Heritage Turkey Help

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mtr2011, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. mtr2011

    mtr2011 New Egg

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    Nov 30, 2013
    For Thanksgiving this year, I raised 6 turkeys for my family and friends. First time we tried this. Overall, the experience was a very good one. We live in Northeast Ohio and purchased the turkeys (Broad Breasted Whites and Bronse) from Myer Hatchery which is only an hour away. All 6 of the turkeys did really well, but the more I read about turkeys the more interested I become in the Heritage breeds.

    Does anyone have advice on breeds that would be good for NE Ohio (cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers)? I was considering the "rare turkey" option from Myer that would include 20 turkeys with at least 4 different heritage breeds. It would cost ~$200. Any other advice on this or anything else related to heritage turkeys would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.!
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    By buying locally from a flock that has been adapting to your climate for several generations you are likely to do well with any of them. If I were you I would talk to Myers directly and pose your questioon as to which variety thrives the best in your specific local. I have heritage breeds, and I have raised the BBW and I like them both.

    You might ask specifics includig the temperament of the line. NOne of my birds are mean to people but I also hand raise them a few at a time.

    Sizes vary between breeds and lines.

    I have tried several different breeds and they have subtle differences among those that I have. Find the postings by sandspoultry and steve_______ -- he raised 6-8 breeds for a long time. And often posted the comparisons of his lines.

    Getting the variety pack is a great way to test run a few breeds. Just remember the breast size is usually smaller, and they take much longer to grow. ANd don't be afraid to cross breed as those grow faster!!
     
  3. mtr2011

    mtr2011 New Egg

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Thanks a lot for your reply. I talked with Myer and they only have the heritage breeds available by mail, not pick up. I guess that means that they are coming from a different location, not Northeast Ohio. Is the survival rate high for turkeys coming in the mail?
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    DUe to bio security reasons many facilites do not allow for pick up at the farm. You cannot draw conclusions about where the poults are hatched-- you can ask that q directly to the hatchery though and you should get an honest answer. Survual rates vary based on a number of factors but most importantly how quickly the shipment arrives. Plan on giving these poults lots of TLC and attention to get them off to a good start. I like to have chicks in the group to help the poults find their food and water far more often than I can.

    HOw close are you to Myer? Might be just an overnight trip.
     
  5. popsicle

    popsicle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you actually talking about Myers or Meyers?

    Regardless, I believe that some of the hatcheries have their heritage turkeys drop shipped--that's why they have different minimum orders for broad-breasted vs the heritage breeds. I could be wrong.

    I've had fine luck with having turkeys shipped--and I'm way in the boonies of Montana. I think OH would be fine.

    My turkeys from Porter's Rare Heritage Turkeys (in Michigan?) were standing around out in the snow when it was -15F. No signs of frostbite. They've all been hardy vigorous birds.
     
  6. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't worry about turkey hardiness. They aren't like chickens that are prone to frostbite. I leave my birds outside all winter in central Minnesota. They do well in all kinds of winter weather. They do have some spruce trees and a small shelter with no walls. But they do great in snow and cold.

    While hybrid vigor (faster growth) is common when crossing between closely related species, and broad-breasted turkeys were derived by crossing specific combinations of heritage turkeys, I have never observed faster growth when crossing between varieties of heritage turkeys. In fact, mine keep getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. So far I have been breeding for color and have not had much choice over which turkeys to breed. Maybe next time I'll be able to have a choice of birds. [​IMG]
     

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