It's about time for our first turkey processing and we have questions.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by RoboDuck, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. We got some hen turkeys for our Tom, Hanks, to keep him from raping the ducks and chickens. Well, once their feet started getting fat it occurred to me they were not meant for pet yard birds. I guess they're the Broad Breasted Whites. One has pet bird personality because she loves to stand between my knees when I squat down and let me pet her. They have been free ranging for several weeks. They still get some corn and scratch that we throw out for all of our free range birds but no regular feed. I estimate their live weight at about 30 pounds to 35 pounds. Now I REALLY don't want to kill the friendly one if she is just going to be like chewing shoe leather. So what is the best way to finish them before slaughter day to make sure we haven't wasted a lot of meat on Thanksgiving?
  2. neverbdone

    neverbdone Songster

    Dec 9, 2008
    Lake Isabella, CA
    They taste fine - no wasted meat. You won't have a leather thanksgiving unless you overcook it. No matter what breed they are always better than store bought. I don't do anything special before processing day. I know some people switch the feed to finisher which is lower in protein. I do give them canned corn for a treat once a week. I also pull out all food the day before.
  3. Ok, cool. My wife put them back in the big pen so they weren't running all over the place building muscle. Right now all they're doing is eating all the food in the feeders. The freakin' things never get full. I'd just as soon they have the run of the place and eat what nature gives'em with a little supplement here and there. Thanks.
  4. shaninsky

    shaninsky In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2014
    Ours run all over and don't get tough. There's a good recipe in Cooks Illustrated for cooking heritage birds that would apply to free-range. The texture is different from grocery store meat but tough ins't the word. Once you start eating these guys, you won't go back.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: