Looking into Turkeys....Helpfulness anyone?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by WooingWyandotte, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

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    Looking into buying pet turkeys and meat turkeys. I don't know beans about turkeys of turkey breeds, so I'm asking the experts.
    Which turkeys are great meat turkeys?
    Pet turkeys, anyone?
    How early can you sex a turkey?
    What are toms like?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are lots of old threads that will address the details of your questions. Some short answers...


    Broad-bresated bronze and Broad-breasted whites (Sometimes called white giants) are the typical store turkeys with lots of breast meat. Heritage breeds have less breast meat but most people think they taste better. Heritage birds cost more to raise because they are less efficient feed converters and grow more slowly. You can have a Broad-breasted feast in 12 weeks, while it takes about 7 months to get a heritage bird to fill out.

    There are different opinions about which strains have the best personalities for pets. I think the most personable turkeys are the standard bronze, Narragansett, and bourbon red, while the white turleys (Royal Palm and midget white) tend to be a little more skitish.

    How soon you can sex a turley depends on how sure you need to be right. Sometimes it takes 10 weeks to be pretty sure. If you make the right crosses with birds with Narragansett or chocolate genes, you can create sex-linked birds that can be sexed accurately by three weeks. For example, Royal Palm toms crossed with bourbon red hens produce red bronze tomes and golden Narragansett hens. They look the same at birtth, but the Narragansetts start to lighten up after just a few weeks.

    The toms are usually not quite as friendly as the hens, but if you spens a lot of time with them, they can be quite affectionate. Nothing like a dang rooster trying to spur you. The toms will display to you in the fall and spring. I mean it literally, they will get right in your face and puff up. Its great! [​IMG] Toms are also much larger than hens. About 50% larger.

    Be careful!!! Once you try turkeys, chickens will never be the same!!!! [​IMG]
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Funny you should say that today... i have White Hollands from Kevin Porter. A vet tech from the state came out to test my birds for AI today and when we went to the turkey pen she was amazed. She said that in her experience, white birds tend to be really flighty and that she never saw any as easy to catch as mine. I was surprised that she said that since I don't handle these guys much and personally thought they weren't behaving that good. I did used to have Palms and they were extremely flighty though a lot of folks here have some and love them. I love the Narri's and Bourbons, I'll see if I love the Jersey Buffs as much when I get them next year.
     
  4. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I only have royal palms and one broad breasted bronze. My palms are not at all flighty. This is usually what I see anytime I'm out in the yard. The last week or so lots of displaying. The bronze is actually the friendliest but I hand fed him as a chick. He doesn't even mind me touching him, even seems to like it.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you for all your reply's.
     
  6. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

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    I only raise heritage breeds so I am not any help in the meatie department.

    None of my birds are flighty, as a matter of fact they are the friendliest birds I have. When it is not breeding season they all free range together and greet anyone who comes to my house. [​IMG]

    My toms are very sweet and they will all fluff out and make a show when I make a noise for them.
     
  7. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Broad Breasted Bronzes, and Heritage Turkeys coming in the spring. My turkeys are EXTREMELY friendly, they call to me when they see me, eat out of my hand, follow me around etc... the males are very friendly too and like to puff up and strut around.... and the gobble is SO cool!!!

    I wouldn't recommend Broad Breasted's for pets though because I heard they don't live terribly long because of the fast growth rates. I would suggest Midget Whites which I have heard are friendly AND good meat birds... or a heritage breed you like, and just spend lots of time with them as babies! [​IMG]

    BBB
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Midget Whites ARE friendly, and good meat birds. We started with a pair almost a year ago, and now have a tom and six hens. The tom displays ALL THE TIME, which is both beautiful and entertaining. I've had three hens out of six go broody at least once, and hope the one setting on chicken eggs right now will be a good mama to them. (She's only about 9 months old.)

    I was surprised that baby turkeys, unlike baby chickens, ducks, quail, partridges, guineas etc. actually come up to the strange human hand in the brooder.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

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    Wow!
    So interesting. Um, what exactly do you feed turkeys? The only feed that came to mind was Flock Raiser...any others that would work?
     
  10. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Turkeys need a "gamebird feed" or "turkey starter" when they are young, those are generally 28-30% protein, they need this to about 14 weeks of age. After that they can eat a flock raiser or other 20-22% protein feed.
     

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