thinking about a turkey or two for thanksgiving & christmas?? new

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by midget_farms, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Never done turkeys before - but have had chickens for a few years now.

    So - what are the basics? do I just let them live with the chickens?

    What is the best/heaviest for thanksgiving?
  2. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    It would depend on the variety. The Broad Breasted are the cornishX of Turkeys. A heritage breed would be a bit smaller, but have less health issues.

    We have never had any issues raising Turkeys with chickens. Though some have.
  3. msdoolittle

    msdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I raised some BroadBreasted chicks. Yes, they are the cornishx of the turkey world...TONS of meat and they fill out very fast. Ours were quite old for BBs when we butchered them...about a year. So we had lots of meat!

    I would say if you don't want to get into breeding, go with the BBs. I personally didn't have any issues raising them other than when they get older, due to the massive weight of the breasts, it will lead to limping/lameness. But if you butcher at 5 months (I think that's the age recommended)and you have fed them correctly, you shouldn't run into that problem.

    In my personal experience, I would not raise turkeys alongside chickens because unfortunately, our turkeys smothered several of my hens at night. They all huddled together and I suppose that the hens just got in the way. Also, I am planning on breeding/keeping Narragansetts and I don't want to risk Blackhead disease...just in case!
  4. Costa Rica Art

    Costa Rica Art Chillin' With My Peeps

    I too am going to add two turkey chicks to my chicken coop. The turkeys here in Costa Rica appear to be an old heritage stock. I'm picking up the two chicks today and will take photos of the toms and hens. These turkeys are raised with chickens, ducks and geese so I'm hoping that they won't have any disease problems from the chickens I have (only 7 laying hens). I'm hoping the lady that raises the turkeys can provide me with two tom chicks for meat. The toms she has near/full grown seem to weight in around 30 pounds, they are good solid toms. No idea how old the hens are but the one sitting appears to be a good size hen, maybe 20 pounds plus (will get a photo of the hen too). The turkeys there have the run of the yard along with the other feathered animals so the chicks here will have the run of the yard as well, it is fenced with chain link to keep out the bad guys and to keep the good guys in. I'm not sure of the exact age of the chicks as my Spanish isn't very good yet, I will find out today just how old they are (taking my wife translator with me, she will be surprised as she doesn't know about the turkey chicks yet). I will make a temporary pen for the chicks in the chicken coop where they will be until old enough to be turned out in the yard. Any hints for what I plan to do will be a boon as we have not raised any turkeys before. I use deep litter in the coop that is wood shavings. Oh yeah, we have a silkie hen and rooster and two chicks (the two chicks go the the lady as a gift that has the turkey chicks), the laying hens don't seem to have a problem with the silkies (the hen is sitting on 9 eggs now, she hatched 7 eggs the first time). We plan to raise the turkeys for something like 30 weeks, hoping they will be a good weight by then for butchering.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Quote:Hola amigo. Try this, and then the wife won't have to know till you get them home.[​IMG]
    How old are the poults? = ¿Qué edad son los pavipollos?
    What date did they hatch? =¿En qué fecha lo hicieron eclosión?

    My regards to everyone in Costa Rica - recuerdos a todos.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  6. Martin Grove Farm

    Martin Grove Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I LOVE my turkeys. They have such a wonderful personality. We raise heritage breeds, Bourbon Reds, Royal Palms, Blue Slates, Beltsville Small White. We have had in the past Eastern Wild and Narragansett and crosses of all of the above. We have never raised commercial variety at all. My very favorite is the Beltsville Small White. The BSW dresses up so nice. The taste is out of this world. They don't get too big and dress out between 16 and 22 pounds.
    We do raise ours with our chickens although I have been told that you can't do that. Well, I say we can because we have been doing it for many years and have never had a problem at all.
    If you are going to raise them from poults, I strongly suggest that you have a few little chicks in with them to remind the poults where they can find the food and water. Poults are not that smart, hee hee.
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    costa rica - please please post a pic of the adult birds [​IMG]
  8. DutchieWannabe

    DutchieWannabe Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 18, 2010
    I was also curious abotu 1-2 turks for the holidays, but I only have a suburban backyard with 4 chickens.....

    would this even be possible?

    would the four chickens keep one turkey company?

    can the turkey live with my chickens?

    also is there a difference between boy/girl when getting one to eat?

    thanks all, i am pretty new still to all of this....
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  9. Martin Grove Farm

    Martin Grove Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    1 or 2 turkeys should be fine in a suburban area. If you stick with heritage breeds, they are smaller than the commercial variety. It would be a good idea to keep chickens with turkeys. One or 2 chickens would be enough but 4 is better. They are pretty easy to look after. They need a higher protein diet than the chickens. If you get the heritage breeds and want them for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I suggest you get them in April or May so they have sufficient time to grow.
  10. DutchieWannabe

    DutchieWannabe Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 18, 2010
    Oh thanks so much! no I have to get DH excited about it!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by