Breeding turkeys?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by TMNfarm, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. TMNfarm

    TMNfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised two bronze turkeys this year for the first time and I really loved it... Right up to the killing of them. I've done some research now and have come up with a plan for butchering next year that won't be so traumatic for me or for the birds. I did get quite attached to them and really enjoyed their personalities.

    I wanted to get a breeding pair next year and raise them so we could keep them and raise the chicks for meat, but what I'm reading is that bronze turkeys need to be AI. I'm not sure that I have the time or the desire to deal with that... I don't want to go with a white breed, I really liked the look of the bronze.

    Does anyone have any advice on a breed of turkey that can procreate naturally but has a nice personality like my bronze did??
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    There are two different "bronze" turkeys. The Broadbreasted Bronze is intended to be eaten. Those are the ones that might not breed without help.

    There is a standard bronze turkey, also. That is a heritage breed and they can reproduce naturally.

    There are also many different color varieties that are beautiful to look at and can reproduce naturally.. If you go to the website for Porter's Turkeys, he shows photos of lots of different varieties of turkey. So, I suggest that you go over there to his website and look at photos.

    To me, the broadbreasted whites are the puppy dogs of the turkey world, but my heritage birds are pretty socialble, too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  3. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree you should look at heritage turkeys and find a color or two that you like. You can breed true or mix colors. For example, crossing Standard Bronze with Bourbon Red produces Red Bronze. If you play with Narragansett genes, you can get some sex-linked colors. A Royal Palm tom crossed with a Bourbon Red hen gives Red Bronze toms and Golden Narragansett hens (both with recessive hidden genes).

    Go to Porters, read about genes, and come see some of my birds. I might not be too far away!
     
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  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I raised a few BBW last year--nice big fast growing. ANd bought a bourbon red hen and tom--we loved them, docile and easy. WHen the poults are raised with lots of human contact they are like dogs. THose with less contact are a little skittish.

    THis year I bought 20 from Porters, three varieties to add to my BR.Sort of a test run. THey have the APA recognized varieties and a number of others that are not APA, some are very old lines, some are newer creations.

    You can get BBB= broad breasted bronze or the heritage bronze which is lighter in the breast area.

    If you would like to order from Porters, consider getting your 2013 order in NOW--they sell out pretty quick.
     
  5. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would suggest that you also take a look at what size these turkey, as the standard bronze is the largest size heritage turkey while others are quite a bit smaller. Some are very good tasting and others are raised pretty much for show.
     
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Celie I wondered which varieties you thought were for show. I could only find maybe the Palms were for show. Very hard to find information on characteristics of each variety--found feathering info but that was pretty much it.Would love to know what you know.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    It's pretty much Palms that are raised ornamentally. (Ocellated turkeys, too, but they are very expensive and you would know what you were buying if you wanted to spend that much money).

    The Palms taste just fine, but they are rather scrawny through the breast. That's the only reason to not raise them for meat. If you like their looks the best, you can raise them for meat. You just won't get as much meat.
     
  8. TMNfarm

    TMNfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You aren't too far away from me in Aitkin... Nice day trip! Do you breed?

    I did go to the Porter's site. Very interesting. I still like the Bronze best, I think... The Tiger Bronze they had on there were really cool too, but I want the great temperamant that mine had. I would place an order to Porter's, but they have a minimum of 15 and I only want a breeding pair and maybe 2 others to raise for meat next year, then I'd like to try to hatch and raise my own...

    I just might take you up on that offer to come see your birds!
     
  9. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Royal Palms were bred for show and are scrawny birds with beautiful feathering. Narragansett and Bourbon Reds and medium size, very tasty, quite a bit of meat and pretty, I understand. Where Standard Bronze and Holland Whites are very tasty, Plainer in appearance, but the largest and most meaty. Midget Whites are just that, a miniature version of the Holland White breed and about the size of a chicken. Maybe you should look in some hatchery catalogs or google the different breeds and read everything you can find. Turkey will taste like turkey, but some are more colorful and some are larger than others! You need to decide what fits you better. As far as I know they all mature at about 9 months, but I do not raise them all, so maybe others have had different experiences with them.
     
  10. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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