-How many turkeys do you have?
I lost count... I have, ( I think) 3 toms, 12 hens, 6 teens and one house baby.
-How many poults do you plan on hatching?
"plan"... that's cute. I let my mommas hatch out what they can. Once one goes broody, ALL of them do.
-What breeds do you want/have?
I have a mixed bag now. I started with Narragansett, Chocolate Palm, Slate, Auburn, Light Auburn, Bronze and Red Bronze . (I ordered 15 birds from Porter's, and received 20 in 2012 I think.)
-where are you getting your eggs from?
From my girls!
-will you be raising your turkeys for meat?
Yep! I have several to butcher this weekend.
-will you be raising them for pets, etc?
I have my favorites.
-what type of housing are you going to use for your birds?
I have a hen house and a large run, they share the area with the chickens. The turkeys prefer to roost on top of the hen house and fence almost all the time. They use the hen house to stay in only when it's too cold. (In the teens usually, or if it's warmer but with a lot of frigid winds) I clip their wings once in a while, but honestly, they do a lot of free-range because they simply fly over the fence.
-what will you feed them?
I feed them fermented feed. Still playing with it.
-will you be using an incubator to hatch your eggs?
Only when I have to rescue eggs from a failing first-time momma.
-do you want your hens to be broody so they can hatch eggs?
Best way so far! I have learned that first year mommas tend to screw up big time. They crush eggs, they crush poults as they are trying to hatch, they let the poults run off and they are either killed by others or die from the cold/etc. If they don't 'get it' early enough, I will rescue the eggs and hatch them in the incubator. I would MUCH rather the mommas hatch them out though, even with a couple losses. However, hand raised poults are easier to catch than momma-raised poults.... But the mommas do a MUCH better job raising the babies than I do.
-what kinds of waterers, feeders,etc will you be using?
I'm still trying to figure out the best method for feed. Currently I put some on the ground and some in a bowl. I water them in black rubber bowls from the feed store so the warmer winter days can thaw it out a little, and when it freezes, I can put it upside down and kick the ice out without breaking the tub.
When I got my birds, after all the research told me that Narragansetts make the best mothers, I was saddened that the only Narragansett I got ended up being a male. However, I have found that my Slate is a WONDERFUL mother, and after her first failed attempt, is now my first to brood every year, and hatches out the most broods. I also found that if I don't want every single girl out there to go broody, I have to remove the Slate so the rest don't see her. This last year I had 9 girls all sitting at the same time. Ugg. That being said, my successful turkeys can now hatch out turkey and chicken eggs. I have not had a chicken hatch out a turkey yet, but only because I haven't had a need to try it. I would totally put duck eggs under my girls if I ever got a chance (and the go ahead from my hubby....or if he went on a business trip for long enough. )
@bucket04 , Sounds like we have a lot in common. If you don't mind running the experiment for me, I'd like to know if you can hatch turkey eggs under a chicken, or how much success she'd have. I have chickens and want turkeys. If I could get turkey eggs and a broody chicken hen at the same time....
I have a trio of easterns and a pair of bourbon reds that I am going to try to breed in the spring. All of them where born around June of this year. This is my first year tying turkeys. There all mad today bad weather so nobody got to leave the run today. I am having a problem keep two of them of my neighbors truck whenever they are out really dont know how to keep them at home.