Non-flying breeds?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Debbi, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

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    Just wondering if some, like the Broad Breasted types are less apt to be able to fly? My property is fenced in with 4' field fencing, and we have a lot of wild turkeys that come right up to the fence. Are the bigger breeds less likely to fly over the fence? I assume, when they are younger and lighter, that they can get off the ground, so how long does that last? I plan on penning them all for at least 2 months so they know where to go to bed, then let them free range after they get some size on them. Learning all I can before I get them so I can be more prepared for what to expect. Hurry up spring, I can't wait to get some turkeys!!
     
  2. tdhenson86

    tdhenson86 Poultry People

    Well, the problem with the non-flying types of turkeys is that they cannot reproduce naturally. When you breed them to be larger, they become to large to fly, yes, but they also become too large to mate since the male is too wide to mount the hen. So, depending on whether you just want them for food or whether you plan to have a few generations of turkeys, that will determine what kind of turkey to get. There are some varieties between broad breasted and wild sizes that can reproduce naturally and don't fly quite as well as wilds, though. They are easier to contain and have the added benefit of reproducing more babies for you the next year. Hope that helps!
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Broad Breasted turks will fly when young. Adult toms rarely, adult hens can and sometimes do. Trouble is that landing can be problematic (will reveal leg/hip issues in unfortunate manner). A four foot fence won't limit any heritage variety (particularly the hens) from flying out - getting back on the `right' side of the fence - don't count on it. I'd suggest a smaller run of 6 ft. fencing - can still fly out but so long as one of the large toms remains inside fence - the others will usually stick around and not wander off. Only way to be sure is to cover run with netting. If the hens aren't provided with (and moved to) with a safe nesting location they'll go right over six foot fence and set up shop in the most predator prone location on your property. If the turks aren't provided with a safe roosting location, they'll be parked twenty-thirty feet up in the trees on the wrong side of the four foot fencing.

    The Wilds are through here quite often. Don't have a covered run, but do use 6ft. fencing. They were off about 30 yds out in the woods, yesterday, just raising heck with our toms. One of our hens was out dirt bathing and didn't so much as head in the direction of the Wild Eastern's.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  4. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks to you both. I would hate to see them all take off with a flock of the wilds, that would be my danged luck! The reason I thought I'd start with the WBB, is to limit the growing season for my first go around to see if they are for me. I haven't processed anything in years, so in my thinking, I won't get too attached to the whites in the shorter period of time, plus, I'm not partial to the coloring. I figure, that as fast as they grow, I may be able to process at 4 - 4.5 months old for a smaller bird? Will the breasts be filled out enough in that time frame, or am I going to get mainly a huge frame with no meat? A fast growing bird that can get to 20# would be ideal for me. Don't even know if I could get a 30 pounder in my oven!

    My second year of turkeys, if I live through the first year, I may try my hand at some heritage. Just from what I've seen and heard so far, I've boiled it down to Narragansetts or Bourban Reds. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for all the help!
     
  5. tdhenson86

    tdhenson86 Poultry People

    I've got some Narragansett eggs cooking in the incubator right now... Love this breed and highly recommend them!
     

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