How easy is it to breed turkeys?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Westcoaster87, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Westcoaster87

    Westcoaster87 Out Of The Brooder

    I would like to add turkeys to our flock this spring but I have encountered a wide range of opinions when it comes to how easy they are to keep and breed.

    How easy is it to breed heritage turkeys? A local farmer has some Bourbon Reds that are just beautiful :)

    Any information you can give would be wonderful! Thank you :)
     
  2. xmonster0

    xmonster0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Calhan Colorado
    here is the deal, you CAN keep turkeys with your chickens we do and they get along great,

    they eat the same food as out chickens lay in the same nesting boxes etc,, etc...

    the heritage breeds also go broody real well.

    for example right now all 3 of outs are sitting on a clutch

    they take turns with the broody chickens sitting on the eggs

    our chickens nest turkey eggs and chicken eggs and out turkeys nest turkey and checken eggs

    they all work together

    .. with that said turkeys are much much bigger and more dominant and they eat more food than chickens do

    they will also throw a wing over a chicken to keep it warm on a cold night.

    the only thing i would be wary of is having too many toms. just like roosters they fight but with one exception

    2 toms that decide they dont like each other will have a battle royal ending in injury and or death and will also destroy any thing loose in your coop in the process..

    other than that they are great! and can be very friendly and tame
     
  3. Westcoaster87

    Westcoaster87 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you very much for the information :)

    I think we will keep them separate based on your information and what I have read. We are rather new to this so the less complicated the better I suppose.

    I am ver excited to hear if the bourbon red eggs are becoming fertile :)
     
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Breeding turkeys comes very easy for me. In fact, I usually have way too many turkeys. I breed only Bourbon Reds. My hens are excellent layers and excellent hatchers. They are also excellent mothers. I have been keeping my turkeys and chickens together for MANY years with no problems. I have never had an aggressive turkeys towards me but the hens will pick a fight with the roosters just for the heck of it. They are just mean bullies is all. I feed a high protein feed and allow them to range all day. They get feed 24/7.

    xmonster0 is right about having too many toms . That seems to be my problem every year. They will bump chests and pull snoods every now and then but no blood shed. I always have to sell off a certain number of toms to balance everything out.

    I have copied and pasted a link for future reference when you get your turkeys. I hope this link helps you with any questions.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-turkeys-what-do-i-need-to-know#post_11309891

    Good Luck.
     
  5. xmonster0

    xmonster0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2013
    Calhan Colorado
    the bloodshed is rare but man when it happens, holy crap!

    and i have to second what kuntrygirl said here, heritage turkey hens like bourbon reds and narangansetts are

    the best mothers period, when they go broody which is not hard to do by the way. they are amazing

    the hens are bullies for sure , its not perfect but you can definately achieve a certain harmony with your flock

    i have chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese in one coop and they are one big family..

    don't get to scared off by what you read online, (i will probably get an earful for this) alot of it is just plain B.S
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  6. Westcoaster87

    Westcoaster87 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you so much everyone for your information :) It definitely makes me more confident about bringing in Bourbon Reds- I'm so excited to bring them in now!!

    Fingers crossed that the male starts to get his job right and the local breeder sees some poults soon, lol
     
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    This was my surprise hatch last year. She was in a bush laying and I didn't even know it . She brought them out and was waiting for me when I got home. I put the poults and mama in a brooder to keep them safe and secure.
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    Bourbons enjoying their daily fresh fruit and veggies.
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    Bourbon Reds causing trouble in Paradise for my Pea.
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    Bourbons looking innocent and sweet. HA! NOT !!!!!!!
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    Bourbons chasing away the neighbor's rooster.
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    Bourbon Reds on Crow Patrol. They ran that crow AWAY !!!!!!
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    Bourbon Red Hen being a good mom from hatch to adolescent.
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    Bourbon Red Hens ran off to lay in neighbor's yard. :barnie
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    Mischievous and Nosey!!!
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    Diligent Mothers.
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    They also double as Animal Control. Here is a link to their madness.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ys-aka-animal-control-pics-and-story-included

    In the end, I would not trade them for anything. I LOVE my bourbon Reds!!!!!!! :love
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  8. Westcoaster87

    Westcoaster87 Out Of The Brooder

    Wow! Your birds are beautiful :) We only have 24 chickens right now with quail, bantams and now bourbon reds on their way :) So excited!
     
  9. catuslady

    catuslady New Egg

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    I have two Royal Palm hens which have been laying eggs for about three weeks. We 'borrowed' a tom to attempt to get them bread but are unsure if this worked. We had him for about 24 hours. Any way to tell if they bread?
     
  10. TurkenItUp209

    TurkenItUp209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I took an egg and cracked it open, I could clearly see the blastoderm. I'm going to have it for breakfast today. I have also witnessed my tom breeding both hens, cracking an egg open is your only way to be 100%
     

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