really fat turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by vtgirls, May 12, 2011.

  1. vtgirls

    vtgirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    These were my first four, two toms and two hens. One tom has a layer of fat like a huge pig would (well more than an inch thick) on him - he jiggles like jello.
    They were all narragansetts at 9 months old.
    The others are lean and yummy in appearance, almost no fat at all.
    Same feed for all, same environment for all, although the toms were in seperate enclosures (both had about a 10x10 enclosure each).

    Anybody ever have a turkey with a ridiculous amount of fat on its breast at slaughter time?

    Is he safe to munch?

    (I am thinking sausage for him, see my other thread [​IMG])
  2. jdopler

    jdopler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2010
    Roggen, Colorado
    Mine is like that too! I just thought I had gotten a broad breasted, but he is jiggly..
    Looking forward to an answer on this..
  3. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx
    that is about the only place you will find fat on the birds. You also have an air sac that makes them feel "jiggly"
  4. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    I had obese toms last year, as you describe. Mine also had a huge amount of fat internally, covering their hearts and gizzards. (We made schmaltz out of it and use it to broil potatoes: delicious!)

    I attributed the obesity to be caused by confinement and a diet too rich in milled feed and cracked corn, and a lifestyle lacking in grass and bugs. This year, our turkeys get more grass, bugs and outdoors exercise. I don't know if they are still that fat.

    Your situation, however, is a riddle to me, because it sounds like all your turkeys had the same lifestyle (same diet, same enclosure) so I can only guess why one got fat and others didn't. Is it possible that they were all fat, but the butcher trimmed the fat from some of them, but not all?

    (edited to add:) we did our own butchering and they were all equally fat.
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  5. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    It could also just be the manifestation of some genetic factor -- some reason why the fat bird was particularly efficient at converting feed to fat.

    Perhaps it is possible it wasn't even a purebred Narragansette, but perhaps it had a Broad Breasted Bronze somewhere back in its lineage and those genes are coming out?
  6. vtgirls

    vtgirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    Firstly, thanks you to all for your help in this mystery....
    I was with the farmer who did my butchering the whole time so that isnt it.
    I am wondering about genetics as well.
    The farm the eggs came from that we hatched them out of may not have added new stock to the lines in quite some time - but never had any broadbreasted as they are an "off the grid. old fashioned" mindset folks.
    I lost a hen (from same group) about a week back and could not tell what she died from. (it was not any predator attack, just gone in the morning one day when I went out for morning rounds)
    Perhaps a heart attack from poor fat conversion?
    I should assume then that he's fine to eat, and go for the sausage plan?

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