Hubby has a dream..... what do you think???? Turkey farming...

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Guitartists, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    He wants to fence in our lot and raise turkeys. It's right off a MAIN road and he wants to have people come by in the fall, pick their turkey, then we butcher and clean them. Anybody here do this? Do you make any money at it? Is it worth the trouble? Any advice?
     
  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    I haven't done this but a man in our town does it every year. He sells the turkeys for 20.00 You come and pick it out. I don't know if he butchers them for that, but I think feed is more than that. In our town people would rather buy at Walmart then spend the extra to get farm fresh. That even goes for the eggs. We didnt sell any last week because Walmart had them 2 dozen for 3.00. Now dwe live 17 miles from town but they would rather spend the ga,go to walmart get production eggs then pay for fresh at 18 for 3.00 Go figure.
     
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking too.... but apparently people at work are saying they'd buy one... but, talk is cheap [​IMG] LOL I doubt these people would actually show up when it's time to buy one! HA! But, I figure... he can give it a go, worse case we'll have a freezer FULL of turkey! LOL
     
  4. Harley's girl

    Harley's girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    WOW! Ang, what a great idea...(I mean for the hubby) I think it would do great. Good luck to you and your hubby.......mmmm fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2008
    Missouri
    A few things to think about (though you probably already have them sorted out).

    Turkey poults can fly once they hit a certain age and will happily hop over a fence to see how much greener the grass is on the other side. Broadbreasted turkeys don't have as much of a problem with this, just heritage breeds.

    Poults are extremely tasty and will draw in every predator around so the turkeys will still need a pen to go into at night (unless you can fence in the whole pasture from the top down).

    The poults are extremely fragile for the first 6-8 weeks, if not a little longer, before being put on the pasture. They will need a brooder to stink up for a while.

    How are you determining how many turkeys to raise? Are you going to advertise in advance and take pre-orders? Are you going to make people put down money in advance so they don't back out?

    Have you decided what to do with the turkeys that don't sell? How many turkeys can you comfortably digest in a year? [​IMG]

    Hens are much smaller than toms. Are you selling both for $20 each? What about the runts and/or the massive ones?

    How much of a loss are you willing to take if disaster strikes? ie. A skunk finds a hole in the fence/pen, a hawk becomes extremely good at picking off the poults when they are put in the field, a disease wipes out half, severe weather strikes (we lost more than I care to think about this spring when we had record-breaking floods going on in the midwest - nothing could get dry and chill/disease (even drowning) killed a lot).

    It's great that you want to do this - if you can get away with raising a heritage breed instead of the broadbreasted it'd be even better in my opinion. Show people how tasty Beltsville Whites are for the small family and how flavorful Narragansetts and Bourbon Reds are, even if they lack the pretty body type.

    Plus the heritage breeds don't seem to smell as much [​IMG]
     
  6. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    I think it could be a great idea.

    We have raised turkeys and sold them as poults. Wish I had kept some to be sold as adults....Next year I plan to.

    By the way, do you want any bronze turkey eggs for sale ....They are beautiful birds.

    Here's a list on craigslist that shows the birds but unfortunately not tom strutting!

    http://atlanta.craigslist.org/grd/840310404.html
     
  7. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Check your local environmental laws first. That size of an operation would be considered an animal feeding operation - AFO. They are regulated by the EPA as well as the state, especially new operations.
     
  8. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    We tried the Thanksgiving turkey "thing" for a couple of years and it was much more trouble than it was worth for a couple of reasons.

    1) It's hard to convince people to order and pre pay for the turkey in the spring so you know how many to hatch out.

    2) Of the people that do pre-pay you have to figure on a number to back out and want their money back (you can do a non refundable deposit but that causes problems also)

    3) If you are lucky to have a processor near you, you have to transport to and from (the from is much easier than the to)

    4) People around here didn't want frozen, they wanted fresh so you need the "fridge" space to keep them cool. Here in North Carolina you have to get a meat handler permit to do so.

    We do much much better selling hatching eggs, poults and younger birds.

    Steve in NC
     
  9. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    East Cent Minnesota
    Quote:Yep and your not going to do heritage breeds for $20 either. Aroung here they get 75 or so for one. After you raise one you'll understand why.
     
  10. corancher

    corancher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2007
    Colorado
    I agree with the earlier posts. A lot of people don't want to pay the extra for fresh turkey. Too many people think about those $5.00-$8.00 turkeys they can get at the supermarket without knowing the stores offer them as loss leaders to get you to the store so you will buy the rest of your holiday food.

    If you are buying poults, the cost will be between $5.00-$10.00 per poults which depends on if you purchase heritage or broad breasted plus shipping. Turkey poults can always find a way to kill themselves so expect to lose some. The cost of the feed for 5-9 months with today's feed prices (WOW). I think you can see real fast that you can't even get close to offering a turkey for $5.00 or even $8.00. Then you have to watch as an earlier post states for the government regulations.

    I do have some people who want the fresh turkey and are willing to pay the much higher cost. The taste is so much better and you don't have to have any added moisture pumped into them.

    If you can find that small market of people willing to pay extra then I think you can do your plan but don't expect to retire anytime soon.
     

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