Questions about my Midget Whites

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by flocksalot, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    Last spring I purchased some Midget White turkey eggs from two different breeders. The first batch all have/had brown eyes now that they are older. As poults they of course had blue. My second batch are a bit mixed. One has beautiful blue eyes (Frankie is of course a keeper) and the rest all have brown with a blue ring around the iris. I have 3 hens from the first batch and 4 from the second with a tom from each that I kept for breeding.

    My question concerns the eye color of course. I've recently read that Midgets have blue eyes. Is this standard? If so what could mine be? The first batch are generally smaller than the second that have some blue in the eyes. The first batch jakes ranged from 10 to 15 lbs. where the second batch that were a month younger ranged between 16 and 20 lbs. They were still young and could have did a bit of growing as I butchered them at around 6/7 months. There is very little difference in hen size. Leg color for both is white and of course they are absolutely adorable. Can't sit down without at least three of them fighting to sit in my lap.

    So, could I have been sold a bum steer? Or do Midgets have both eye colors? The second batch of eggs came from a gentleman that is quite close to me and claims his originals came straight from the University of Wisconsin. I've read that they were the keepers of the bred a while back. Frankie, my blue eyed boy, comes from his batch and I would like to perpetuate that strain, but the even smaller size of the first batch was also sought out this year by some of my customers. I plan to sell some of the eggs this year and would like to make sure I'm not selling something that would be incorrect.

    In the past I've only ever raised Broad Breasted Whites, so the rare blue eye in them is fun, but not all that important. I love my fat girls, but they aren't all that sustainable. Although my 2 year olds are laying again just as well as they did last year. Of course trying to keep up with those crazy little Midgets probably keeps them a bit slimmer than they would be otherwise. All birds on my property are free ranged and they have been known to range up onto my neighbors 52 acres of CRP much to my neighbors joy. Of course being pets along with potential meat means they do come home for mealtimes and bedtimes. They also like to run/fly down to my son's bus stop when they see the bus coming. How they know it's the second bus and not the first is beyond me though, but the driver and all the other kids on the bus love it.
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    [[[[[...........Midgets have blue eyes. Is this standard? ......]]]]]]]]

    There is no standard for Midget Whites. They are not a recognized breed. Personally, I prefer the white legs and blue eyes, since I think that is what is correct. I also would like to end up with shorter birds, so a little less height is on my breeding criteria.

    Mine are quite small. I just had one dress out at 7 pounds, which is smaller than some of the Cornish Cross I did this last spring. However, that 7 pound boy was just as tall at the BBW that dressed out at 21 pounds. He was just a lot skinnier and had very long legs.
     
  3. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    Thanks OB. I know they are a heritage breed and are sometimes shown under the Beltsville Whites, but I didn't realize they weren't recognized. Not that I have any interest in showing, but I would like to make sure they are the best I can do.

    I'm not sure I would want to size them down anymore than they already are. Some of my first batch were so tiny! I do have customers that want small, but I think the smallest requested was the 10 to 12 lb range. They do tend to be a bit more lanky than the BB breeds as you noted, but from my experience it's because they are just so active. Today they were seen chasing the ducks and geese, some young roosters that took exception to them in the chicken areas, a squirrel and my husband because they think he might be a potential mate. They rarely sit still. Unlike my BBWs that will sit any chance they get. The longest I saw them sitting still was when I sat out in the alfalfa field and ended up having 7 silly hens trying to get the perfect position in my lap with two toms making circles around us.

    I did make a few possible errors with them this year that I will possibly correct next year depending on feedback. I was belatedly informed that I should have penned the ones I planned to butcher for a few weeks and offered a high carbo diet. There was very little fat on my birds which really surprised me. Especially since they seem to forage very well. Do you do this? Also I will hatch my poults earlier this year as I would like them to be fully grown which I was told would increase their fat and flavor. Do you do this or do you butcher for size. Obviously for some of my BBWs I do have to butcher for size, but for ourselves we prefer to butcher fresh rather than pull from the freezer, so we eat some pretty large birds most of the time. 50+ lbers are what we are well known for. We also have quite a few customers that request them. They also make the most amazing smoked turkey around and you can have slices of turkey that cover the whole sandwich without one iota of binders added.

    That 7 pounder must look pretty silly next to the BB. I just butchered 3 Cornish, 1 Dark and 2 White Laced Red, that processed out at 8 lbs each, do believe me I know how rotund those birds can look. I can imagine what they would look like next to each other.

    Hope your holiday is going smoothly. My darn turkey refused to stuff herself and get her big hinny in the oven. They need me to guide them through everything. Dinner won't be until all the animals are locked up for the evening. Not that I really planned it that way or anything.
     

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