Turkey breed questions

journey's end

10 Years
Jul 17, 2009
Prince Edward Island
I'm looking at three types of turkey. I only want to get one breed next year. My choice is the Red Bourbon, Standard bronze (not the broad breasted as I want natural mating), and the Narragansett. Can anyone answer a few questions? How big can they get, are they good in winter climates (East coast so a couple weeks at -30 and a couple months at -15 to -20) are they friendly? Any other points of interest?

Thanks all.
We raise Bourbons and Standard Bronze. The BZ are by far the larger of the two. A BR tom will be in the upper 20 pound to 30 pound range, the hens mid to upper teens. The BZ toms top 35 pounds, the hens over 20.

The BR's are very very curious, even to the point of getting under foot they are so interested in what you are doing and friendly. BZ's are the same but not quite as curious. The BZ toms are huge, they stand waist high on me but are very gentle. Well, unless you happen to have a can of corn in your hand, they love corn and try not to eat your fingers.

There are some members here from Canada and the upper mid west of the US so hopefully they will chime in on the cold tolerence. We are in North Carolina so super cold here is 20F.

Steve in NC
Although not that far north it does get cold here, when the wind chill index hits 0 they do need a bit of heat, but not to much. It also depends on how many you have, they will huddle together for warmth. The important thing is to keep the cold wind off of them.

The biggest problem is keeping fresh unfrozen water available.

Do not give them more then 8 hours of light to to warm of a temperature, other wise the hens will start laying in January.

Water isn't a concern, we already haul our chickens water 2-3 times a day so an extra bucket won't matter much. The light thing is something to remember though. I make sure my hens have light enough to continue laying.

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