Breeding Turkeys? Need help.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by n8mont4, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. n8mont4

    n8mont4 In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2012
    New York
    I have 3 hens and 4 toms that i was planning on killing for thanksgiving. All are spanish black (brothers and sisters) except for 1 tom, which is a bourbon red mix. I heard that you can make a lot of money selling poults so I figured I would keep the bourbon red tom and one hen.

    -Should I keep one or two hens?
    -How many eggs can I get if I take them and incubate?
    -Do most eggs hatch if they are fertilized?
    -Do I have to turn the eggs everyday?
    -Will people really buy day old chicks?

    Also, how do you find a butcher? I put an ad on craigslist but nobody responded.

    Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    Butchering... Is there anyone near you that raises beef cattle, goats of sheep? If so, they probably know someone that will do it.
  3. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    Keep two hens in case one dies. Also, if you have a local markey, you will be able to sell more poults with two hens. On the other hand, do you really want to breed direct siblings? You might be better off trading someone for a different colored hen. Not only would they not be related, but you will produce more variety to see if they sell.

    The number of eggs you can get out of a hen depends on the hen. I had one that gave me 8 to incubate, then sat on 13 and was done. I had another that must have laid 80 eggs this summer. It finally sat on some and hatched 3.

    If the eggs are fertilized and incubated properly, you can get hatch rates in the 90% range. If teh temperature is off, hatch rates can be way down, 50% or less.

    Eggs must be turned at least 3 times per day for the first 24 days or so. Then you can stop. An automatic turner is a miracle of modern technology.

    People will buy day-old poults if you hatch what they like. Around here, everybody wants Royal Palms. Hard to sell anything else. Occassionally someone will want Narragansetts. Sweetgrass go pretty easily. You might want to inquire on Craig's list. Put in an add saying that you are planning on raising heritage turkeys and wonder who would like poults and what colors they might like. See what happens. Mixing a black with a red gene with all blacks will give you half black with a red gene and half without. You can probably be more specific and ask if anyone is interested in black turkeys or the black with the red (there is a name for this but I can never remember it [​IMG]).
  4. razvanM

    razvanM Chirping

    Sep 14, 2012
    The hens will sitt and naturaly incubate the eggs so you dont have to put them in an incubator,and yes the hens will turn the eggs themselves.

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