considering turkeys...

Missouri chick

Songster
11 Years
May 15, 2008
875
14
151
Homer, GA
at the moment this is just a thought, but I'm considering turkeys next spring. To all of you turkey/chicken people I need your input.

1. how difficult are they to raise and are they broody/motherly
2. compared to chickens, how are they on feed
3. how many girls will a tom be ok with
4. what breed should I consider
5. can they be housed with chickens (I think I already know, but just checking)
6. how old should they be before eaten
7. what age do they mature for breeding
8. any special care or needs

Sorry for so many questions...any info is much appreciated, thanks so much in advance
 

OmaBird

Songster
9 Years
May 10, 2010
757
5
129
CA High Desert
1. how difficult are they to raise and are they broody/motherly

They are a little more difficult than a chicken. Turkeys go broody at the drop of a hat. Some will break the eggs and make a mess. Some are great moms. Some are not so great. I hatch and brood my own for that reason.

2. compared to chickens, how are they on feed
The need a high protein (28%) turkey/gamebird feed.


3. how many girls will a tom be ok with
Breeding Ratio of Males to Females
Generally speaking, healthy sexually mature males should be able to service 14-20 females. Yearling or older males will service fewer averaging 8-14 only. To further break down the ratio the following is recommended for the different body types:
 Large type turkeys – 15 hens to 1 tom Standard-size turkeys – 18 hens to 1 tom Small type turkeys – 20 hens to 1 tom From the breeding manual http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/MasterBreeder/turkeys_combined.pdf

4
. what breed should I consider
Pick one your most attacted to. This is the some of the breeds that the ALBC suport but there is tons not listed here. I like more of the rare non standard colors. http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/turkeymanual/ALBCturkey-1.pdf

5
. can they be housed with chickens (I think I already know, but just checking)
Depends if Blackhead is where you live.

6. how old should they be before eaten
at least 6-9 months before they get any meat on them worth butchering. I like older 18 month old birds.

7. what age do they mature for breeding
That breeding manual above will tell you by breed.

8. any special care or needs
Takes longer than chickens to develop a immune system. I think the are more of a target to peditors than a chicken.
 

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