Suggestions for breed?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by flockman, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. flockman

    flockman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    I have ducks, chickens and geese. I currently have white rock chickens, and pekin ducks. I like the dual purpose of them. I have American Buff geese because they are "docile". I am considering adding turkeys. I thought I would prefer a heritage breed to raise my own flock. Suggestions?
  2. flockman

    flockman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    I have thought of Bourbon Reds, Narrangesette, blue slate, even royal palm. I am wanting a bird that is decent for meat grows reasonably fast. As I said I do have White rock chickens which take a little while. I love royal palms but I have heard that they don't have much meat. Thanks!
  3. Bantam Chase

    Bantam Chase Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2011
    SC PA
    I'm beyond new to the turkey hobby, but in the reading I was doing I looked for similar qualities you expressed - I wanted hardy, personable birds that will raise their own chicks and have a large carcass for the table. I narrowed things down between Bourbon Reds and Narragansetts, the deciding factor was that hubby liked the looks of the Nags. [​IMG]

    IMHO, the Royal Palms are stunning but are a bit smaller in size than the others, however from reading it seems like they are a bit better layers. But then again, the gal who I bought my Nags from raised RPs last year and said they dressed out fine!

    Hummm, I don't think I was very helpful at all, lol, but let us know what you decide!
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I kep serching for the details too.

    One friend just reported that her BS grew faster than the RP and the BR. Only three birds to compare. Another person just said that th white holland puts on a huge breast and grow quite large yet are heritage. I have looked a number of sites and cannot find these kinds of details. I just keep reading here on BYC to pick up nuggets.

    I do have BR and raise them by hand; gentlemanly sort that like to visit and get underfoot.

    THe Narri, sweetgrass and auburns at 3 months act the same when they excape their pen. DOn't know how they are as adults yet.

    Keep looking and share what you find , if you would.
  5. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    We have raised 6 varieties over the years so i'll try to list our experiences.

    Royal Palm - very nice eye candy, people always noticed them first when they came to the farm. Good taste but less breast meat than other varieties. They have a shallow breast bone so the breast doesn't get as large. Good layers but older birds became very broody which would be good if you want sitters. As poults and younger birds they were the most fragile - losses were higher

    Beltsville Small White - best egg layers of any we ever raised, good meat birds, not very broody. They are alot like a smaller version of the broad breasted white, very stocky and solid. Of all the ones we raised the Beltsville's had the least taste.

    White Holland - They are the biggest of the white feathered varieties. Of the heritage they are 2nd in size to the standard Bronze. Middle of the road egg layers and they turned out to be very good at raising poults. They are also very calm natured which why they did good with the poults. Good meat birds with lots of breast meat. It's getting hard to find the large sized Hollands any more

    Bourbon Red - The thing I always noticed about them is they are so curious, anything we do in their area they are all around us looking and watching what is going on. Some of our will sit and raise poults others have never gone broody. Taste wise they are our 2nd favorite.

    Midget White - They lay the largest egg of any we have raised, some of the hens are so small you wonder how she got the egg out. They are the best tasting variety we raise. When they are younger thay can be fence jumpers as they are smaller and light weight and can get over most fences easy.

    Standard Bronze - Size wise they are unreal, our toms are waist high and probably 40 pounds +. For all that size they are very calm and good natured. They have a good taste and plenty of meat. They will go broody but we have never had much luck with them hatching eggs. The hens break alot of eggs in the nest because of their size.

    Hope that helps some
    2 people like this.
  6. Shelshanam

    Shelshanam Out Of The Brooder

    I'm going with two breeds to start, Royal palm and Narragansettes. I prefer the smaller size of the RP's as I'm not a big turkey fan anyways for eating, but I love their personality and since I'm getting hatching eggs for the RP I'm pretty much planning on keeping anything that hatches for pets around the farm.

    The Narragansettes I decided to hatchery order for spring since I have some friends who wanted a larger heritage breed and are splitting the order with me. Those are going to be my main egg layers/breeders and help the family fill the freezer.

    Sorry I can't give you any suggestions but just relay what my plans on, I did a lot of research on the various breeds and still not sure I'm on my final picks as there are a few others I would like to try.
  7. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    I am raising White Hollands. I am breeding the biggest toms with the biggest hens to hopefully breed a larger breasted heritage Turkey that tastes great and can reproduce naturally. At 8 months, the toms dress out at about 20 pounds and have equal amounts of leg to breast meat, but not fully filled out. At a year and a half, 2 toms, we processed, dressed out at 34# and 35# , with what I call a breast and a half, but not double breasted. You can see pictures at: And I am currently starting a Tread:
    you might want to take a look at too. As well as : started by Kuntry Girl [​IMG] YOU'LL LOVE RAISING TURKEYS, WHATEVER BREED YOU CHOOSE AND I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK !
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  8. AZCowboy

    AZCowboy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 4, 2012
    Do turkeys eat more than geese???
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I don't think they eat more than geese, but they eat differently.

    If you have good pasture, the geese can live on grass. Turkeys will eat a little bit of grass, but it is not their primary diet. Geese don't eat bugs and turkeys love bugs. But if you are feeding them the same grain based commercial diet, they eat about the same, per pound of bird. Bigger birds will eat more because they are bigger and need more food, so a 50 pound turkey will naturally be eating more feed than an 18 pound goose.
  10. AZCowboy

    AZCowboy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 4, 2012
    Ok thanks. Because my geese do just wondering if turkeys eat more!

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