Can anyone advise me in raising turkey for meat

poultry-guy

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 7, 2014
51
1
39
I would like to start to have turkey and was wondering what I might expect like do they die easily(like Broiler chickens for commercial) and I was thinking if there was money in raising them and in what quantity to make money as well as breeding some.
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SIMZ

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 29, 2011
2,168
229
271
Northwest Indiana
Hi there! We're pretty new to turkeys ourselves and have raised them for the last two years. I've found them to be fairly hardy if you're careful with them. We raised 10 meat turkeys this spring and only lost one at around 8-10 weeks. We culled him because he seemed to have a breathing problem. The year before we started with maybe 15 and only lost one Midget White poult. I think the biggest losses occur when they're little.

Like anything else poultry, there is probably money in them somehow. lol I can't help you much there. We were able to sell a few that offset our costs a bit. With a high enough volume and a good market you might be able to make a little.

Good luck!
 

LogCabinChicks

Songster
5 Years
May 3, 2014
167
18
111
We purchased 10 Bronze Breasted in July. They will be ready for butchering on the Monday before Thanksgiving, perfect timing. They are up to 150 lbs of feed a week right now, so that should be figured in -- yes they eat a LOT. Ours are in a hoop coop at night and free range during the day. When we work, they are out from 330 pm till dark. Character? OMG these guys are so flipping funny! They are extremely noisy...love music (when my husband was fixing the chicken coop, they hung out by his truck and gobble at the rock music--sorta in tune, it was hillarious.) We ended up with 6 toms and 4 hens. The Toms love to strut around in the morning.

Next week we will start "finishing" them with one feeder full of scratch --- corn, oats, wheat. To get that nice juicy fatty layer.

Anyway, I find them to be an absolute joy. They are super funny. Very noisy, free range in a group. Totally worth the investment so far, will let you know how they taste on Thanksgiving.
 

SIMZ

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 29, 2011
2,168
229
271
Northwest Indiana
We purchased 10 Bronze Breasted in July. They will be ready for butchering on the Monday before Thanksgiving, perfect timing. They are up to 150 lbs of feed a week right now, so that should be figured in -- yes they eat a LOT. Ours are in a hoop coop at night and free range during the day. When we work, they are out from 330 pm till dark. Character? OMG these guys are so flipping funny! They are extremely noisy...love music (when my husband was fixing the chicken coop, they hung out by his truck and gobble at the rock music--sorta in tune, it was hillarious.) We ended up with 6 toms and 4 hens. The Toms love to strut around in the morning.

Next week we will start "finishing" them with one feeder full of scratch --- corn, oats, wheat. To get that nice juicy fatty layer.

Anyway, I find them to be an absolute joy. They are super funny. Very noisy, free range in a group. Totally worth the investment so far, will let you know how they taste on Thanksgiving.

I second all of this! They do eat a lot, but they are so much fun to raise! I cry every year when the last ones go.... As far as hardiness - 2 of our Broad Breasted Bronze got on top of our chicken coop (9+ feet high) every night if we didn't get them inside first. We've not had problems with our meat turkeys getting around - and one of our toms was 31 pounds DRESSED at 16 or 17 weeks.
 

LittleRock

Chirping
5 Years
Aug 30, 2014
67
13
79
Sunny So Cal
I am raising a total of 6 broad breasted turkeys this year. I have both BBW and BBB, three are toms and three are hens. I sold a 2 month old BBB tom for $40, 2.5 month old BBW tom for $55 and have two paid pre-orders for $75 each for a Tom and a hen when they reach 4 months mid-November. Considering the cost of the bird and the feed I am left with some profit. Not enough to retire but I'll take it. I find that the time of year plays a big role on price. That and size. If you are raising for meat, I agree with Turkenstein, BBW or BBB. If your goal is to breed them, then those may not be your best option. Pick up a couple of poults of your favorite heritage variety and go that route.
 

Fetch33

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
31
1
24
I just butchered my BBW Tom Sunday. He dressed out at 42 lbs! My oven isn't big enough for this boy.
 

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