First timer and ordering a cackle BOX of 15 heritage males for thanksgiving dinner.....

RGreenfamily

Chirping
5 Years
May 19, 2015
23
3
69
Am I going to have tons of fighting with that many males or does the aggression come more towards maturation later on?

I currently don't have ANY turkeys-- but I also am supposed to be getting a pair of turkey poults through a different order-- a turkey pair, 1 duck pair, 1 goose pair....
should I ask to substitute out the 2 turkey poults, so not to have a female to antagonize the 15 toms? Should I ask for 2 hens to be able to breed a few, (which would be great)? Is it possible to have that many males and not have a bunch of drama?

We are going this as a homeschool project and experiment with other families. The poults will be handled frequently by children and I want them to learn all the stages of care-- but I also want to insure that i don't set the toms up for fighting with hens.

I want this to be enjoyable, fun, worthwhile and I want to eat most of these birds without having them kill each other.
Thank you for any help in advance.
 

feedman77

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
2,933
2,467
281
Most hatcheries don't sex turkeys. Usually sold straight run.

Heritage turkeys Usually take 27 to 32 week to hit butcher size.

Turkeys are a lot more personable than chickens I'm sure the children will enjoy them.

Feed your poults 27 to 30 percent gamebird starter as they need higher protein than chicks.

Good luck and enjoy them
 

bayvistafarm

Songster
8 Years
Jan 23, 2012
148
3
111
Hamilton Ontario Canada
In my experience with a hatch of turkeys (both sex's), they all got along, until they were about 7-8 months old. Then the fighting started.

You would be safer, if there were NO females at all. There will be dominance sparing... but as a whole they should get along. Especially if your going to slaughter them. The older they get.. the more boy's tend to be boys. If you can, keep your breeding flock separate from the eating flock of boys. That means.. no sight, or sound if you can.

2 turkey hens can give you enough fertile eggs you can collect and incubate. My girls didn't go broody until their second breeding year. And then, they tended to share a nest, brood together, and in the end, eggs got broken, and poults were stepped on. I won't allow a hen to incubate eggs again, unless after she goes broody, I can remove the rest of the flock.
 

RGreenfamily

Chirping
5 Years
May 19, 2015
23
3
69
Thanks so much. I was expecting to get straight run chicks but for the next 2 weeks, its a special for all males, which triggered the sparring question. But, if it won't get too hard until right around butcher, we can handle that. I am excited to get started.
 

feedman77

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
2,933
2,467
281
So did you order the surplus heritage breed pkg.

I looked around cackles website couldn't find the special you mentioned.

Just trying to determine if you have poults or chicks coming your way on the 15 order.

Either way they will be fun
 

feedman77

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
2,933
2,467
281
Don't have facebook. But let me on long enough to see ad.

Learn something new everday.

Didn't know they sexed poults.

Maybe they will do it in thecspring so I could buy just some hens.

Good luck with what you have coming.
 

TattooedMama

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2014
535
64
186
Inland Empire, California
Unfortunately those heritage poults are very unlikely to be a sufficient size to be dinner by this Thanksgiving. Most people who plan to grow out heritage birds for turkey dinner start sooner in the year. Good luck!!
 
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LovedMyAlydar

Songster
12 Years
Oct 15, 2007
178
10
121
Kentucky
We raised Bourbon Reds last year for Thanksgiving, they were born on Mother's Day. The one we butchered weighed in at 19lbs dressed weight. The one we butchered for New Year's Eve weighed 22lbs dressed weight.

We fed the gamebird starter until they were butchered plus cracked corn. Best tasting turkey ever. Nice, juicy and tender meat.

Perhaps we were lucky but we were quite happy with the results.
 

zoe95423

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
69
2
41
I was curious as to how they had this special, because when I was ordering turkeys, I didn't have the option of male or female. So how are they selling just males?
 

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