Thinking about getting into Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by snowhorse, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. snowhorse

    snowhorse Pantry Brook Farm

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    Jun 13, 2009
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    I have chickens now. Just layers.

    I have been thinking about getting meat birds and turkeys, and have a few questions on the turkeys.

    Do you know of a place to order turkeys that you can get a small amount of them? Like 6 or less?

    And how much does there care differ from a chicken?

    And do turkey eggs taste as good as chicken eggs? And do people keep female turkeys for eggs?
     
  2. tannersmith2000

    tannersmith2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Turkeys are great!

    I have 8 turkeys and they are pets. They have a lot more personality than you would imagine.

    I got my poults in the spring at the local feed store. Most feed stroes that carry chicks, ducks will carry turkeys if requested.

    Good luck
     
  3. tannersmith2000

    tannersmith2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    The caring for turkeys does not really differ that much from chickens in my experience. They need to be wormed monthly (I use Wazine17) when young they need a high protein feed. 28-30% protein. Turkeys dont like the rain much either. It is and can be very hard on turkeys.

    I let my turkeys roam all over our hill side. They usually dont go far and never bother anything. They are really pretty easy except for the cleaning. They like to eat and thus resulting in lots of droppings. My birds find it comforting to roost on our portch which I had to end up putting them up every night in the stall of the barn due to the mess they would make on the porch.

    Occasionally they like to visit the neighbors and thats frustrating. They know where they get fed and they usually stay in close proximity to their dining spot.

    As for turkey eggs, they are great. I cant really taste much a difference except that they are bigger than chicken eggs but they dont lay real often.
     
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Your biggest problem is space. Turkeys need more space than chickens.

    Also, there's a BIG difference between getting broad-breasted whites or bronzes versus getting heritage turkeys. Read about it here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=92240

    I
    think heritage turkey eggs are too valuable to be eaten, since they are sold as day-old poults for $9-10 apiece. You Can eat them though. Also, turkeys do not lay every day year-round like chickens. They lay a nest of 20-30 eggs in early spring, and then perhaps another nest in late summer.

    Most hatcheries don't sell them in amounts under 10. the most important thing if you get poults is to keep them warm, dry and feed 26% or higher protein for the first 8 weeks. Very very important. Skimping on this can mean mortality with turkey poults. They are not as hardy as chicken chicks.

    I do not worm my turkeys ever and they are fine. I raise them organically and don't feed medicated feed or antibiotics of any kind. they do great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  5. dixiedoodle09

    dixiedoodle09 Out Of The Brooder

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    We first started with our chickens, then my daughter wanted turkeys, so we got two from our local farm supply. They are standard bronze. They are hens. They are such sweet birds, but the standards we are finding out get very big and they are having a hard time getting around. They do have very large droppings. They have been chasing me down our drive way every morning when I leave to go to work!!!! It's so sweet.
     
  6. DaKid

    DaKid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started out 3 yrs ago with chickens also about 20 ,now I have over 50 layers, 15 meat x-rocks, and some bantam chickens , 2 yrs ago I got 30 asst. turkeys hatchlings ( 6-broad-breasted bronze and 6-gaint broad breasted whites, 6 eastern wild turkey, 6-red bourbon ,6-royal palm ).
    Well I have 4 of the royal palms and a pair of the red bourbon and a stray wild eastern turkey that flew in my turkey pen a month ago, there are now my pets .
    I ended up losing 5 birds the first 2 weeks when we bougth all of them but the the rest taste so so good .

    The one's I have now are laying but no hatching as of yet. I have them in a large pen now with 6' chain link fence around them , I do have one spot where I place a full sheet of plywood for a roof and one wall/back where they can go to get out of the rain, I made a few nesting boxing about 4 ' long 2' high and 2 ' wide . I feed them once a day and water at all time . there are out all year long in all weather. I first had them a spot in the large chicken coop where they could go in during the 1st.winter but guess what every time it snow or was cold there stood out side never when into the coop.
    As far as caring for ,I do like I do for my chickens only no coop just a roof with some pearches below/under it. I have never wormed mind either .I do feed wild game and turkey feed which is like 26% and I mix in some crack corn and grit .
    Once a week I'll take the eggs I get about 2 doz. and crack them up an feed it to all the chicken and turkeys mix into the feed that day.

    I also feed any table scraps, fruits, vegs. and what ever to the chicks and turkeys . all doing fine.

    Turkeys are cool;) for pets
     
  7. snowhorse

    snowhorse Pantry Brook Farm

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    I have plenty of room to keep them, but it sounds like they dont need a coop? I live in New England and we get pretty harsh winters here. Would it be better for me to have a coop?

    Thank you for the info. Looks like a need to buy a book on keeping turkeys! Sounds like they are different enough that I need to do my research
     
  8. the Old Rebel

    the Old Rebel Rest in Peace -2011

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    Whether or not you give them a coop depends on several things. A raccoon will bite the head off of a roosting turkey, so if you have predator problems, you might want to think about a coop. Once they are roosting, they can fall prey to many other creatures as well.

    Also, if you don't handle them a lot when they are young, how will you ever catch them?? They will eventually follow you around like a dog, but you have to develop a relationship with them first.

    Turkey poults are not as hardy as chicken chicks are. They get chilled easily, so it is very important to keep them warm and dry.

    Also, although I've raised turkeys and chickens in the same pen successfully, chickens carry blackhead disease. It doesn't bother the chickens usually, but it can be deadly to turkeys. So find out if you have blackhead in your area. If you do, you will probably want to keep your chickens and your turkeys separated.

    Good luck in your new venture. Turkeys are really cool birds.
     

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