looking to purchase first turkey chicks . Advice welcome

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by tinahoak, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. tinahoak

    tinahoak Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband and I are closing on 21 acres of woodlot. We plan to build there. I'd like to get turkeys once we move but I want to do my" home work" like I did for my chickens before I purchase birds. I have several questions , I appreciate any and all help.

    I live in northwestern NY. Which breeds are more cold hardy if there are any?
    Do some breeds take to confinement better then others if I should windup keeping them in a "run" type situation
    ( like one similar but larger then my chickens) what are suggested space requirements in a coop per bird as we do have coyotes in the area and these birds WILL be in at night
    Are certain breeds more friendly?
    I like the idea of heritage breeds and have been reading up on the time differences for butchering, so thanks for that info

    I know to keep turkeys from grazing on land where there have been chickens due to Blackhead disease. Are there any other diseases they may be prone too?

    I know this is asking alot of questions but thanks for any pointers you can share with me . I believe in taking good care of my animals and want to be some what knowledgable before I dive in.
     
  2. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're planning ahead so you have plenty of time for research. Start by looking through the threads in this part of BYC. Also Google for information and get hold of some books. That will give you a basic starter insight and, probably, some specific questions to post here.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you order your poults, order a few chicken chicks to tutor them. Poults spend the greater part of their first few days trying to figure out how to die, and the chicks teach AND remind them to eat and drink far better than you can. It is inexpensive insurance that will keep your investment alive.
     
  4. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in Central, NY and just got some Narragansett & Bourbon Red breeding pairs.

    I hope to have eggs & poults in late spring/summer.

    Actually, either the Narri hen is laying or the BB Bronze hen that is in the pen with the Narris is laying. I've gotten 5 eggs in the past week. I am going to move the BB Bronze hen tomorrow so I'll know who is laying the eggs. Either way, I am going to incubate & see if they hatch.

    Sue
     
  5. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tina, most turkeys are pretty similar in size and personality. The big difference is going to be color. Some are the exception, like your Midgets, Royal Palms, and Beltsvilles, which tend to be on the smaller side.

    A better way to go about it would be to find out which turkeys you like and then give us a list to pick off of. If you've been eyeing those lovely Royal Palms, but our personal preference ends up being a Black Spanish then it doesn't help you much.

    Tell us what you think is pretty. All are going to be cold hardy and all have their perks.

    I know that doesn't help out much. But once we know what _you_ want we can tell you how well it would work for your set up (secret tip: the variety will probably work fine [​IMG].
     
  6. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. Look at the pictures and get what pleases you. I will say that the bronze are way more beatiful than any picture can show. You can always start with a variety and see what you like.
     
  7. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Porters in Pa, has many, many varieties of turkeys. Go to their website and see which ones you like.

    http://www.porterturkeys.com/

    Sue

    ps make sure you have a towel with you, you will drool! LOL
     
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Porter Turkeys is in IN, not PA. But Kevin does have some beautiful turkeys! A lot of them aren't 'recognized' breeds, but unless you plan to show them... Some types do tend to be on the smaller size, so it depends on what you plan to do with them. If you plan to eat them and have a large family, I would stay away from types like Royal Palm.

    Blackhead may or may not be in your area. If it is, it can be carried by earthworms and even if there were never chickens on the property it can also be there from wild birds (turkeys, pheasants...).

    I have never started poults with baby chicks, some people swear that you have to. I feel that the decision on that is like the decision on medicated feed vs non medicated... it's a personal preference, there really is no right or wrong.

    Space isn't as big of an issue if they will spend a lot of time free ranging, just keep in mind that sometimes fox and coyotes will hunt during the day (especially when they have young to feed). At least they aren't as bad as raccoons... fox and coyote only take what they need to survive where raccoon will just kill everything that they can catch (perhaps with the intention of coming back later to eat the rest?) In the winter when ground feed (mice, rabbits) are burrowed in and harder to find, owls will pick turkeys out of the trees at night. If you need to keep them confined, you will need a covered run. Turkeys fly very well, and while you can do wing clipping that leaves them vulnerable to predators.

    I have kept Royal Palm, Bourbon Red, Narrigansett, Bronze, White Hollands, and Broad Breasted types over winter here in North Dakota. All have done well, even when temps are in the -30 range. It does help to have a water heater if it stays cold enough to freeze water but even wild turkeys survive it as long as they can get food (biggest problem up here is if the snow gets too deep and the wild game birds can't get to their food, then they starve).

    As far as more friendly? I have had problems with the Royal Palms being more flighty. I am not sure if that was because they were hatchery birds so a quality of stock issue? Then again, it could be an advantage in an area with heavy predator populations, meaning that they are more alert to their surroundings?

    The biggest piece of advice that I can give is to keep in mind that turkeys are addictive!
     
  9. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops, you are right Porters is not in Pa. I was thinking of the place I ordered Freedom Rangers from recently. Sorry

    Sue
     
  10. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Porter's has an awesome variety. I drool over the golden phoenix. I love the contrasting wing coverts. I think that's why i like Narragansetts too. Unfortunatley, Porter cannot ship to Minnesota and several other states, so I need to do my own cross breeding to make golden phoenix. Luckily, all the genetic info that you need is on his site.
     

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