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How big can a broad breasted turkey get?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Dogue, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Dogue

    Dogue Chirping

    May 6, 2014
    I see that broad breasted turkey toms can get to 40lbs at 20-24 weeks of age, but just how big can one of these dudes get if allowed to grow as long as possible?

    Also, do the whites or the bronze get bigger?

  2. ChirpnBern

    ChirpnBern Songster

    Nov 24, 2013
    For a lot of years my feed store ran a "Big Gobbler" contest two weeks before Thanksgiving. You bought a poult from them, raised it on their feed, then entered the contest if you wanted. They`d have a 4-H? judge to judge the kids` birds and explain what they look for etc. I liked that. Then they`d weigh all comers to find the Big Gobbler. I think they had a hen division too. Some of those boys got pretty big. I think the record was 72 lb. live weight. It was a bronze. I wish they`d start that up again.
    1 person likes this.
  3. gholmomma

    gholmomma In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2017
    Our last years results:
    BBBronzes boys: both around 35 pounds at 21 weeks
    BBW boys: at 19 weeks one seemed headed to heart failure and started getting mean - was put into the freezer at 52#. The other made it until week 21 at 55#. (4H Fair was at week 20 and the bigger brother just wasn't going to make it).

    Yes, they get bigger, but you risk instant death. "As long as possible" isn't that long - their organs start shutting down. They don't have much adaption for hard winters, and those big breasts start dragging and causing calluses.

    We kept a mis-breed BBB (she seems crossed with a heritage bronze) thru the winter and she barely made it. Callused breast, frost bit comb, wattley walk. None of the heritage birds had any of these problems. Another family nearby did keep a BBW thru the winter, only to have to put him down last week, due to inactivity, as if he just wanted to lay down and die in their turkey pen. He looked 50-ish#. and he became multiple meals for a family that needed it.
  4. ChirpnBern

    ChirpnBern Songster

    Nov 24, 2013
    Yeah, that`s true about all the health problems. The ones at the contest could walk but one wonders for how long before their weight did them in even if they weren`t planned to be headed for the roasting pan. I remember articles in the papers years ago about them being bred for the big breast and the legs couldn`t hold the weight, and about them needing to be artificially inseminated because they couldn`t breed naturally.

    I`ve only ever had a couple of bronze hens at different times and they were normal size to a bit on the large side I guess. Never weighed them, they were pets. Also had a pair of wild ones I got at the feed store back when you could buy wild turkey poults. They were great pets. Again I never weighed them but I did like their sleeker body shape. I guess the difference reminds me of the difference between a thoroughbred and a draft horse.

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