Turkey butchering age?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Whitehouse Quail, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Michigan
    What age would you butcher a turkey for maximum meat?

    If we bought one now, would there be enough time for one for Thanksgiving?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Much too late for thanksgiving. Heritage turkeys are about 28 weeks for best growth but can be butchered earlier for a smaller bird. BB turkeys I think is about 18 weeks.
     
  3. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Michigan
    Sorry for the dumb question!
     
  4. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    3,701
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    Southeast Arkansas
    Not a dumb question. We all gotta start leaning somewhere!
     
  5. ziggywiggy

    ziggywiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2009
    McNeal, AZ
    Quote:Hey, I was wondering the same thing. I have some Midget Whites about 18 weeks and I'm wondering if I can butcher one now to barbeque. My feed bill is starting to get outrageous.
     
  6. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    Quote:Hey, I was wondering the same thing. I have some Midget Whites about 18 weeks and I'm wondering if I can butcher one now to barbeque. My feed bill is starting to get outrageous.

    You can butcher them whenever you want. Sorta like with cornish cross you butcher young for cornish hen, older for frying, and oldest for stewing you just wont get as much meat if you butcher younger.

    When I did BB turkeys I did a couple then skipped a week then did a couple more so I ended up with birds from 14-24 pounds dressed weight, and could have had larger if I had just kept feeding them.
     
  7. sonjaohull

    sonjaohull Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2013
    Thomasville, Ga
    When are they too old to butcher?
     
  8. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Omak, Washington
    My Coop
    Never too old to butcher.... They would be best used for stock.... lots of flavor.. like a roasting hen/turkey
     
  9. retlaw

    retlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2013
    So what age would a heritage turkey fall into stock category?
    I hear people waiting 18 months for full growth.
    What about a heritage bird that is 4 years old?
    Roaster or stock?
     
  10. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2013
    Omak, Washington
    My Coop
    A 4 year old bird should make great tasty stock.... Then you could remove the meat and run it through your meat grinder for "deviled turkey" sammies...

    Wikipedia....
    All heritage turkeys have a relatively slow to moderate rate of growth. Turkeys raised in industrial agricultural are slaughtered at 14 to 18 weeks of age, while heritage turkeys reach a marketable weight in about 28 weeks, giving the birds time to develop a strong skeletal structure and healthy organs prior to building muscle mass. This growth rate is identical to that of the commercial varieties of the first half of the 20th century.[7]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritage_turkey
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014

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