If I Want to Raise My Own Turkeys for Next Thanksgiving...

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by 4boysmama, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. 4boysmama

    4boysmama In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2009
    NE Indiana

    I have chickens and had tried my hand at raising a turkey from the feed store this last spring, but it died when the chickens attacked it one night. He was about 2 months old, and as big as the chickens his same age. But, I found him dead the next morning and was so sad!

    But I want to get several turkeys ready for harvesting next Thanksgiving. So when should I get them? What kinds are best for raising for Thanksgiving turkeys? Should I keep them separate from the chickens? Any other suggestions or helpful hints?

    Everything suggested is appreciated! Thanks!!![​IMG]

  2. The time to get them depends on what you get a heritage turkey or Broad Breasted. The BB's are ready in 4 months the heritage you are looking at 6 months plus.

    For the heritage turkeys the Midget White tastes the best to us followed by the Bourbon Red. For size the Standard Bronze and White Holland are the biggest. Mid sized would be Bourbon Red, smallest are the Midgets and Beltsville Small White.

    We raise ours with all the other birds from day and haven't had any problems

    Steve in NC
  3. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Too bad I can not raise one in the city limits with my chickens due to blackhead disease.
  4. Quote:Our turkeys and chickens and ducks and geese and peafowl and guineas are all raised together and have been for years with no blackhead.

    Steve in NC
  5. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    ewesheep, check with your county agent to see if any recent outbreaks of blackhead. We raise our turkeys with our chickens until they are old enough to desire separate pens and no issues....

    Have a blessed day.

  6. maf2008

    maf2008 Songster

    Feb 19, 2009
    If I can keep turkeys in the same pen as my laying hens! great! I wll start a batch of turkeys... (maybe only 5 or 10 to see how they make it)

    Do they eat scratch and corn too? will any layer pellets hurt them.... I will of course put them on turkey starter to start with for about 1 month 8 weeks until feathered out.... Do you think this will work I have a very large run.... thanks

  7. We give ours whole corn as a treat and they love it.

    Steve in NC
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Quote:One problem I had with keeping mine together (I had about 20 chickens, 4 guineas, and 12 turkeys in the same coop) was that they turkeys grew so much bigger that they dominated the coop. Luckily I free-range mine every day, so it wasn't really an issue during the day. But at night when they went in to the roost, the turkeys dominated the roosting boards and it made the chickens unhappy -- the chickens had to sleep in the corners and I heard a lot more squawking as they all settled in for the night. It was only for about 3 months, so I figured the chickens could eventually (now) get their space back. But there were points when I felt like it wasn't that fair to have so many huge turkeys in the coops at night. Maybe I should have added several more roosts (I have 3 roost bars on different sides) and that could have helped.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If you choose a heritage breed make note they will look like a big chicken on your table. It is the broad breasted varieties that have the full rounded breast that most people associate with 'Thanksgiving Turkey".

    A broad breasted turkey fed out properly and cared for will be ready in 28 weeks or less.

    Broad breasted turkeys can be hatched in June and fed out and ready to dress in a relatively short time.

    My may turkeys were 70lbs by Nov. last year.

    This year I hatched in July and have 25 - 40 lb turkeys.

  10. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    I'm so glad you posted this as I definately want to raise a turkey for next Thanksgiving and had the same questions.. When do you get it and what kind.

    I was also wondering if a hen or a tom is better.

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