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Turkey questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mjane, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. mjane

    mjane Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2009
    I'm planning on getting some turkeys to raise for meat. Now I was thinking of the white broadbreasted turkey. Now here are my questions. I want to keep some as meat and raise some for eggs, the hatchery say they won't reproduce. Which one should I get that I can use as meat and have a couple of hens and tom to raise eggs tor reproduce more. If I have to get two types that's okay, they will have their own coop and run. I was thinking of getting about 30 birds. I have people interested in buying a bird once raised and processed. I have a great processor in my area.
    How long do I raise them before they can be processed? When do turkeys start laying?
     
  2. Emchick

    Emchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Colorado
    Yes, for meat, get BBW or BBB. For Eggs and breeding, etc. Get a Heritage breed such as Black Spanish, Burbon Red, Blue Slate, or Royal Palm.
    My BBW was 40pounds live weight at four months. At the same time my BBB was 38pounds.
     
  3. mullers3acers

    mullers3acers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2007
    la porte, In
    We have raised the white broadbreasted turkeys for several years. We raise them till they are about 6 or 7 months old, before butchering. As far as reproducing I am not sure why the hatchery said that. We buthchered our turkeys before thanksgiving and the hens were producing eggs and the tom was mating the the hens. We have never hatched out any eggs but you would think this was the beginning process of reproducing.
     
  4. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2008
    wausau,wisconsin
    If you do get the BBw have them butchered at a certain weight, don't go by age.. IMO nobody needs a 30 pound turkey..

    I had BBw sent to me by mistake a couple of years ago. I personally never want another one..

    hens start to lay at about 9 months

    mine are seasonal, but I live where it gets really cold.. I have royal palms.. my hen layed eggs until mid December 08.. she has not sstarted again, yet.. last year she sstarted in March.. that was her first season.. she gave us nearly 100 eggs and that took time out for her to hatch two broods of her own.. I have 26 of her offspring ..
    mostly males......

    royals are not very fast growers..
    and the males pad out at about only 20 pounds.. females are noticeably smaller..

    I cannot tell you much about any other breed.....
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Lots of good info on this thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=92240

    Also, since BBW and heritage are such VERY different kinds of turkeys, if you are adventurous, you can learn how to do AI on the BBW.

    But, if you want to raise BBWs, I would just order day-old chicks each season. My friends raise them for 4-5 months, not any longer than that or they go over 25 lbs.
     
  6. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    wausau,wisconsin
    Quote:the reason being that the toms if grown like they are,, fast and for lare size,,get too large to mount decent and get the job done..

    the big producers breed artificially
     
  7. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 18, 2008
    McCleary, WA
    You would need to go with a heritage/standard turkey to get them to lay and reproduce.The BB turkeys will lay and reproduce but not very well and the tom usually gets way too big to breed the hen with out killing her. You would be better off buying poults every year to raise. If it is a big bird you are after I would go with a standard bronze or a Holland bird, these two types get big and still can reproduce naturally.If you are looking for a clean carcass(no pinfeathers) then you would need to go with the Holland as they are white and look just like the BBW but not so big in the breast and can walk,fly and breed.[​IMG]
     
  8. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:the reason being that the toms if grown like they are,, fast and for lare size,,get too large to mount decent and get the job done..

    the big producers breed artificially

    Exactly jvls, The BB types can mate and reproduce but they are not reliable breeders.
     
  9. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Eastern NC
    Quote:With the heritage types it depends on the size bird you or your customers want. The Beltsville White and Midget are the smallest with the toms going about 20 pounds. The Midget is the best tasting of all the breeds we raise. next in size your have the Bourbon reds, Spanish, narri's - medium size. The largest heritage breeds are the White Hollands and Standard Bronze. We have pics on our website of our breeds if you want to see what the different ones look like.

    We like ours in the 10 month range for processing, they are more filled out then, you can do them sooner at 8 months but they will be smaller.

    As for laying it depends on the breed. the smaller ones will lay sooner than the larger ones. Our Belts and Midgets start at a little over 6 months.

    Steve in NC
     
  10. MrsSmitho

    MrsSmitho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2008
    E. Tx.
    Hey there all!!

    I have a question. We have 2 slates, borne in Sept 08. The female has been laying eggs for about 2 months now...great eggs BTW...
    Question is, she is chasing the tom around trying to get him to mate her...

    who knows how old he needs to be (ish) to do his thing??

    He guards her when she is laying, but for the most part he just runs from her when she is trying to get his attention [​IMG]

    Any ideas??

    Kim
     

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