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Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cwhollars, Oct 4, 2009.
Hello, how long does it take a turkey (red bourban) to get to slaughter weight.
Heritage turkeys take almost twice as long as the broad breasteds. You'll want to go about 22-24 weeks before processing.
By 22-24 weeks a tom destined to weigh 33# at full maturity will on the average weigh in the mid to upper teens undressed. A hen that could attain 20# will be in the low teens. These are averages. some will grow faster and others slower. The younger bird will taste just fine if prepared well but have almost no fat unless you have purposely manipulated its diet. Also the amount of meat in ratio to bone will seem scant. Waiting 1 or 2 months the turkey will not grow that much more visually but will fill out with several more pounds of meat. If you want more fat gradually increase % corn in the feed over the last 4 weeks.
thanks for the infomation
ours are real nice table birds from 24-32 weeks old weighing dressed from 22lbs to 12 lbs but average out 15 lbs dressed. the last month feed them a high diet of corn and you will get that nice fat layer you seek.
One should feed a high protien diet of 25% or better their whole life to get a nice table bird. if not they will be alot smaller then if you did.
Quote:I feed the 25% all the time so what amount of corn to the 25% should I be feeding and are the birds pen up the last four weeks to put on the extra fat?
I was hoping someone would answer you by now. Being new to raising turkeys you don't want to waste money or growing time on a feed that won't achieve the desired results. My two are 24 weeks old, and are due to be butchered Thanksgiving week. That would make them just shy of 27 weeks old, so, from what I've read, the Tom may dress out at about 15 pounds. That really disappoints me. I usually roast a 22 lb turkey for my family, and was under the impression that all turkeys are dressed weight of 20 or better by now, but, I didn't do enough research, and bought two Bourbon reds, which don't reach a good size and weight til much older than mine are. Ah well, live and learn. Next time I will either start earlier or get a broad breasted breed.
I bought 4 BBW toms that were 1 week old July 1st. Just butchered two of them yesterday and both dressed out just a hair shy of 40 pounds each. I fed them starter/grower for about 8 weeks then switched them to layer since they and my laying hens just sort of shared each other's food anyway, the past 4 weeks I've been giving them half layer pellet half cracked corn. Growth has not been an issue with the BBW and they're a very good natured bird. Apart from not looking as pretty as some of the heritage birds I'm very happy with them and would recommend.
We're butchering on Monday, so, after 6 months on starter grower feed, with a nightly ration of game bird feed, then switching to grower finisher feed for the past month, we'll see what they dress out to.
We will be butchering our two turkeys tomorrow morning. We got them as little fluff balls on June 4th so they are at 23 weeks. The hen, a Red Bourbon weighed in this evening at 16.8 lbs, the BBB weighed in at 44.5 lbs. This was the live weight obviously.
Feed was 25% crumbles until 4 weeks, then half 25% crumbles half 18% pelets until 8 weeks then 18% all flock the rest of the way that they shared with ducks and chickens. They had free range to half an acre so I'm sure they would be bigger if cooped up, but we'd rather let our birds be birds you know, eating bugs and grass and chasing the dog. If you're looking to get the best bang for the buck with any Broad Breasted variety I wouldn't do any longer than 20 weeks. There growth slows way down between 18-20 weeks, then all they do is consume large amounts of feed for little return other than lots of poop; at least in our experience but we don't cram them with corn at the end either. I would prefer to keep the Bourbon growing out a few more weeks but I don't want her to be without her buddy
Here they are at 15 weeks.