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should I get a couple turkeys in the suburbs?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by 6Happiness, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2010
    We have just bought our first place (suburban) and will have more space and I was wondering if getting a couple turkeys for the purpose of thanksgiving and xmas dinners, would be within our abilities. If I have no trouble raising suburban chickens,will I have no problem with suburban turkeys? I've just always hear about back yard chicken keeping in the suburbs, not turkeys and I wasn't sure if there is a practical reason that makes them unsuited to suburban back yards, or if it is just that turkeys are kinda "ugly" to most suburban folk.

    1. A local place sells strait run, so I could end up with toms. Do they crow like roosters do? If I end up with 2 toms will they fight with each other? With they fight with our Bantam Rooster?

    2. What breed(s) get along well with chickens?

    3. What are good breeds for the holiday dinner table (to serve between 4 to 6 people)? White meat is preferred by most of the family, but I'd like to stay with a heritage breed (should we do 2 smaller heritage breeds per dinner table, or will 1 have enough white meat for us still?)

    4. Can I tuck a couple turkey eggs under a broody chicken hen so that she will raise them / teach them; will that make the turkeys think of the chickens as their parents and be more friendly/submissive to them?
     
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I'm new to turkeys. I started out last year with the same reasons as you. I have more this year and have enjoyed them very much. This is what I found

    pros:
    they don't crow, they gobble and it's a pleasing low sound. Some "talk" more than others but nowhere near as much as chickens.
    they are very easy keepers, foraging all day however they do not dig up your flower beds or gardens.
    They have pleasant personalities and form family units that are interesting to watch.
    They are rather like guard animals, very alert to anything new.
    They build thier own nests, hatch and raise their own chicks with minimal needs from you. One Tom is enough for 10-15 hens (I have three hens and 1 tom this year) & the Tom won't mate with the hen unless she submits.
    they roost very high out of reach of predators.

    Cons:
    they fly - mine don't leave the yard even though they could, but they do get on the second story roof & to my husbands dismay on top of cars.
    they roost very high out of reach - mine prefer the TOP of the hen house and then poop down the sides . . .

    hope this helps, I have heritage breeds.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    sorry your questions:
    1. I started with 4 straight run, wound up with three Toms and one hen, Toms don't fight like roos at all; but my boys loved the girl to death . . . literally (I had no idea they would do that!) so I butchered one for Tday and traded one for a new hen.
    2. I have a Rio Grande, Blue Slate, Bourbone Red & Montana Sweet Grass. They free range with and eat with the chickens all day with no issues. they even had one little chicken pullett that loved them and roosted with them every night.
    3. heritage breeds are mostly dark or at least darker than the store birds. I haven't raised one but I have heard great things about Midget Whites and would suggest those to you.
    4. I have no idea about chickens raising turkey poults but I don't think it's necessary.
     
  4. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! you feedback is helpful. They sound like they might be a possibility for us.

    would it be possible to clip their wings to prevent the flying, or would that be cruel and I should use a tractor/pen...? I'd like to give them as much space in the yard as possible, but if they fly, we have a lot of trees they could get into, and the neighbours might not be thrilled if the turkeys decided to visit their yards.
     
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I don't know anything about clipping wings. Mine get up in our large trees all the time with no problems. I think the midget whites don't fly as much. Ours seem to know our propety lines and stay within them even without fences.
     
  6. MovieFanz

    MovieFanz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2010
    As adults, Toms do not normally fly. If you clip there wings it could effect their fertility.

    If my hens get flapping there wings and the wind hits them just right, they will go over my fence. They also will climb on things to make there way up to my roof. When the fly down they sometimes land outside my yard.

    Turkeys make better moms for turkeys than chicken Moms. Some chickens will kill turkey poults and you won't know it until after it is to late.

    Over all chickens and all turkeys get along if given enough space and feeding elbow room. Some turkey hens will attack breeding roosters. Chicken do carry some diseases to turkeys. Some areas do not have any problem.

    Toms spend most of there day during breeding season fighting. It is seldom fatal. Young dumb toms fight the most. The older ones are busy breeding. This is a video of the fights they will do for hours everyday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFpwcQUWIW0&feature=related

    My
    9 month old slate tom dressed out to just a little over 13 pounds. I think I will not butcher them that young again. About 18 month is better. It just was not enough meat for the cost for feed. A broad breasted turkey would be twice that size and have way more white meat in less than half that time. A home grown broad breasted turkey does not taste like a store bought turkey. They are much better. Not a good choice if your wanting a long lived pet.
     
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Really? I never knew that. Where did that information come from? I would like to read up on that.
     
  8. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    My Naragansetts can fly over 100 yards. Great birds, very curious. They'll follow you around and will get into everything.
     
  9. MovieFanz

    MovieFanz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  10. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx

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