Planning to Breed Holland White Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Shroppy, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Shroppy

    Shroppy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Of the 30 poults we raised from day-olds, we lost 1 to crushing on day 10, and 2 to heatstroke in May. Two developed respiratory infections. 2 weeks of nursing for each and they got well. Another with yellow diarrhea, inappetance and weight loss. Again, I nursed that one back to health also.

    They have all been grass-raised and fed non-GMO, Soy-Free feed. We have 10 Toms and 17 hens.

    Most of these birds are sold in advance for Thanksgiving, but we would like to keep some back for hatching egg production and poults. They are all lovely long-legged, long-bodied, narrow-breasted birds that run like the wind. Wing-clipping has been essential though as they are very flighty. Some of them are brown-eyed and some are blue-eyed. I believe that the breed standard calls for brown eyes?

    Does anyone have any further tips? Should I go for two Toms in case we lose one, for whatever reason? How many girls can we keep per Tom, max, to guarantee fertility? These birds are 7 1/2 months old and I am amazed that we are getting three turkey eggs a day already so we are eating them with our duck eggs.

    I know that they are the most endangered domestic breed, because of out-crossing with the Broad-Breasted White, but is there a register of breeders available?

    Thanks for any advice!


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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  2. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

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    Beautiful flock! I'd keep two toms. Just my opinion. Can't really answer any of your other questions. I think the different eye color is interesting....
     
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    You have enough birds to be able to keep two toms as long as you keep enough hens to keep them both occupied and give them sufficient space to be able to keep some distance between each other. For the two toms, I would recommend keeping a total of 10 to 12 hens. You should be able to produce lots of new poults from a flock that size.

    Some sites with more information:

    http://beautyofbirds.com/whitehollandturkeys.html

    http://www.livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/whiteholland

    http://www.porterturkeys.com/whiteholland.htm

    Good luck.
     
  4. Shroppy

    Shroppy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you! I am tending towards keeping two Toms right now. I have a fear that if anything happened to the Tom, I would have a hiatus of at least 7 months before I raise another (assuming I have fertile eggs to incubate), and a bunch of hens to feed during that time who don't have fertile eggs.

    This video was taken two months ago. They were so much smaller even then!

    Putting Turkeys to Bed at Shady Grove Farm

     
  5. tinaturkey

    tinaturkey Out Of The Brooder

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    Good luck, i'm raising two white turkey's myself. It's great to watch them.
     
  6. neverbdone

    neverbdone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raise White Hollands. Toms have been great DH's and dads. Moms have been great except when the babies hatch. I have to steal the babies or the moms kill them. After a couple weeks I can put them all back together with no problems.

    It looks like you have full free range so I would definitely keep two good Toms.
     

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