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Interested in Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cjhubbs, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. cjhubbs

    cjhubbs Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2012
    NH
    Hello All,
    For the past year or so I have been thinking about trying my hand at raising my own meat. I was thinking of trying heritage turkeys that way I can raise my own turkeys without having to buy poults. I am part of a family of *soon to be 10* so heritage breed that gets rather large isn't out of the question. I was wondering if any of you had suggestions for a breed? I also was wondering how large a turkey coop should be for 2 hens and a gobbler and if this was a good ratio for breeding the hens? I was thinking of putting the turkeys near the back of my property near the woods. Once in a while I have seen flocks of wild turkeys in that area and I was wondering if this could cause problems? Thank you so much for the help!
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hi,

    Have you looked at the NEw HOlland. THis apparently is a heavy breasted type of the heritage breeds. SO it can reporduce. Do a thread search as we were just talking breeds this last few weeks and that one was listed as particularly heavy in muscling.

    I have bourbon reds-- seem to be good natured and nice to my kids. I have other breeds too but are young, they too have been nice to my kids so far.

    TUrkeys need protection from the local predators; I"m sure they would like the woods with some fencing.

    I use a 5 x 7 coop, just because that was the size of the materials. Keep the roost low and wide for their bigger feet. THey are heavy and a big jump down can hurt their feet. ONly my turkeys have bumble feet, or what I suspect are bumble feet. It houses a tom and three hens. AND food and water take up space.

    Wild turkeys always represent a possible disease transmission-- I have wild turkeys visit regularly here.

    My suggestion is to read as many old threads as possible. You can also breed cross breds--they often grow a little faster depending on the two breeds used.
     
  3. cjhubbs

    cjhubbs Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2012
    NH
    Thanks for the help. I haven't looked at the New Holand much but I will now that you mention it. I also was considering Nargansetts or BRs. I am thinking about building a 4x8 coop and I was wondering if that is big enough for three hens and a gobbler? I also was wondering how large thier pen should be, I was thinking maybe 20 by 10 ft. ?Lastly, I was wondering if you had suggestions for places I could get quality poults from? Thanks again!
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Quality poults-- URch and Porters and Sand Hill; I feel comfortable saying these are real heritage turkeys. Urch has SQ; IDK about POrters and Sand Hill.

    BIgger is always better but that numbers look ok. THe coop will e a bit tightif for any reason they need to be in for a number of days.

    Do find the other threads as you will find tidbits about each breed and that they are more than different by color.

    Enjoy!
     
  5. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

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    Apr 29, 2009
    alvarado, Tx
    You will love turkey's, they have such wonderful personalities.

    I raise Midget Whites, Blue Slates, Chocolates, Royal Palms and Rio Grandes. And I have raised them for years.

    I am getting several new breeds from Porter's this year.

    As a food source they are very good, but they are heritage breeds and they are slow to mature, so you will feed them for months before they can hit your table. Most of mine are in 16 x 32 pens and free range when it is not breeding season.
     
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    If you are looking for a large turkey then Standard Bronze or White Holland would be the bird for you. The Bronze are the larger of the two. Our tom's stand about waist high on me and weigh around 40 pounds the hens are over 25 pounds. For their size they are very calm natured and easy to work with.
     
  7. cjhubbs

    cjhubbs Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2012
    NH
    Thanks for the help. I looked on craigslist the other day and found someone whom is sexed selling BR poults which are descended from a porters line for $7 a bird. I have looked at the BR and like the breed. I will have to think about it though. They are selling the poults for mid-April which is a little early saying I wouldn't be able to start working on a coop until May but it may work. I also was wondering what suggestions you have for fencing? I understand that the heritage breeds for the most part have retained the ability to fly so the fencing should be high and I probably should put bird netting over the top. Like many people I am a little short on cash at the moment so ideas or suggestions for how I can try to bring down the cost of building the turkey area without compromising the effectiveness and durability of it would be appreciated. Thanks for the help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  8. Heritageturkey

    Heritageturkey Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2012
    The APA weights for standard bronze is 36 lbs on old toms and 20 for old hens. Do you have BBB mixed into your line?
     
  9. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    No, we have been breeding them for size ever since we had them, The APA gives turkeys 2 pounds without any cuts
     
  10. Heritageturkey

    Heritageturkey Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2012
    So yours would get some cuts then in an APA show since they are over that 2 lb allowance?

    Does yours breed naturally without too much trouble?
     

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