Figuring Out What Breed of Turkey to raise

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by emricmacy, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. emricmacy

    emricmacy New Egg

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    Apr 18, 2017
    My DH and I raise meat birds every year, the Jumbo cornish cross, and love raising them. We would like to try raising a few turkeys for meat this year. I have done a little research on the Heritage breeds, which I think we are leaning more towards versus the BBB or BBW.
    Has anyone raised either the Bourbon Reds or the Narragansett's? We would ideally like a few to be at least in the 25lb range (toms, or course). There is a somewhat local farm near us that raises Bourbon red/Narragansett crosses. We are new to raising turkeys, so I am not sure what the average raise time is for either of these heritage breeds, or what the average weights are when dressed.
    Every website says something different. When would be a good time to order the birds?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  2. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May babies is what I'm aiming for. Last year we did Bourbon Red with mid June babies and the feathers needed a couple more weeks growth for easier plucking.

    We're breeding from last year's birds to get this years birds. I didn't super charge them on protein and they didn't have full time pasture, their finish weight by Thanksgiving all dressed out was about 12 pounds.

    Considering adding Narragansett since they're typically larger, now that we've gotten the hang of hatching and brooding.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My heritage toms can take up to 2 years to reach 25 pounds. I believe mine reach about 17 pounds by 9-12 months, I can't quite remember, we did weight the first ones we butchered. You are better of raising the broad breasted.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  4. emricmacy

    emricmacy New Egg

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    Apr 18, 2017
    Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize the heritage breeds took that long versus the broad breasted breeds.
    The broad breasted bronze..what is the main difference between the white ones, just color?
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I believe white leaves a cleaner looking carcass when plucked, where the bronze will have some pin feathers left after plucking, it's recommended to singe these off, but dark spots might remain a freak some people out. Otherwise it's just feather coloring.
     

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