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Give me the dirt on turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Chicky Joy, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Quote:It sound like you have most of it figured out, Unlike us that only had the part about getting some turkeys.

    As far as to big, they aren't to big until they grow up. If you have doubts about them, try just the 15 total at first.

    As far as the red tail's, once the turkey's grow up some they will keep an eye on the sky. Better then any chicken does, as long as they have some place to go when the red tail comes close.

    If you free range them, you will have to heard then in at night. As they will roost at night in the area the are in during the day.

    Tom
     
  2. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    The Midgets are great size for a small feast, they are our best tasting turkey by far. The Bourbon Red is our next best tasting. If you want a smaller number of turkeys you can always get hatching eggs or buy local poults, I would much rather buy from a breeder than a hatchery. main reason, better quality bird.

    Steve in NC
     
  3. freemotion

    freemotion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2008
    Western MA
    Thanks, Steve, your input is always great. Now I am leaning towards Midgets. I don't have an incubator, so am leaning towards poults....unless one of my Buff Orps or Dominique's goes broody.....could she raise some turkey poults? If so, how many eggs?
     
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:We have had Muscovy ducks and Buff Orps. sit and hatch turkey eggs. The buffs can only cover about 4 but a Muscovy can cover about 8 or 10. With chickens it takes a good sitter as the turkey eggs take 28 days and the chickens seem to know when 18 to 20 days pass and we have had them come off the nest and the eggs were perfectly good. We took those eggs and put them in the incubator and all hatched.

    Steve in NC
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Quote:Mine were more like February to November.
     
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Quote:Honestly, if you're just looking at feed efficiency and having turkeys seasonally, I would go with the Broad-Breasted Whites. They grow enormous in a short period of time. If you want them to live longer than 5 months, or lay eggs and nest and hatch more, then get one of the heritage breeds.

    I don't really like BBWs because they're so inbred and not nearly as beautiful and active as heritage birds, but you have to pick what suits your goal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pennsylvania
    Quote:sounds like you have a great setup. The BRs are not that big -- after 7 months, my hens were 8-9 lbs and my toms were 12-14 lbs.

    I think you should get more poults than you want to end up with because they are fragile when young, and some can die. I got 10 chicks and ended up with 6 grown birds (3 died as 2-week olds, and 1 died at 3 months for some reason). I've learned from experience, though, and now I have a much better rate of success. I make sure to feed them extra high protein and I stopped putting them on dirt (I put lots of hay down). That gave me 100% survival rate with my last hatch.

    I've read that their immune systems are not fully developed until 8 weeks (unlike chickens) and that's why they can die as poults -- I don't really know.

    As far as cold -- turkeys seem impervious to cold once they are full-grown -- out roosing in the freezing snow sleet, whatever. When they seek shelter it's usually because of high winds more than for cold. I guess the tree branches blow around too much in the wind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  8. Bassleg

    Bassleg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Lebanon Oregon
    sorry!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  9. freemotion

    freemotion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western MA
    Don't put them on dirt for how long? How much room will they need until they can tolerate dirt, and will they scratch like chicks and get to the dirt.....how deep does the litter need to be to keep them off the dirt?

    I don't want to build a floor....
     
  10. MrsSmitho

    MrsSmitho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2008
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    wow

    what a feed!! I decided to learn as much as possible about turkeys before we (hopefully) get some in the Spring...

    We are new to the chicken thing and have run into some issues the hard way [​IMG]

    So, my question is...not planning on putting the turkeys in with the chickens, they will have their own coop and run...

    we have had either CRD or coryza in the chicken coop this last few weeks...yes, it really stinks...

    can turkeys get that???

    can my chickens get anything from the turkeys??

    Nobody free ranges, the chickens are spoiled rotten in their run and I like my garden and flower beds [​IMG]...and the turkeys will be strictly for dinner...

    from what I have read so far, they are susceptible to sickness and loss more in the first 7 wks...

    How far should we put the turkey run away from the chickens??

    Thanks a ton!!! BYC rocks!![​IMG]
     

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