Giant White turkey questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by furbabymum, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 1 giant white and I was planning on keeping him to breed. I've since been told that the giant white breed doesn't do well in the long term. That they get too big to get around and such. Is this true? He is a really big turkey. He's the same height as our great pyrenees.

    Also, is it maybe a bad idea to keep the giant white as the only male? The other breed we intend to keep would be bronze breasted. So we'd have mutt chicks. I was going to keep some bourbon red but they are just too small imo. Will the giant white breed the other breeds? Is he too big to breed the other breeds? Opinions plz!
     
  2. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bump
     
  3. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, first...is your White Turkey a BROAD BREASTED WHITE? If so, the chances that he will be able to mount a hen properly are very slim and these are usually just raised for meat or as big pets. Hatcheries know how to artificially inseminate...not something we plan on learning to do at home..hahahaha.

    And your second bird..are you considering BROAD BREASTED BRONZE hens or just STANDARD BRONZE turkey hens. We have Standard Bronze, they are wonderful and friendly and are an appreciable size bird and can mate on it's own. Now a BROAD BREASTED BRONZE hen can certainly be mated to another turkey and you can make "mutt" poults. Unless you are planning to haul a turkey to a poultry show, mutt turkeys can be like surprise packages and fun and beautiful....lean towards breeding your calmest ones tho.
     
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  4. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hatcheries call them Giant Whites, most turkey raisers call them Broad Breasted White, both hatcheries call the BBB, Broad Breasted Bronze. Both breeds are Hybrids developed for the commercial industry, to grow quickly, on less feed, so in 4 to 6 months they are processed and sold in grocery stores usually frozen, as broad breasted turkeys. With this fast growth comes possible heart and leg problems that anyone raising these breeds need to be aware of. As mentioned in the above post, they usually need to be AI, as the tom's breast becomes too large to mount the hen properly. If you restrict their feed, as the hatcheries suggest, to avoid these problems, they might be able to produce a few fertile eggs before the male gets too big. The toms get tremendous, at close to 3 years old, on a restricted diet and free ranging,(if you can get them to) mine weighted out over 80 pounds. Surprisingly the meat was tender and tasted a lot better than store bought, but not, in my opinion, as good as most mature Heritage breeds. The Hybrid BB hen has no problem with fertility and you can put a very large breed Heritage tom, like a Standard Bronze or a Holland White over her to mate naturally. Your Bourbon Red is a heritage breed, and being a heritage breed, is not suppose to grow so rapidly. Their legs and heart have time to develop, before their weight becomes too much to carry. Bourbon Red toms mature in 18 to 19 months to their max weight of around 33 pounds, give or take and the same hens about 20 pounds or so. Narragansett, Blue slates, Black Spanish, etc, are also medium size heritage breeds, Royal Palms are raised as pets mostly as they are considered the "eye candy" of turkey breeds, but not as tasty. The smaller breeds like Midget Whites and Beltsville Small Whites are the smallest , while Standard Bronze and Holland weights are the largest heritage breeds, maturing in 18 months around 45+ pounds for toms and 30+ pounds for the hens, Heritage turkeys can live to be up to about 15 years old or more and mate naturally, to lay 100 eggs a year depending on breed. For example, Midget Whites, the smallest of all lay a lot more eggs than the Small Beltsville Whites, which are the second smallest. I have been raising Holland Whites and I collect about about 5 eggs a week per hen, on average. in the South, turkeys start laying in mid December and wind down in late August/Early September, when they go into molt. In the North, turkeys laying season is shorter, starting around March or April.
    I hope this helps answer some of your questions!
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  5. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You guys rock. Thanks. I had a feeling we were just going to have to eat them all and that answers it for me. Thanks!
     
  6. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what we are here for, to help, if we can and learn from each other. It's amazing how much I have learned because of BYC and the helpful participants !
     
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  7. crazyscapes

    crazyscapes Out Of The Brooder

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    Great infomation, thank you!
     

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