her....when those meat turkeys (BBW's) are gone, she'll be the lone turkey again amongst the chickens.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would've tried harder to not get so attached. Although I love her to pieces, I dread another winter with her.
  3. Rachel's Hobby Hatchery

    Rachel's Hobby Hatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    North West Michagan
    Would you send me a picture of that perch you built her?
    How did she get sick, I meen what with and what are the symptoms? I have never medacated a bird and try to never medacate my rabbits (once in a while I will give one thats acting off a little Pen-G but thats it). send me a picture of her too please. I want to see what they will look like full grown.
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Well, here it is.....


    It's not the greatest, but it works.

    When she got sick, it was down into single digits for the winter. I had a heat lamp in and on 24/7 and she hovered under it the majority of the wintery season. She didn't venture outside at all. Her symptoms were stuffy nose, plugged (literally)nose, breathing through her mouth (cuz her nose was plugged). She just sounded miserable. Wheezy......started to lose a little bit of weight, etc. You know........the kinds of symptoms you get in the winter when you know you're sick. She got real swollen under her eyes too........that's when we decided she needed meds. And yes, that is her on her platform (she has a beard which is highly unlikely for females like <10%). But that's her.

    Here's a pic of her full grown....this was her last fall...the only difference is that her beard is about 3 inches longer now.

  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    I have over-wintered Broad Breasted turkeys here in ND and they never got sick, even with temps to -38F...

    If you plan to keep them, encourage them to be active and keep an eye on their weight. If they get too big, it's hard on their joints. The male is too big to mate and can damage the hen trying. If you wanted to breed them you would have to AI (or you can get a heritage tom to breed to the hen).

    They are some neat birds and have wonderful personalities!
  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    My BBB's are really personable birds, so I am getting a few heritage birds, not sure which just yet, so I can have a sustainable meat flock because of the natural ability to breed. My BBB's will get butchered a few days before Thanksgiving, as I wouldn't want to leave one without it's buddy for a month.

    I am feeding them an 18% protein feed, just like my chickens, so growth isn't off the charts. They seem quite agile at 3 months. No flight just yet, but they are towering over my 4 month old chickens.
  7. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    When you winter over turkeys you need to keep the cold wind off of them, but you also need to ventilate there coop as the methane and ammonia from the waste can also kill them. The turkeys own body heat will help raise the temperature in the coop when it's cold, if you have a insulated coop. When we can we use a milk house heaters, during the coldest part of the winter, since they are designed to be used in barns and coop. We still put then on metal shelves and make a chicken wire covers so the turkeys won't get to close to them. If you use heat lamps the extra light and heat may start the hens laying early. We don't keep them really warm just up to about -10 to 0 degrees in the winter. That usually helps keep the water from freezing to fast.

  8. SaraF

    SaraF Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 10, 2010
    As far as breeding goes, males cannot mate with females naturally becuase of their large breast. U can use AI, but it is a nasty long mess.
    She should be fine through the winter. I had a BBB hen that lived to be 7 yrs old. We just gave her some straw during the winter and she kept warm just fine [​IMG]
  9. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2010
    Wittmann, AZ
    We have a male & female WBB, and they have been trying to breed since they were like 4 weeks old! The male mounts the female all the time, and they are only about 7 weeks old now. I have heard that they have to be AI'd too in order to breed them. No luck here yet, but then again ours are really really young yet, and won't make it to breeding age.
  10. Rachel's Hobby Hatchery

    Rachel's Hobby Hatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    North West Michagan
    thats so cool! thanks for all the info... I dont want to breed them really, just thought it would be fun to see them from egg to plate. I would get Turkys to breed but my mom dosnt like them. When I get my own property I can tho, who knowes when that will be [​IMG] I havnt decided if Im going to keep them just yet... I probably will because Im the only peron in my family that likes turky & I dont want to wast perfactly good meet. & i think there cute [​IMG]

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