Searching for a Heritage Turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Tinkerbell531, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Tinkerbell531

    Tinkerbell531 In the Brooder

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    Hi All! I am interested in raising my own Turkey for consumption. Does anyone have any recommendations on where I can buy one to raise?Also, which is better to eat; a poult or a tom?

    Also, I was reading that blackhead can be an issue, especially if you're trying to raise the Chicken Hens and Rooster with a Turkey (Poult).
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    You don't want to eat a poult, they are too young and too small. They need to grow up first.

    In my opinion the difference in eating a hen or a tom is in how much meat you are wanting, In heritage turkeys, hens can be substantially smaller than the toms.

    Check the ads on your local craigslist and Facebook or even post a wanted ad. Local feed stores (not chain feed stores) often can put you in touch with people who raise turkeys locally. They know who is raising what based on the feeds they buy.
     
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

    A poult is just a young turkey and not indicative of gender. As far as I have come to understand they are hens and tom's once older.

    You can eat both hens and toms... toms will be larger in a shorter amount of time. You can buy them sometimes at feed stores or the hatchery. Even craigslist farm and garden section.

    Black head can be a problem in some areas. Contacting your local county agriculture department, they should be able to tell you if it is common in YOUR area. My friend and I both raise turkeys in the same pasture as our chickens without issue. But know YOUR parasite load. With proper husbandry and worming of chickens if needed... I don't see why it wouldn't be controllable within reason.

    Turkey poults, (aka chicks) require much higher nutrition than chicken chicks and need to be started on a 28-30% protein game bird or turkey starter ration. They require more amino acids to meet their growth demand.

    They are also flock animals and will not do very well as individuals with no other birds speaking the same lingo. I suggest more than one. Most places I have seen do not sex (gender identify) their poults. They are most often sold as straight run... but you may find them somewhere.

    Heritage turkeys are taking not less than 28-30 weeks to grow out before they are large enough for consumption. Doesn't sound like much until I realized mine won't be ready for processing before January or February! 24 weeks is 6 months, so 7-8 months... The broad breasted are sounding more appealing in 14-18 weeks.

    I would say come on down, I ordered too many and got heritage turkeys coming out my ears with intent to breed some next year. But I looked at the map and you're still pretty far up there. Not sure if I could get my daughter to take any with her on her business trip to Springfield later this month, how far that is for you. But if you need a vacation, head this way!

    Yes, my LFS did tell me about a lady that sells heritage turkeys local and I have never seen her advertise... so that's a good suggestion, both talking with them and checking their posting board if they have one.

    Best wishes on your adventures! :wee
     
  4. GotCoop

    GotCoop Songster

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    Most large hatcheries carry poults...but usually stop shipping around this time of year. Check the Porters Turkeys website, it is sort of the standard for heritage turkey information...and I think I saw they are have a $5 poult sale (most mail orders require you to buy 12 to 15 poults)
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    One other major problem that nails first time turkey growers is that far too often the intended "dinner" guest ends up being a cherished pet.
     
    Skipper7410 likes this.
  6. GotCoop

    GotCoop Songster

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    Oh yeah...
     
    R2elk likes this.

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