I think they're getting TOO big

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Armageddon, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Armageddon

    Armageddon Songster

    Feb 3, 2010
    Southern California
    Hey all...

    I have two turkeys, I think they are standard bronze...I got them to raise for the holidays and have been wondering what I should feed them prior to processing..... BUT last night I didn't close the coop early enough and they were on the porch...so, in the dark I was tyring to get these two guys back to the pen.....

    They were having a hard time walking...stopping to breathe and such....so. I decided to carry them.... they were so heavy and awkward, I had a hard time.... and bigger around than I thought....I still have a couple months to go with these guys.....can they get tooo big and die on me???

    Such a noob, all help appreciated!!

  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I have never raised turkeys, but I have raised meat birds. If your turkeys are very heavy then maybe it is time to send them to freezer camp. I know that with meat chickens that they will develop problems if they are raised for to long of a time.
  3. Do you have a scale? Even a plain ol' bathroom one you can get your weight, then hold the bird and subtract the difference. I don't know the numbers for Live vs Processed but that could give you idea of where they are?

    Not to mention if they get too big they won't fit in the oven.

    Me, I'd probably go ahead and process and freeze them just to be on the safe side.

    But I have NO experience at all on the subject so take that with a grain of salt.
  4. longranger

    longranger Songster

    Apr 23, 2009
    laguna hills CA
    From the sounds of it you may have broad breasted turkeys that are ready for freezer camp. Agree with PineappleMama, weigh them. If they are at or above your target weight butcher them. If they are broad breasted and are having a hard time getting around they are probably pretty heavy and need to be processed anyway. If they are large standards you have time. They may have just been stressed from being herded in the dark.

  5. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    General speaking you loose about 1/3 of the weight during processing. A standard Bronze Male is usually around 26 to 28 pounds live weight at around 30 weeks of age. A BBW is usually processed at around 20 weeks.

    A BBW legs are usually shorter and set wider apart then a standard bronze.

  6. Armageddon

    Armageddon Songster

    Feb 3, 2010
    Southern California
    Well...here's a picture of them...I can try and weigh them tommorrow....and post the weight...thanks!

  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    How old are they? Where did you get them? I'd say they are probably broad-breasted bronze as well, if you got them from a feed store I'd almost guarantee it. Standard bronze are a heritage-type turkey, so they wouldn't get as big as fast as a broad-breasted.

  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah... you probably ended up with the broad breasted ones. I only let mine get to about 5months old as they ended up dressing out at 33-35lbs each. I think they were about 50 alive and started to walk funny. We did them in and froze them for T-day. Sweetest little guys, but wouldn't have lasted till T-day alive.
  9. Armageddon

    Armageddon Songster

    Feb 3, 2010
    Southern California
    I got them in May and I did get them at a feed store.....I hope thye last a little longer...there is no way I can process them this weekend....it will have to wait till next weekened!!!I still haven't weighed them....I hope they make it till I can process them....

  10. cowdogcadillac

    cowdogcadillac Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    Broad B Bronze ya got there. I just took out two of mine and one dressed out at 27 pounds .He was walking fine and could have carried more weight. When you are ready or if the bird is starting to have difficulty walking or if you have a certain age to take them out then go for it. I do it knowing mine lived a great life every day they were here up until the day they gave it up for my family to enjoy.

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