1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Broody Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by chknman79, May 24, 2007.

  1. chknman79

    chknman79 Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    39
    Apr 25, 2007
    Crossville,TN
    I am thinking about getting some turkeys for breeding next year. I really want Easterns or Bronzes. Do they go broody? and are they good mothers? I have never messed with turkeys before and was just wondering before I get any.
     
  2. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Pretty much any of the heritage breeds will go broody without a problem. Because they are still very close to the wild turkeys, they are normally pretty good parents. My hen hatched her first brood in April and was a very good mother. She's working on clutch #2 now.
     
  3. chknman79

    chknman79 Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    39
    Apr 25, 2007
    Crossville,TN
    Congrats Blisschick! Anyone else have any other comments?
     
  4. wren

    wren Chillin' With My Peeps

    738
    6
    151
    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    I'm so glad to help! Buy the easterns.

    I had bronze and I consider them to be strictly a meat bird. I mean, buy them, raise, then eat. My bronze turkeys at 7 months got winded after walking 2 blocks, so I did not even want to try to raise babies from them. I was dissapointed that the animals were so geared towards meat production that they didn't seem to be equipped for life. They wouldn't roost on anything higher than my waist either.

    BUT wild or heritage turkeys will go broody. Also they can walk , run, roost higher than 30' and can successfully raise a great clutch. They are not the smartest mom's in the world. Give them plenty of straw and seclusion and make sure they nest in a safe place. I had one nest on top of a hay bale that was stacked two high. The babies would have tumbled off the edge! I had hoped that she would nest behind the bales, on the straw on the floor like my other hen. The best nest I ever had for a turkey was in a corner of the barn, filled with straw, and blocked off by a gate that was fastened open against the wall. So it was two walls with a gate front. Mom could see out and was protected. The babies couldn't get out until they were old enough to hop/flap over the lowest rail of the gate.

    I would buy Gardening with Guineas and use to help settle your birds, and great general advice. My turkeys could have nested anywhere and they chose the barn (which is huge, and had no other animals in it). Turkeys are beautiful- the colors on eastrens shimmer. They make all sorts of sounds that they will let you hear if they are tame. They quietly trill when happy which is a great sound. Write with more questions!
     
  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    12,685
    50
    331
    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    I agree on the Easterns too, but wanted to point out that there are standard bronze and broad breasted bronze. I'd stay away from any broad breasted varieties unless you're planning Thanksgiving dinner. They don't fair well as long term pets.

    Our wild easterns go broody. I don't think you'll have any problem with a normal sized hen turkey wanting to sit on a clutch. Heck, even my BBB went broody each year.

    Jody
     
  6. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    ive got blue slate turkeys.an 2 of the hens are broody now.an all they sitting on is air.an they been doing that since mid april.so right now they are staying broody as heck.
     
  7. chknman79

    chknman79 Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    39
    Apr 25, 2007
    Crossville,TN
    Thanks! I am definitely getting some Turkeys. What about running them with chickens? and do I need a tom and two hens or would a pair be ok? Like I say I am totally new to this. It will be next spring before I get them anyway. I woudl also liekto see some pics of your turkeys and runs you keep them in.
     
  8. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    The problem with running turkeys with chickens is that turkeys are very suseptible to Blackhead disease, which chickens can be a carrier of. Check with your local agricultural extention to find out if Blackhead is a problem in your area before you do so.

    I started out with two hens and one tom (one hen disappeared), but they seem to be doing okay as a pair. The more girls a tom has to be with, the less of a chance he'll harrass one or the other to mate. Some toms are more aggressive than others, so I guess it would really depend on the tom's personality, too.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by