Over winter turkeys or start fresh in spring?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by rssnbabybear, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. rssnbabybear

    rssnbabybear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have raised turkeys for several years now, butchering each year for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as well as some to sell. This last winter, I kept a tom and hen through the winter to hatch and raise my own poults. (I learned a lot about turkeys this spring.) I thought I would do the same this year, but as I ran the numbers on their feed cost, I'm not sure this is cost effective. Am I running the numbers wrong? I was hoping to hatch however many poults make it out of a batch of 12 in the incubator. Poults in my area run for $8-15 depending on where they come from. Perhaps it would be better to just buy them? Does anyone have any better experience with this?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    I have found it rather expensive to keep turkeys. I can't compete with store prices and they do eat a lot. I keep mine for looking at, with occasional eating. If I just wanted to raise a few for meat each year it's cheaper to buy poults. Most run around 10-15 dollars and it cost more than that to feed an adult turkey over winter.

    Another thing is the heritage varieties that can breed naturally tend to be not really good at feed to meat conversion, you'd be better off raising some broad breasted for a few months than butchering them out.

    So it depends whether you like having turkeys around or not.
     
  3. robdog

    robdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Idea?!?
    Have a few BB Heritages hens and get a regular heritage tom.
    Poults should have a good feed:meat ratio as if it was BB
    And if anything if you just rather buy poults from the store just start hatching your own poults and slap a $5-15 price tag on your and put online. It would really help with your feed costs and its a good experience.
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    X2

    I buy BBB poults in spring to raise for meat, but I have a breeding pair if heritage(royal palms). The BBB just eat way too much to keep around any longer than 6 months MAX, but the smaller ones (that I don't eat) are great around the yard for grasshopper control. Plus they have neat personalities and are pretty to look at :D

    I've thought about breeding my own hybrids, but just been too busy to do the math. This coming spring I plan on hatching out heritage poults and giving a few to my mom and butchering the rest. They're nice small birds that fit better in my roaster than a 40 lb BBB ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  5. rssnbabybear

    rssnbabybear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2

    I buy BBB poults in spring to raise for meat, but I have a breeding pair if heritage(royal palms). The BBB just eat way too much to keep around any longer than 6 months MAX, but the smaller ones (that I don't eat) are great around the yard for grasshopper control. Plus they have neat personalities and are pretty to look at :D

    I've thought about breeding my own hybrids, but just been too busy to do the math. This coming spring I plan on hatching out heritage poults and giving a few to my mom and butchering the rest. They're nice small birds that fit better in my roaster than a 40 lb BBB ;)[/quote]
    What I have now is a heritage bronze hen and two hybrid toms from her and what was supposed to be a Royal Palm (but he didn't look like one). They eat a substantial amount between the three of them. I ran costs on feeding two from now until May and came up with about $300-350 give or take. I'm not sure free poults will be worth keeping over winter. The toms are both huge...bigger than any turkey I've raised so far. Haven't weighed them but they are 1/3 bigger than my hen. I thought about keeping one around to breed because of size, but again, cost is an issue.
     

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