Broad Breasted vs Heritage

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by canterlopes, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. canterlopes

    canterlopes In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2018
    Elberta, UT
    Hey y'all. I need some input. I have been doing all sorts of research and watched pretty much every turkey related youtube video known to mankind. We have all sorts of other poultry but a turkey would be a first for us. My hubby is dead set on getting a turkey poult this year to raise as a pet.

    I came across some info that says not to use broad breasted turkeys as pets because they grow too fast for their bodies to handle and won't survive more than a about a year. It was also suggested that only heritage breeds should be considered as pets because the have slower growth rates thus giving them longer lives. Is this true? Would a heritage breed make a better pet? Has anyone here raised a broad breasted turkey that was not intended for consumption?

    We want a turkey that can live a nice long, happy life doing turkey things on our farm. Most of the feed stores near me only sell broad breasted breeds, but one is going to potentially be ordering some heritage breeds if there is enough interest.
    tootmany likes this.
  2. tootmany

    tootmany Songster

    Mar 14, 2018
    Welcome to byc! I was actually considering something similar, but for chickens. Avoiding the super-layers that are well known for reproductive issues. Personally, I like heritage breeds since they tend to not have been modified as much for 'maximum output' and that -can- make them more hardy. Sometimes it comes down to the luck of the draw- but you can choose your starting hand, if that makes sense. I would go with heritage if you are concerned. :thumbsup
  3. feedman77

    feedman77 Crowing

    Jun 10, 2013
    Go with a heritage breed of turkey.
    Broad breasted is just like cornish x in chickens.

    Turkey are social birds if you can and have room get a pair or trio. Because if you have a lonely Tom during breeding season they will mate other birds species and that usually means a flat dead bird.

    Heritage hens will go broody if you want to expand your flock and have fertile eggs.

    Do you want to ever butcher any or do you just want eye candy for the yard?

    If you don't want to order poults look on Craigslist in your area. A lot of times you can pick up poults or adults that are already laying.

    Good luck on any you choose.

    Turkeys temperament is so much better than chickens.
    memphis, FredsGobblers and R2elk like this.
  4. canterlopes

    canterlopes In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2018
    Elberta, UT
    Thanks for the info. Right now we just want some “eye candy” because I don’t have it in my to raise meat birds. Maybe one day but not today. After reading the replies here and I found a few other forum posts asking similar questions to mine I will for sure go with a heritage bird. I would hate to get a bird that will end up suffering.
    tootmany likes this.
  5. Rocky Rhodes

    Rocky Rhodes Songster

    Oct 5, 2013
    North Georgia Mountains
    Do not get broad breasted unless you are raising them for food. I had a broad breasted bronze tom and he grew so large so fast that his legs could no longer support his weight. He collapsed in the yard and could not get up. We had to put him down.
  6. ForrestGump

    ForrestGump Chirping

    Feb 19, 2016
    Napavine, WA
    Heritage turkeys are the best. They are very social, so make sure you have at least two. They are noisier than chickens, and a lonely turkey baby will make so much noise that it will drive you nuts. I tried to raise a poult with chicks (the other poults were killed by a predator so there was only one left). The poult didn't like the chicks and I ended up buying more poults to keep him company. He cried constantly! Now he's a very loving 25 pound tom. Definitely eye candy!

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