1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

I definitely want to do turkeys next year!!!!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by SandraMort, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    But I am intimidated by the long time required to raise them properly. The thing is, if I'm doing the math right, I've got to order them before spring even arrives! Heritage birds take up to 8 months to grow, I think? So that's March hatch/order date at the latest for heritage birds.

    I'm chronically indecisive. I know I want midget whites for my own use and something larger for family gatherings. I know I DON'T need a bird so large it won't fit into the oven whole! Beyond that, I dunno I dunno I dunno...
     
  2. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    15
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Why are you intimidated? They are just like breeding and raising chickens only bigger. We raise a few breeds and the Midget is by far our favorite table bird. Today we had a Bourbon Red, we didn't weight it but I would guess it was in the low 20 pound range.

    We are in Eastern North Carolina and our Midgets and Beltsvilles are starting to mate an lay eggs. We have two auctions going on ebay now for smaller numbers of eggs. They way they are going we should be able to do a dozen plus in the near future.

    The best thing about having heritage turkeys is you can raise them for your needs, hatch when you want and raise to the age you like. We like ours older in the 10 to 12 month range as they are more filled out.

    Steve in NC
     
  3. plester01

    plester01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    359
    0
    139
    Jul 23, 2007
    Foreman,AR
    I would also like to raise some turkeys. I have the perfect pen for them. It is very large but it is not covered and I read that they can fly. We have lots of predators around here and I would not want them getting out. So I am not sure what to do. But if I get up the courage, I plan to order eggs as soon as possible.
     
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    15
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:Clip a wing and they will stay put. Once the toms get some weight on them they can't get very far off the ground anyway.

    Steve in NC
     
  5. plester01

    plester01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    359
    0
    139
    Jul 23, 2007
    Foreman,AR
    How do you clip a wing? Does it hurt them? Is it hard to do? I want turkeys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    15
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:You clip the flight feathers. when you extend the wing they will be the long feathers on the last 1/3 of the wing towards the tip. Cut about 3/4 of the feather off, don't cut to close of the feather root will bleed.

    Feathers are like hair the is no nerves in them so no pain.

    Clipping one wing throws them off balance.

    Steve in NC
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    46
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Nothing to be intimidated by.

    28 weeks or sooner and they are ready. As they grown they do eat more and more. You have to be commited to paying the feed bill for high protein feeds. Also you have to feed them to benefit your table and not to sustain an old age - which are 2 dfferent ways of thinking and feeding.
     
  8. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    619
    3
    140
    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    This year we cooked a blue slate Jake that was butchered early at 22 weeks, It was 15 lbs dressed out. The breast was a tad small but we only had 4 to feed.

    This is the first year we actually raised them our selves. We did have some problems staring out with the Great Whites and BB Bronze. But after reading this forum it helped a lot.

    We order ours so they arrive in mid April, which was ok except we had to put the brooders in a corner of the office. We also butchered a few weeks earily.

    Raising them you do have to follow everyone's advice to the letter. You can adapt the methods to fit your needs and still raise a good turkey for the table.

    We did ended up keep two Red Bourbons.


    Tom
     
  9. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    11,744
    14
    321
    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Our Broad Breasted white toms are dressing out at 12 pounds now,
    at around 10 weeks. They have been on 26% protein and I am now
    dropping them to a 21% Nutrena. We are going to have some great
    winter meals or new pets.
     
  10. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    im getting turkeys this year too,, a few to keep as breeders,, the rest for the table and to sell,,,, i cant wait !!!
    hey all you turkey people,,, dont turkeys have a "breeding season"? ,, i saw some royal palm eggs on ebay,, and thought they mus be duds cause it aint breeding season now,,,, or is it???,,, man more birds geesh [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by