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Narragansett Turkeys, Anyone?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by buster100, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. buster100

    buster100 New Egg

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    Hey folks!

    Has anyone tried raising Narragansett Turkeys?

    We are looking to start a small flock so that we can have our own fresh turkey each thanksgiving and a few throughout the year as well.

    We are not new to the poultry world, we have about 50 chickens and 10 ducks. But, this will be our first Turkey endeavor.

    Originally, we had planned to buy Broad breasted but I learned recently that this breed is literally too stupid to reproduce successfully. We want to be able to maintain our own flock year after year, so the broad breasted do not sound like the right fit.

    I'm looking for input on two things.
    1) If you have raised turkeys, what kind? What breed would you recommend? We are currently leaning towards Narragansett because of their weight, supposed hardiness and handsome appearance.
    2) Have you heard this same tale about Broad Breasted Turkeys? That their stupidity renders them unable to copulate? I have already pretty much decided to go with a heritage breed but I am just curious.

    Thanks in advance!
    Make today great:)
    Eva
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  2. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Commercial broad breasted turkeys cannot naturally breed because of their size, has nothing to do with intelligence. You can get heritage broad breasted bronze which have a bit of a smaller breast, but have no problems breeding naturally. Narragansetts are a good choice for meat production, however keep in mind they mature much slower than commercial meat birds so they take longer to grow and reach a good weight.
     
  3. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have Narri and Heritage Bronze and also Rio Grande. The Narri have been the most fun so far as we had 3 Jakes and hens and they would follow us around the yard and visit all the chicken pens. We sold one of the boys and have separated the two remaining Jakes as the hens are now squatting to be bred and one boy would knock the other boy off the hen. They have grown quickly and are beautiful birds.

    The Bronze are big and also friendly, but we have the one senior Tom in the pen with 4 hens this year and three of his boys are in the back up pen. We plan to butcher one of the boys this weekend and then sell one with one of the hens and keep the 3rd as a back-up boy. Of the Heritage Turkey breeds, bronze gets to be the heaviest with the average mature Tom weighing in at 36 lbs. The Narri Toms, at maturity, average 33 lbs. Not much of a difference.

    Rio is not Heritage and there isn't anything in the SOP about them. Our boy is a good size, but not as big as the Narri or Bronze but that could be because we did not raise him from a poult. Take note that turkeys eat like there is no tomorrow their first year. You can supplement with free ranging, but in order for a bird to grow to it's full potential it much be fed a good gambird/turkey starter with at least 30% protein for the first 6 months and then a good grower mix of 20% protein. We provide them with unlimited feed. Just like large fowl chicken breeds (Jersey Giants, Brahma, etc) the first year is all about growing bone and muscle and setting the physical foundation that allows them to put on a good amount of weight starting in the 2nd year. That isn't to say you can't eat one earlier than that, but to get the heavier meaty carcass, give the bird some time.

    If you would like to see our birds, we are on facebook at Chick N Stuff. Have set up albums for each breed.
     
  4. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    I would go with the Narragansett we have one hen and I thought she was quite big for her age a little bigger than a blue slate. I would also recommend Blue Slate. They are also pretty and are decently sized also.

    [​IMG]

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    Bad pics sorry.
     
  5. MossyCreek

    MossyCreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a pair of 5 month old narrangansetts. Does anyone know at what age they begin to breed? Thanks!
     
  6. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should start laying late this Spring. You will see them mating about a month before you ever see the first egg.
     
  7. MossyCreek

    MossyCreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome. Thanks so much! I'm excited! :lol:
     
  8. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love baby turkeys! This little girl loved to sleep on us...LOL.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. MossyCreek

    MossyCreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aw! How sweet!
     
  10. jandlpoultry

    jandlpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had Narragansett hen a few years now, and love their color. It took me 3 years to find a tom for them. DH and I brought this boy home Sunday, and today I saw him treading one of the hens.[​IMG]
     

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