Too Old?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by BrownSheep, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. BrownSheep

    BrownSheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    136
    3
    91
    May 27, 2011
    I have a pair of what I think is BBB. I really wanted to just let them hang around, but it's becoming aparent they're going to flop over dead due to be fat. What I'm wondering is if they are too old to butcher. They are about ten months old. I'ld put the tom at about 30 or 40 pounds....Also is it common for toms to "pant". He always seems to be out of breath wich is the reason for the delayed thanksgiving.
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    181
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Yes toms pant, BB toms pant a lot. They are not too old to butcher. Hate to say it but you'd be doing them a favor, and filling up the freezer. Get some Heritage turks and let them hang around. They might drive you to distraction with their curiosity but they won't just take an infarct and flop over.

    Good luck to you!
     
  3. BrownSheep

    BrownSheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    136
    3
    91
    May 27, 2011
    I ordered some heritage poults from cackle a couple of weeks back. They should be here in May. The pant was the only thing that made me think they were in poor health. They free range for their food most of the time so they don't get fed too much. Eventually I'll bucther them because of the fact these birds will get too large eventually. I'll probably hold off till I have some new little turkeys to distract me. Thank you for the info.
     
  4. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    89
    Oct 18, 2011
    Pine Bush, NY
    aww, I always find it sort of sad that these turkeys are made to grow so large that even if someone WANTS to keep them as "pets", it's really not possible. The little fella's are truly bred to be slaughtered! Poor little fat turkeys :( I have no idea why, but the thought of it just irks me... like I'd rather just eat a healthy normal animal than one that has been selected for such ABNORMAL growth that they just can't live! Maybe I'm strange? lol
     
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Sonnygirl. there are lots of breeds of turkeys that can live for years and make good pets. If you want a turkey for a pet, chose one of those breeds.

    People raising meat would like for it to be as inexpensive as possible. If a turkey was purchased to be meat, he is going into the freezer, no matter what age he is allowed to reach. If a turkey is butchered at 8 months and he could have lived to be 1 year, why is that any sadder than a turkey who is butchered at 8 months but could have lived 20 years? Either way, the turkey is dead and didn't live out to the end of his natural lifespan.
     
  6. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    89
    Oct 18, 2011
    Pine Bush, NY
    haha well I understand that and it makes sense... and I get profit margins. It doesn't bother me in general when they are raised for meat.. I just find it particularly sad when someone ends up with a poult/poults that they plan to raise as PETS only to have them suffer all sorts of health problems because they're sort of past their expiration date! Maybe I'm being sensitive towards the people too! It still just seems odd, too, that we've been able to manipulate their genetics that much.. I'm sure if I was raising them for meat, I'd want giant birds too though.... just sad when someone accidentally gets some they plan to keep as companions and fall in love with the fuzzy poults...
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I know of one broad breasted bronze tom that was kept as a pet and he is currently 10 years old. I don't think they have an expiration date where they are automatically going to die as soon as they reach their first birthday.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    181
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Like to see a photo of that fellow. No expiration date, per se. Just a growth trajectory that, more often than not, results in something chronic and untreatable sooner rather than later. [​IMG] http://www.cabi.org/animalscience/Uploads/File/AnimalScience/additionalFiles/WPSA2_files/Hafez.pdf
     
  9. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    4,750
    146
    268
    Jan 12, 2010
    People should do their homework a little better when getting an animal. It avoids alot of heartbreak later. I can understand how easy it is getting attached to a bb turkey, they're super friendly. I still have my bb hen, though I got them strictly for the freezer, the tom was mighty tasty and 40 lbs.. She is currently sitting on a nest of eggs so she gets a get free, out of the freezer pass! I have heritage birds now because I wanted to keep them around.
     
  10. BrownSheep

    BrownSheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    136
    3
    91
    May 27, 2011
    I got my turkeys with the intent to butcher them. I even called the poultry butcher about 5 times, but they never answered or called me back. So here I am with two friendly turkeys who I will not butcher myself. My hen started laying this week, not viable eggs of course. I won't be able to eat her at all though. My Tom left HUGE gashes down her sides when he tried to breed her. She is healing up fine but will never be a pretty roast.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by