Broad Breasted Turkey Free-Range

Mommy_102605

In the Brooder
May 28, 2020
14
8
21
We have a white broad breasted turkey about 6 weeks old.... How do they do free-ranged? Is it worth just keeping them penned in a run? I have it with my young hens but I do have a guinea hen and 4 full size laying hens that free range.

Any information is appreciated. I believe she would love to roam but never done it before.
 

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R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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We have a white broad breasted turkey about 6 weeks old.... How do they do free-ranged? Is it worth just keeping them penned in a run? I have it with my young hens but I do have a guinea hen and 4 full size laying hens that free range.

Any information is appreciated. I believe she would love to roam but never done it before.
Mine did fine and were healthier with the exercise that free range brings. Unless you are raising this turkey to be processed, it really needs the companionship of another turkey.
 

Mommy_102605

In the Brooder
May 28, 2020
14
8
21
Yeah it is being raised to process. We have plenty of space but didn't want to overwhelm our coop and space with multiples. It has been in the enclosed run for almost 2 weeks....do you think it would flock together with my older hens? And when would be a good time to start free-ranging it?
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
32,923
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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Yeah it is being raised to process. We have plenty of space but didn't want to overwhelm our coop and space with multiples. It has been in the enclosed run for almost 2 weeks....do you think it would flock together with my older hens? And when would be a good time to start free-ranging it?
My turkey poults usually get to go out with everyone else by the time they are 6 weeks old. I don't let them spend the nights outside until they are closer to 4 months old.
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
574
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Maine
I kick my broad breasted birds out of the brooder straight to our orchard at 6 weeks, with a moveable covered roof shelter (no sides). I butcher them at 4 months. They do not like being cooped at all and respond well to being outside with lots of space to roam - as much space as you can possibly give them. Yours may not hang out with your hens, but it will like the independence. I've never raised guineas, so I'm not sure how the poult would respond to them.
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
32,923
159,873
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Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
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I kick my broad breasted birds out of the brooder straight to our orchard at 6 weeks, with a moveable covered roof shelter (no sides). I butcher them at 4 months. They do not like being cooped at all and respond well to being outside with lots of space to roam - as much space as you can possibly give them. Yours may not hang out with your hens, but it will like the independence. I've never raised guineas, so I'm not sure how the poult would respond to them.
In my experience, guineas bond with turkeys very quickly. I think they view them as giant guineas.
 

fauna

Chirping
9 Years
Mar 9, 2012
11
6
77
I kick my broad breasted birds out of the brooder straight to our orchard at 6 weeks, with a moveable covered roof shelter (no sides). I butcher them at 4 months. They do not like being cooped at all and respond well to being outside with lots of space to roam - as much space as you can possibly give them. Yours may not hang out with your hens, but it will like the independence. I've never raised guineas, so I'm not sure how the poult would respond to them.
What are they weighing at 4 months and what hatchery do you prefer?
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
574
1,023
231
Maine
What are they weighing at 4 months and what hatchery do you prefer?
Kind of depends on how the season goes, but I've had them anywhere from 12-30lbs in that time frame. There is generally a pretty big weight difference between the males and the females as well. I get straight run because I like the variety of sizes - some people feeding 4-5 people, some people feeding 20+ people. I go through a very small scale hatchery in the northeast US. I would say the best hatchery to order from is the closest one to you - as long as they have a decent reputation. I've found that the smaller hatcheries and the ones that you don't hear about all the time are often just as good as the more popular ones. Definitely go with a hatchery that guarantees their birds will arrive alive or your money back.
 

fauna

Chirping
9 Years
Mar 9, 2012
11
6
77
Kind of depends on how the season goes, but I've had them anywhere from 12-30lbs in that time frame. There is generally a pretty big weight difference between the males and the females as well. I get straight run because I like the variety of sizes - some people feeding 4-5 people, some people feeding 20+ people. I go through a very small scale hatchery in the northeast US. I would say the best hatchery to order from is the closest one to you - as long as they have a decent reputation. I've found that the smaller hatcheries and the ones that you don't hear about all the time are often just as good as the more popular ones. Definitely go with a hatchery that guarantees their birds will arrive alive or your money back.
Thank you for the information. I have a local butcher shop who would like me to raise their turkeys. They get many requests for 10-12lb. turkeys. I'm thinking 12-15 would be about as small as I could go if they were hens.
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
574
1,023
231
Maine
Thank you for the information. I have a local butcher shop who would like me to raise their turkeys. They get many requests for 10-12lb. turkeys. I'm thinking 12-15 would be about as small as I could go if they were hens.
I think of their life cycle in terms of quarters. Take the time you will grow them and split it into four equal numbers of days. Adjust protein levels based on what quarter it is :1st quarter is 28%, 2nd is 24%, 3rd is 22%, 4th is 18%. The most you could shorten that to is probably about 18-20 days per quarter, but you might be able to do something like that and get a decent conversion ratio and a bird that is well filled out, but on the smaller side.

Midget whites could be an option as well.

I have raised some BBW that were less than 10 pounds after 16 weeks, but not many.
 

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