Midget White Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by dogrepair, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. dogrepair

    dogrepair Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mtns, CA
    I just read a nice article about midget white turkeys. I like the idea of a smaller turkey (I have a small family), and apparently they taste awesome too.

    Is anyone raising them? How do you feel about the breed? Are they incubating and caring for their own poults?

    Thanks guys
     
  2. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Midget whites got my attention too.... a project for next year I'm thinking. There are two different varieties of the small whites. Beltsville whites are genetically different from Midget whites. They were developed in two different states at different times. Interesting! And appealing for the small family [​IMG]
     
  3. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    We raise Midget Whites and Beltsville Small White. They are two very different breeds in body makup, the Beltsville was bred by Stanley Marsden and others at the USDA research station in Beltsville MD. They were master breeders and in the 50's the BSW was the #1 food turkey in the US. (this was also back when turkeys were range/pasture raised- not raised in turkey houses like today) . Since the BSW was so popular alot of farmers were breeding them and the quality of the bird declined, also in the mid 50's the Broad breasted white and broad breasted bronze came onto the scene, they matured faster and larger so the BSW almost became extint. The last of the flock was sent from MD to the Ames research staion in Iowa. At Ames a few people were able to obtain stock from the original flock. Some went to the west coast and the flock is now in Oregon. The others stayed in the Mid west. (which was where we got ours from) We have sold quite a few BSW's as have the others with original lines so you need to be very careful where you get your BSW's from so they are pure blood.
    The Midgets were developed in the 50's also by Dr. Smyth in Ma. I have researched the Midgets but not as much as I have the BSW's. When the midgets were developed the BSW was in it's prime so I always figured they were trying to cash in? At any rate they never really took off and the original flock went to the univeristy of Wisconsin.

    The BSW is the more "meaty" type bird. Almost like a 1/2 size Broad breasted white. They grow faster are very healthy, good sitters and mothers.

    The Midgets are smaller and not as broad breasted, they also lay a larger egg. The hens are good mothers and sitters. Due to there smaller size the hens can clear a 6 foot fence with ease. They are the more friendly of the two breeds. And on the taste the midgets are the best table bird of all the breeds we raise.

    Steve in NC
     
  4. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thats really intersting history Steve.

    Phyllis
     
  5. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:Thanks,
    That's the condensed version. I was able to speak to some of the people that were involved in the Ames reasearch station. That was very interesting

    Steve in NC
     
  6. dogrepair

    dogrepair Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mtns, CA
    Wow!

    Steve thank you, what an awesome reply. Do you have an opinion about which hatchery is best for a newbie to work with?
     
  7. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    When I move I want to have midget whites. They are so cute
     
  8. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Eastern NC
    Quote:You can't get Beltsville's from a hatchery, Midgets you can. We have bought hatchery turkeys in the past and haven't been pleased at all by the birds. You would be much better off looking for a local breeder, The Americian Livestock breeds conservancy has a nation wide data base of breeders for rare animals. We have been breeding our turkeys breeds for years for the best of the best. We do sell hatching eggs but don't ship live birds. I just don't get a "warm and fuzzy feeling" shipping birds. I know alot of people do but... we think it's to hard on the birds. the big hatcheries are set up to do it, we aren't.
    I posted some pics, the first is a Midget the 2nd Beltsville's

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Steve in NC
     
  9. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Steve,

    Thank you for all your wonderful information [​IMG]
    I have about 400 questions - but can we start with one? How large of an egg do the Midget Whites lay? Say.... compared to an extra large chicken egg....
     
  10. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:The eggs are about double the size of a large chicken egg,

    Steve in NC
     

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