Should I butcher my entire turkey flock.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by CDennis, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. CDennis

    CDennis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Idaho
    I only have 9 but turkeys can be a pain. Two are older and don't leave the pasture but the rest love to get anywhere and everywhere. This is my first year raising turkeys for meat and I lucked out and ended up 6 hens. Now I can't decide, should I just butcher them all and start fresh next year or keep one or both toms and some hens for breeding? What are the chances heritage turkeys can successfully hatch chicks? I don't yet have an incubator and I am not sure I am skilled enough to go that route! But them raising their own would sure beat me having to do it in a brooder! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    turkey hens will and can hatch healthy poults, my last hatch was 16 ,all but one lived and she raised them.

    [​IMG]

    this is a different hatch but mama hatched 4 geese then I added the 10 poults, she raised them all and didn't loose any. This hen is a midget white
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  3. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Our hens can and do hatch poults but you need to be prepared to loose some poults along the way. Turkey hens aren't the best mothers. Chickens make good incubators for turkey eggs as well they just can't cover as many.

    The plus side to keeping breeders is you can sell your extra poults to help on the feed bill, you can hatch early in the season to give them extra grow out time.

    The downside is feeding them all winter.

    it's kind of a toss up. I like self sustaining birds and they are fun to watch.

    Steve
     
  4. CDennis

    CDennis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Idaho
    Thanks, I also like self sustaining birds, I had hoped my chickens would be that way as well but in the rare event that they go broody and sit they never hatch anything, or what they hatch they kill so I didn't know if I would have better luck w/ turkey mothers. What is the best tom to hen ratio? I have two older toms (I was thinking about butchering one of them).
     
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I'd keep a tom and two hens.
     
  6. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:If you only keep one tom and something happens to him you are out of luck.

    Steve
     
  7. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    You are correct. That is what I am going with though, because there is a heritage breeder within a few miles where I can pick up a spare.
     
  8. CDennis

    CDennis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Idaho
    Good point Steve, but if I keep two toms should I also keep 3 hens?
     
  9. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    I would keep at least 2 hens for the same reason.

    Steve
     

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