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How many birds can I expect to get from a heritage breed turkey hen?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by dwest, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. dwest

    dwest Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2011
    Kintore Ontario Canada
    We have been collecting some breeding birds this fall, getting ready for next spring to be our first go at breeding heritage turkeys. We currently have Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Royal Palm and Blue Slates, with possibly some Bronze coming. We're attempting to put together a plan of what we might be facing next year in the way of poults and ultimately mature birds. I know this is a difficult thing to predict as there are far too many variables outside of our control, but what's people's experiences? We will be incubating the eggs, leaving the hens to continue laying, and expect to lay/hatch as long as the birds do for the season (we're in southern Ontario). I know the range could run from no hatching whatsoever to every single egg producing a mature bird. The first option would be devastating, and the second is probably near impossible. What is the middle ground that we're likely to face? Thanks!
     
  2. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm PA ETL#195

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    Collins, Arkansas
    I would advise that you contact breeders in your area to learn what their birds are producing. Greg oakes is a great person, along with the ETF District 10 Director (Canada: LB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, PQ), George Whitney of Ontario, Canada.

    The climate, lighting, feed etc will all add into what you produce. I will try to get George to join us here and answer your question.

    Jim
     
  3. SuperChickenDude327

    SuperChickenDude327 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey! Cool to see another from Canada! You're probably around my area!
     
  4. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    A heritage turkey lays about 80 eggs per season. If you hatch and raise half, you would have a few.
     
  5. dwest

    dwest Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2011
    Kintore Ontario Canada
    Thanks for the replies so far, I realize my question is like asking how many bushels of corn will a bag of seed corn yield...LOL
     
  6. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm PA ETL#195

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    Collins, Arkansas
    Quote:[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    1 tom + 1 hen = 4000000000000

    Well maybe not that many. But 1+1 does not equal 2 in turkeydom!
     
  7. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Bronze birds, typically go broody once during their first year-- and will hatch out b/w 12-15 in that clutch- raising anywhere from 6-12 (in confined spaces, not free range).

    During their second (and later) years of laying, you can almost guarentee that too double, as most will go broody twice during that year- (and their raise rate goes up as well)- and we even get a few hens who will begin to lay a nest a third time before the cold sets in and they abondon the eggs.

    In the begginning of the laying cycle, if we can find the nest- we'll go in and steal the eggs for the 'bator-- otherwise it's up to varmits to control the number of eggs that hen will set on, and when that'll happen.
     
  8. Kekko

    Kekko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2010
    Western IDAHO
    I'm in West central Idaho! I incubated & hatched about 450 turkeys from Mid April through Mid July this year (3 months). I had a total of 12 hens Black Spanish, Royal Palms and Blue Slate. I also sold many eggs for incubating and ate a lot of turkey eggs during that time frame. I’m guessing I could have easily doubled that number if I had incubated everything they laid. After I was through incubating I turned the birds loose to free range and they continued to lay through September however between the skunks, raccoons and magpies they only hatched 3 of the nests for about another 20 poults on their own. One Black hen disappeared and I thought the fox had gotten her. She showed up with 1 poulet about the end of September. I found my Royal Palms were the most prolific layers.

    As others mentioned a lot will be determined by your climate and the weather. This year our birds started laying late in the spring as we had a cold wet spring. We don’t use heat & lights for them. They are on their own time table with nature!
     
  9. shumba

    shumba New Egg

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Your question is based, as you know, on a large number of factors, one of which is that many of the heritage turkey breeds have not been in production mode for decades, being kept primarily by hobby breeders in small numbers.

    Having said that, if you want to go into long term production, I would advise you to begin selecting for high fertility and egg production as well as other production features.

    OK, having said that, under ideal housing, feed, handling, lighting, etc you should aim for between 50 and 80 eggs per hen with a fertility rate of 75 percent plus. Because your hens are probably 2011 hatched, production will be lower due to less eggs laid with some of them deformed and small. Two and 3 year old hens are better layers.

    I can also suggest a number of publications you should have on hand since you sound serious about this.

    I would also suggest you try to procure Standard Bronze turkeys (Ridley strain) as I am having very good luck with them. PM me for further information.

    I hope this helps.

    George Whitney
     
  10. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm PA ETL#195

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    Collins, Arkansas
    Quote:Thanks, George!

    George is the ETF District 10 Director (Canada: LB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, PQ) and is from Ontario.

    Just an FYI. BYC dislikes posting a link to "other" forums. Those kind of things has to be done in private emails. But your info is very good. Have heard a lot about the Ridley strain of Bronze. How are the Ridley's at the shows?
     

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