HELP!! what do I do with the big boobie wonders?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Poupoulles, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Poupoulles

    Poupoulles Songster

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    Jul 17, 2007
    Mayberry (really!)
    So now I am sure that the hatchery sent me the wrong mix. I had ordered a heritage mix and they sent me a standard mix. This is my first batch of turkeys and I was so geared to heritage breeds I cant even tell ya. I took classes with the ALBC (taught by Frank Reese no less) I did all the research. I just couldnt decide which breeds. So I thought a mix would let me observe and then eat some, keep some, breed some, etc...
    I knwo nothing whatsoever about breeding broad breasted birds. I have 18, mixed white and bronze. I read they dress out in 20 weeks?!?!?! I planned on raising them on pasture, and I even built a cool tractor. But if they cant roost, if they dont do well on pasture etc... I am stuck. And when do you process them (ideally)
    Does anyone have tips for raising BB birds outside? Thye are currently three weeks.
     
  2. chickenlittle32

    chickenlittle32 Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    Rayne Louisiana
    I have a BB Chocolate hen...and she roosts with with chickens...and shes big....We made sure the roosts can hold her weight as well as the other couple of turkeys we have...
     
  3. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    we free ranged ours with our Bourbon Reds.. they did just fine. they roosted, flew, ran around, loved to free range.

    but

    you have to still feed them bagged turk grower (when they get old enough).

    we dressed ours out late - had all hens and our freezer was PACKED. the only thing we found was that our BR's did better in the cold - our BBW's seemed to chill more easily. i guess ours were about 6 or 7 months old.

    as for tips
    * invest in good feed - but we only fed at nite once we put them out - so they free ranged
    * we kept ours inside until 8 weeks
    * start them slowly outside and in shade with lots of food/water around
    * we used a 4 ft fence to keep them in - they could have easily flew over but there was so much for them to eat etc there was no reason
    * make sure they have shelter from hot/cold

    does that help?
     
  4. Poupoulles

    Poupoulles Songster

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    Jul 17, 2007
    Mayberry (really!)
    That is exactly the kind of list I needed. Thank you. When did you process them? Do you think you waited too late? WE have both toms and hens. Maybe we will do the toms at a certain weight and then do hens a bit later. There are a few black spanish/newcastle mixed in there too, so they may get to stick around.
     
  5. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    great! glad i could help - isnt this site the best?

    we got ours in june then butchered in january. i dont think we waited to late -but we were delayed for other reasons (we were in a bad car accident).

    however, we helped my buddy - who i shared our initial order with - dress 2 of his toms.. man they were HUGE! in fact we dressed two lambs that same day and when we hung there side by side - they were the same size!!!

    one of the great things we found is that you can store turkeys 'on the hoof' and can dress them when you need them.

    the big things we learned when we dressed them:
    1. our arms hurt by the end of the day - they are heavy
    2. have REALLY sharp knives
    3. the are really strong - good to know when the um.. that is.. er.. 'dispatching' .. part of the day comes
     
  6. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

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    Hastings, Nebraska
    When Great whites and BB bronze a young polts there is not much difference then raising heritage Turkeys. The exception is they can develop leg or bone problems.

    Use wild game starter for both.

    When young
    1. Keep there pens/brooders clean and dry.
    2. it can help adding a water soulable viteman to there water.
    3. Place the food and water at oppsite sides of there pen/brooder so they
    have to move around.

    When they are about 5 to 6 weeks old they will be larger then the other Turkeys. But they will be much more mellow.

    Great Whites and BB Bronze are not foragers so they will need more Bagged feed if on grass. They will eat Grass so that helps a lot.

    Generally The double breasted Turkey will be butchered between 18 to 25 weeks of age. This is for two reasons.1. the older they get the more likely they are to dies on you. Although we know some people that had a BB Bronze for 4 years. 2. Much longer the cost to weight ration is not worth raising them.

    Were a heritage is around 28 to 35 Plus weeks,

    Some hatcheries do include Great Whites and BB Bronze in there mixed. Last Years Batch from MM About half were Great Whites and BB bronze.

    This years from Cackel does, Surplus Rare Turkey assortment. But this is a hatchers choice as is any of the assortment types are.
     
  7. Poupoulles

    Poupoulles Songster

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    Jul 17, 2007
    Mayberry (really!)
    Thanks again for the tip. I was putting the broiler booster vita pack in their water and I noticed some of tehm were getting what looked like angel wings (which I had never heard of until I saw it on this board THANK YOU BYC!!!) so I cut back on the vitamix and it all seemed to go away.
    Do you think I should maybe use just a little or maybe every other day? Or maybe I was being too paranoid about the wings...
    This has been a big help, thank you all. I guess I will be processing in September. That is a little annoying. Frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving I guess...
     
  8. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    hey!
    you know i just thought of another tip... another post reminded me....

    if you think any of them are a little droopy or not as perky you can give them some plain yogurt and crank up the brooder heat a bit. we almost lost one of ours and this sure did the trick
    :)
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    BB turkeys do great on pasture.
     

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