Meat turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Gerbil, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Gerbil

    Gerbil Oh, Crazy!

    Jun 24, 2010
    I have decided to start my own meat turkey flock. I need to know which breed to get, I have had bourbon red and blue slate before, but I am looking for something slightly smaller and easier to process.



    Thanks, Gerbil [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  2. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2010
    By Lake Superior
    Quote:You might want to try midget whites or Eastern Wilds then for something smaller. Eastern Wilds top out at about 20-22 pounds for toms and 12-15 for hens if I remember right. Midgets White will be slightly less than that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  3. Gerbil

    Gerbil Oh, Crazy!

    Jun 24, 2010
    OK, I am somewhat familiar with midget whites, but what are eastern wilds?


    Thanks, Gerbil [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  4. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2010
    By Lake Superior
    They are basically from wild eastern turkey stock. A domesticated version. but not wild birds genetically. Strombergs and few others carry them.
     
  5. slc

    slc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Upper Michigan
    Beltsville White are a small turkey actually created and used for commercial turkey in the 50s. They are rare and hard to find. Commercial hatcheries do not have beltsville, they are Midget Whites incorrectly called beltsville. S & S poultry has the real thing I believe, there are also two others who regularly sell eggs that I know of. Check for lineage to Ames, Altertsen, or Ontario which are the three last known original lines of true beltsville. You need the real deal if you want the body type closer to a miniature of the current broad breasted meat breeds. I currently have eggs in the bator from all of the three remaining lines known to still exist. I have them for a homestead meat source, smaller and suitable for a "chicken dinner" style meal. Also easier to process than the huge commercial meat chickens. A bonus, they reproduce naturally unlike BBB,BBW so you can keep breeding stock rather than ordering new chicks each time.
     
  6. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    Royal Palms are pretty easy to find and are a little smaller than the bourbon reds. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I seem to remember than adult hens are often only 10-12 pounds and toms are generally less than 20. These birds will have thinner breasts than Beltsvilles. It sounds like you want the Beltsvilles if you can get them. I was sent a misidentified midget white poult this spring, and it is a very light bird.
     
  7. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    I have a bunch of MW's they are not that big but I like a 10 to 12 lb turkey I also have BR's and RP's and Auburns my fav is the BR...I thought about those Beltsville's going to stick with what I have and if I don't like any of them then I'll try because I'm not into huge birds
     
  8. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    laguna hills CA
    IMHO if you have a nice group of MWs their is no reason to consider the BSW and probably visa versa. Also only the toms of most heritage varieties get big enough to be "holiday only" size. Almost all the heritage hens stay the size of a MW tom or smaller. Also you can harvest extra toms a few weeks early to limit size, not to mention feed bills. That being said I have way too many varieties right now just because they are so beautiful. Some of the culling this year is going to be particularly painful. Too many favorites.
     

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