I'm wondering about mixing turkey breeds

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Jennsbirds, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Jennsbirds

    Jennsbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2013
    Bay Area
    I'm looking into homesteading fror when I buy my first house, but I have so many questions already while just considering birds.

    Heritage turkeys seem to be an ideal bird, as they--especially reds and blacks, I've read--are social and calm, plus delicious. But will mixing breeds be bad (I don't want to show 'em)? Can turkeys be bred for patterns and meat? Wha about attitude as well?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’ve hatched and raised turkeys but have not bred them. But I do play around with chicken color and patterns and such.

    If you look way down on this link you will come to a calculator for turkey patterns and colors. I have not played around with the turkey portion enough to even know what those genes do, but yes, you can obviously breed for color and pattern. You can even make sex links if you want to.

    Cross Calculator

    Will mixing them be bad? Certainly not in my opinion but that depends on your goals. If you are not into showing them or have a reason to keep them pureblooded, I see nothing bad about it. That’s what I do with my chickens.

    You can breed chickens for attitude so I don’t see why you couldn’t breed turkeys for attitude as well. It’s a little harder because it is not something that stands out like red or black feathers and they do have instincts, so they can surprise you. But over time by carefully selecting for it, you can get your flock to where certain behaviors are more normal.
  3. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    There is nothing wrong with mixing colors. Most colors can't be bought from major hatcheries, so mixing is necessary if you live in a place where small hatcheries can't do business. In Minnesota, disease testing is too expensive for many smaller hatcheries.

    All of the turkeys I have now come from offspring of Bourbon Red and Royal Palm. Bourbon Reds crossed with blacks make some very nice looking birds.
  4. retlaw

    retlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2013
    You might get healthier and larger birds.
    More DNA competition in the blood line.
    I noticed that my cross bred birds last year grew larger then thier parents.
  5. melody123

    melody123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    There is way too much inbreeding in the poultry world. Your birds will have hybrid vigor if you allow them to cross.

    However, if you are looking to sell heritage birds, you would get less money for crosses.
  6. Jennsbirds

    Jennsbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2013
    Bay Area
    While I'd be selling some babies for space, and I'd want something for them, Id' be happier with more products for cheap than a few for a lot of money.
  7. turkeyguy123

    turkeyguy123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2013
    I have some crossbreds that I havent had a problem selling for $4-8 each

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