Pet-only turkeys?

SilverPhoenix

Bantam Fanatic
10 Years
Dec 15, 2009
3,105
32
201
Penn Valley, CA
Please excuse me if this is a dumb question--I know almost nothing about turkeys, so this may have an obvious answer I don't know about.
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If in the future I wanted to get a turkey or two for a pet-only purpose, are there any breeds out there that can live long, full, healthy lives and won't need to be culled due to weight gain issues? I'm a vegetarian and total animal lover, I definitely wouldn't want to get a bird that would eventually need to be killed for its own sake. Would any of these breeds be friendly and enjoyable to be around? I don't mind if they're rare/expensive or cheap/common or anything, I'm just curious about those two traits mostly--friendliness and health.

I'm not serious about getting any turkeys right now, as my flock is quite full and I don't have room, but I'm just asking for curiosity's sake. I've heard some great stories about people keeping turkeys and how funny and charming they can be, so I figured it might be worth asking.
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Cindiloohoo

Quiet as a Church Mouse
11 Years
Dec 19, 2009
7,471
56
326
Southwest TN
Eatern Wilds mature slower and mine follow me like a puppy. They are cute and have a nice personality in my experience. The heritage and wild breeds live MUCH longer!
 

sandspoultry

Everybody loves a Turkey
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
2,121
23
211
Eastern NC
We raise several varities of turkeys. There is no "mini" or bantam turkeys. There is different sizes of turkeys - Heritage and Broad Breasted. Even amoung the Heritage varities there is several sizes.
The Midget White are the smallest, but they are not bantams. The hens are around 8 to 10 pounds and Toms around 20 pounds. The Standard Bronze not to be confused with the Broad Breasted Bronze (
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), the hens are around 20 pounds and the toms around 35 pounds. Heritage turkeys can live long lifes if taken care of and provided for.
If you are just looking for a pet or 2, then you will want to get them as poults so that you can work with them. The more you handle and talk to them I feel the friendly they become. Prices can range any where from a few dollars up to 20 dollars depending on where you are and if turkeys are rare. They also come in a big range of colors - from solid white to solid black, to black and white or a rainbow of colors.
Yes they can be very funny and enjoyable to watch. Steve and I spend hours and hours on the weekend just watching them and the funny things they do. You can go to our website and see the different ones that we raise.
You will probably want to stay away from the Broad Breasted Turkeys. They are built for meat and grow very quickly. The ones that live a long life are rare.
Just my 2 cents.
Sharon
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
37
231
Pennsylvania
Yes, you can certainly keep them for pets. Just make sure you get a HERITAGE turkey, not a Broad-Breasted White or a Broad-Breasted Bronze. The heritage breeds would be Bourbon Reds, Narragansetts, Palms, Midgets, Standard Bronze, Black Spanish, etc. They can all live long lives.
 

Shay1327

Songster
10 Years
Apr 21, 2009
162
0
119
Franklinville, NY
I have 2 standard Bronze's and they are awesome!!! They come calling for me every morning looking for treats and follow me and the kids around better than my dogs!!!
 

joey7319

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 29, 2009
62
0
39
Stanardsville, Va
I have 2 Black Spanish turkeys and they are awesome. They let us pet them, come flying across the yard when we whistle for them, and in general are just funny little characters. We got them as poults and handled them ALOT, and they have made wonderful pets.

Nikki
 

the Old Rebel

Rest in Peace -2011
12 Years
May 12, 2007
361
7
151
Hendersonville NC
My 1/2 eastern wild, 1/2 bourbon reds are AWESOME!! Sweetest birds I have on this farm. But I think you do need to get poults, raise them in the house for awhile if you can (so you can handle them a lot and often) if you want them to be good pets. Mine will be 8 years old this summer. Some people say that is REALLY OLD, but I've heard they can live to be 12 or 13 years old. Does anyone know for sure??

Good luck if you decide to get some.
 

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