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broad breasted bronze question

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by pipit, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. pipit

    pipit Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Brooksville, FL
    I have 2 broad breasted bronze turkeys I purchased st. run from the local feed store. They are about 4 months old and doing well. I THINK I have a tom and a hen. One is larger than the other and has a longer snood and gets far redder in the neck. If I do have a hen, do they lay eggs? If so, by about what age? I had gotten them for meat, but I'm getting rather fond of Drumstick, the smaller one. It follows me around everywhere and comes when I call. How long can this breed live? I've heard that you can't keep this breed as a pet because they get so big their legs can't support their own weight. Is this true? Also, at about what age do you cull this breed? My husband is eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving and a home-grown turkey.
     
  2. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    Sorry no one with more insight has posted to answer your questions. I'll take a stab, but I am no expert. [​IMG]
    It does sound like you might have a tom and a hen. Have you heard any gobble yet? I have 3 broad breasted whites that are 14 wks. I heard a gobble last week, nothing since. I do have one that is being very alpha turkey, showing off.
    I think the meat breeds should be grown out to 4-5 months. When they are big enough. Make sure it's not so big it won't fit in your oven! Yes, they will tend to get so big they have a hard time getting around.
    Yes, if you have a hen, she would lay eggs when she matures. They aren't like chickens though. It's a seasonal lay. Of course, they wouldn't be fertile. Now, the way I understand it the BBbronze and the BBwhites aren't able to breed naturally. Artificial insemination is used.
    I hope that helps you some.
    There are a couple of people here that are knowledgeable on turkeys but I haven't seen them post lately.
     
  3. pipit

    pipit Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Brooksville, FL
    Thanks for the input. I haven't heard a real "gobble" yet but the tom does make a sound "like" a gobble. The hen tends to get the hiccups! It's really funny.

    So, do you think the hen could live longer as a pet? I don't think I will have the heart to do her in as she thinks I'm mommy.
     
  4. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    She might be ok, I really don't know. I would suggest feeding a lower protein feed, that would keep her from growing so fast. I know a turkey grower has maybe 24-28 %.
    I hope someone else will have some ideas for you.[​IMG]
     
  5. FrankBlissett

    FrankBlissett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2007
    Our BBBs came to us full grown, but they do lay. When we got them this spring, they were both laying on a sizable number of (unfertalized) eggs. After they got settled in here, they started laying again. The two combined were giving us ~7-9 eggs a week for a while, but one went broody recently and the other stopped laying (the heat lately?).

    The eggs run about twice the size of a menium chicken egg, and taste quite good. I find the whies a bit springier.

    One problem we had was soft-shelled eggs. Some crushed egg shell every day or two largely solved that problem though.

    Oh - one other point. More of a "Trivia Pursuit" thing. In response to "Of course, they wouldn't be fertile." - that doesn't mean they can't hatch though! It's not common, but a turkey hen can hatch a tom out of an unfertalized egg. roughly 1/6 to 1/3 (depending on breed) of unfertalized turkey eggs can start to develop. On the rare occassion that this happens AND a cell doubles its chromosomes AND the doubled chromosomes are XX, it can develop. Since turkeys have their sex chromosomes the opposite of people, the XX bird is male.

    I wouldn't count on it happening though. Better to put the eggs in the skillet.

    -Frank
     
  6. pipit

    pipit Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Brooksville, FL
    Thanks, Frank. Wow, that is really interesting about the unfertilized eggs. You wouldn't happen to know at what age they start laying, would you? also, can their droppings be used as fertilizer? They sure do poop a lot!
     
  7. SueNH

    SueNH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2007
    I've got a BB hen going on 3 now. She's pretty lame and I have to keep her separate from the chickens. They pick on her terribly. I have to stand by and watch over her when I let her out of her pen or the chickens peck gaping holes in her.

    She's a sweet girl but I feel bad. Compared to my heritage birds she's a mess. Her body totally betrayed her.

    I had a BB tom up until yesterday, heat got him. He was 2. My original intention was meat but I'm afraid I really like turkeys and just couldn't do it. We went over 100 degrees yesterday, first time for many years and the fat fella just couldn't take it.

    I limit their food or they would eat themselves to death. My fat girl does go broody but she crushes the eggs. Even tried to give her guinea eggs which have a really hard shell.

    I do have a daughter from her. Daughter is a cross from one of my heritage toms. The daughter is a functional bird and can fly and run around and defend itself. Was an incubator bird. I'd actually like to breed more of these crosses. Get a flock of meat birds going that aren't mutants. The daughter is noticeably heavier than the heritage hens but not to the point where she's dysfunctional.

    If you allow the BB tom to mate with the hen he will probably tear her skin. Happens even with the lighter turkeys. The factory farms use AI to make more meat mutants.

    There just was a discussion on the heritage turkey mailing list about parthenogenesis. Kind of interesting but I've got too many toms around. I wish they didn't all have distinct personalities.

    Keep you babies thin. Same idea as a people diet. Lots of veggies, easy on the chicken candy. They will maintain fine on regular chicken feed as long as it isn't totally free choice.
    Try to keep them moving.

    Turkey eggs are yummy. Not much different from chicken.
     
  8. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    Wow! I had no idea a hen could hatch an unfertile egg! Don't count those poults before they hatch though. [​IMG]

    Pipit, yes you can use the poop and bedding for fetilizer, but if it's anything like chicken poop, it's too "hot" to use straight. Let it sit and compost for several months before using it in your gardern and such. There have been several threads on people using their chicken poop in their gardens after composting. Try the search feature.
     
  9. bobbieguyette

    bobbieguyette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2007
    They will start laying in the spring they dont lay in the winter and usually about 7 months old:D
     

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