turkey food quantity compared to a chicken?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Medicine Man, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Songster

    Nov 21, 2010
    Apple Hill
    hello I would like to know approximately how much food one turkey will eat in comparison to chickens. Disregard the difference in food, I just want to know if the question can be asnwerd does a turkey eat loosely as much as three chickns or five or eight or fifty nine thousand?

    If that makes no sense then I am wanting to keep a turkey for the predator birds becase I will not shoot them but also I do not wish to lose another. I kjnow there is concern for black head but they are moved on pasture and I only keep no more than 10 or 15 in one fence because I dont like more in one space.

  2. MovieFanz

    MovieFanz Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2010
    I don't think your question can be answered without knowing what breed of turkey and the age your talking about and what breed of chicken your talking about. They all eat different amounts.

    One way some people compare is by feed conversion. A example the midget white was a failure due to poor feed conversion. It was estimated the feed conversion is about 4 pounds of feed per pound of weight gain. There reaches a cut off point where it just is not profitable to raise them past the age that they are gaining rapidly. I have heard some chickens have a 2 to 1 feed conversion but most will
    take 3 pounds of feed per pound of gain, it would take 15 pounds of feed to grow a 5-pound fryer. Then again that depends on breed.

    I noticed people will raise a heritage turkey that is small if they are told it has superior taste. I recently wrote about wanting to raise Houdan because of the superior taste. It does not seem like the same applies to chickens. Its all about size. I don't really get it.
  3. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    Another complication is if your birds are in a small pen and can only eat bagged feed, or if they have access to pasture where they can eat grass, bugs, mice, etc. In 29 weeks, I had 14 heritage turkeys go through 25 bags of feed, with access to grasses, etc for 23 of the weeks. The turkeys also shared some of their feed with mice, sparrows, and chipminks. Some horses got loose and ate a few pounds of feed as well. Average weight was close to 20 lbs (ranged from 8 to 30), so I grew 280 lbs of turkey (and an undetermined lbs of vermin theives) on 1150 lbs of feed, or about 4.1 lbs of feed per pound of turkey, or 82 lbs of feed per bird, which translated to about $18/bird or $0.90 per lb. These numbers are very rough. As another check on the price, I spent $250 on feed for 280 lbs of birds, which comes out to $0.89/lb. I do not have similar values for broad-breasted turkeys.

    Unfortunately, I don't have the same numbers readily available for our chickens, although the number that sticks in my head is $1.35/lb to raise 8 week cornish crosses that averaged about 8 lbs ea. I think this number includes purchase price. Feed-only costs would then be about $1.10 to $1.20/lb?
  4. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Songster

    Nov 21, 2010
    Apple Hill
    thank you very uch i realize it was not so easy a question. I think its worth it to put one in each chickens while the chickens lay 50-cents-each eggs for table and the breeders are priceless.

    thank you.

  5. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chirping

    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    Quote:That's a great accounting. We tried to do exactly that, but this summer got busy, and before long we had commingled purchases for the turkey project with other miscellaneous things we were buying from the feed store, and then we lost track of which food was going to the turkeys and which was going to the meat birds, etc. Before long, we had no idea which group of birds had eaten which bag of food. Maybe next year we'll be a little better in the record-keeping. For now, it helps to see your break-down.


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