Generic turkey information

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by bowen012, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. bowen012

    bowen012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2013
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    Hello,

    A few questions in regards to turkeys. I currently have a small hobby chicken flock and will add a few m,ore soon. The flock will probably never be larger than a couple of dozen chickens. I think I'd like to add a couple of turkeys to my mini homestead. Only a couple of acres and wondering how much room turkeys need? Eventually they'll free range during daylight.

    Can they mingle with my chickens? Read a few horror story threads about blackhead that has me second guessing them all ready.

    My wife, kid, and self are vegetarian so they would be long term pets, not eventual roasters so just trying to get info before I buy anything.
     
  2. Jesz

    Jesz Out Of The Brooder

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    My turkeys are with my chickens and are fine. I did not put them together as poults but after several weeks they were together and have been for months. You will love turkeys. [​IMG]
     
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Running turkeys and chickens together is a risk for blackhead. I called extention and they recommended NOT tunning them together. I do know there is a risk. See if you cn find out if the diease is in your area and make a judgment from there.

    If you do get turkeys, raise from a day old poult or as young as possible and play with it as you want a pet. Our Bourbon Reds are a lark-- they greet all vitertrs and roam the property independent of the chickens.
     
  4. bowen012

    bowen012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2013
    North Carolina
    Called extension and had no reports of blackhead in my area. I don't know that turkeys are all that abundant here so that may be why, luck, whatever. I'll probably house them separately and range together. This obviously has risk, but hopefully with close observation I can catch and treat anything that may occur early.

    More questions...

    I'll probably buy a pair; should I go with (2) hens (2) toms or a hen/tom pair or does it really matter other than the reproductive capacity?
    Are toms on the aggressive end like many roosters? hens? I wouldn't mind 2 girls, but with male plumage and all being attractive it's a shame to miss out on it...

    What breeds are good for newbie owners? How big is a midget white (say, compared to a Brahma rooster or Jersey Giant?), A Bourbon Red? Any breeds with especially appealing temperaments?
     
  5. frank53061

    frank53061 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you want only say 2 Hens and a Tom that would work well there is only one thing if you have problems locating what you want you know it may be even harder to find another adult Tom if something happens to him and you would not be able to reproduce from any eggs layed.
    The perfect little flock would be 2 Toms and 4 to 6 Hens this would keep you in Poults to sell or raise and Turkey Eggs to eat.
    I have a flock of 14 Adult Red Bourbons I have 5 ace rs of land and only let them out for a few hours then they want back in there Pen but I don't let all of them out at one time and they don't wonder very far but I still have to keep an eye out for them they see some one walking down our road and they want to go greet them there that friendly I raised them from 3 day old Poults.
    I have a 30ft by 30ft Pen and a 8 x 4 coop for my Turkeys and they mix with the free range Chickens we have
    Different pens and coops just not enough room to put them together my roosters I keep with the turkeys the Chicken Hens needed the break.
    My Turkeys don't wonder more than a 100 yards in any direction when I don't let all out at one time.
    I am in the proses of reducing my flock down to 2 Toms and 4 to 6 Hens I had to buy the Min, 15 Poults by mail order because I could not buy any locally adult or Poults.
     
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    WHat Frank said x2-- that is ideal for breeding. if you just want as pets, the 3 would be good in case one has an accident, then they have a buddy. My crew free range, they are their own little flock amoung the chickens.

    I have bourbon REds have been very pleased with their temperament. Gentle and easy. I am trying a few other breeds this year from Porters. Will see about temperaments. I have noticed that birds hand raised ( lots of human interaction) are easier to work with and come to visit. ANd less spastic when carried.

    I have not weighed my bourbons. A large bid compared to a wild turkey. Same height, but much wider. Among my group of young turkeys, the AUburns seem to have a meatier thigh. I would like to see if this is so when they are closer to 8 months.
     
  7. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since you want them as pets, I would suggest the smaller breeds because a smaller bird is less $ to feed and house and do not seem like a scary thing to very young children. So I would rule out White Holland and Standard bronze. The midgets are very small, an adult tom should be no larger than 12 pounds, about the size of the chickens you mentioned, but they are white, which are easier to process, if you were raising them for meat, but do not camouflage very well at all. Smaller birds are taken easier by predators! In the medium weight class are all of the rest, which give you a lot to choose from. I would suggest 3 to 4 as Frank and Arlene said. If you want the hens to hatch out a clutch of eggs for you to replenish your flock and maybe sell a few to help pay for feed. BTW, if your family eats eggs, turkey eggs are better tasting, IMO, than chicken eggs. With all birds, the males are a lot prettier and larger than the females. You need the hens for reproduction, but if you don't want eggs, You could go with 2 or 3 toms! If I were you, I would look at all the medium breeds, Bourbon Red, Slate, Narragansett, Black Spanish, and Royal Palms and see which breed you like best. I hear Royal Palms are "eye candy" but I have only seen them in pictures.[​IMG]
     
  8. ChickadeeHawk

    ChickadeeHawk New Egg

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    We have Midget Whites and Royal Palms. The MW's are a breeding trio, we are on our 2nd tom as the first got killed by a wild animal. The first tom was VERY aggressive toward us, would chase the kids all over the yard and jump up to kick you if he got close enough. This second tom was purchased as an adult and is quite shy. One hen is quite shy, but you can catch her and carry her around easily enough. The second hen is very friendly, follows us everywhere and will sit on your lap if you let her.

    We ended up with 3 RP hens who are all extremely outgoing. They totally want to be wherever people are to the point of one of them trying to fly in a window (closed, so a big thump happened) to be inside with us. They regularly perch all over whatever my husband is doing in the yard... mechanic work finds them under the hood of the truck or laying underneath a vehicle with him. Wish we'd had a tom instead of 3 hens, but will likely cross them with the MW tom this spring.

    We dressed out MW's this past fall and they are only the size of a chicken when dressed. Easily fed a family of four though with a little left over.
     
  9. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    I have heard from others that even though Midget Whites are very small for a turkey, they have a large breast. Did you find this to be true with yours? What age did you process them?
     

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