Gender & Butcher questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mkearsley, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
    South-west Idaho
    We have two 2-3 month old heritage cross turkeys. Neither one has much of a snood, but I don't know if that's because they're girls, or they're too young. What do you guys think?
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    Sorry about the images, they're from my cell phone. [​IMG]

    The other question I had was how old should they be before we butcher them? The husband wanted one for this Thanksgiving, but I told him they're not big enough yet. I think they've gotten their full height (about 2-3 ft tall), but they've not filled out.

    Since we'll probably need to winter them, (I live in South-western Idaho), will a big dog house with straw be sufficient to keep them warm? I know we have wild turkeys in the hills around here, but I don't know what they do during the winter. We also put a tarp over the top & down three sides of their cage to cut back on the wind & blowing snow.

    Thanks.
     
  2. quailmale

    quailmale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Both look like hens IMHO and most people that buy eggs get them by May so they can butcher at Thanksgiving or Christmas, ( 6 months ) [​IMG]
     
  3. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
    South-west Idaho
    Thanks [​IMG] I guess they'll just have to wait until next Thanksgiving to be eaten [​IMG]
     
  4. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    Quote:No need to wait until next Thanksgiving... there's nothing wrong with Christmas turkey... or New Year's turkey...

    regarding the doghouse: just be prepared for your turkeys to spend the night perched on top of it instead of going inside it. Our turkeys spend the night on the very highest point on the barn roof, while the chickens have enough sense to go inside the hen house and use the roosting bars.
     
  5. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
    South-west Idaho
    That's what I was afraid of - they haven't gone inside, yet, but I was hoping that once it dips to below freezing, they'd go in & get warm.... maybe not.
     
  6. hoppy

    hoppy I'm not all fluff

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    May 5, 2007
    central maine
    I'm trying out a lean to for mine. there is a tarp around 3 sides of the 6' pen as well a cover but hoping the lean to will have them out of the elements more. my girls are 4&5 months and the 5 month old might be ready for christmas but not the 4 month olds. I also clip their wins so I don't have them flying over the fence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  7. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    They will be fine in your winter. Just make sure they have a good wind break. Heritage birds ar usually butchered at 8-9 months. Younger than that they have really small breasts and legs but if your only feeding a few then it will be OK.
     

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