Turkey Questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by sussexgal, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay.... so I am thinking about raising turkeys for the freezer this year. What breed(s) would be a good starter breed to get my feet wet with?

    What is the minimum space requirement for a run? For Bourbon Reds, how tall of a fence is needed? Well... for any heritage breed actually.

    How long, from hatch to processor, does it take for them to grow?

    Okay...so I fall in love with a few of them and decide to winter them over - what breeds are cold hardy? We get -20 here in the hills....

    Thank you [​IMG]
     
  2. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    McCleary, WA
  3. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    The heritage breeds are all about the same except for size and color. So really which ever breed is up to you, the Royal Palm was never bred as a meat bird but we know people that swear by them as table birds. The ALBC and Feather site have lots of pics that you can look thru and a brief history of each. Also the ALBC did a blind taste test last year and the Midget White was number one and the Bourbon Red was #2, from our own experience I would agree with that 100% - The Midget is our fav.

    We have a 6 foot fence around our turkey areas and the hens can clear that with ease if they want to but they very rarely do, they tend to stay put. the toms are to big.

    We like our table birds in the 9 to 10 month range, some do them sooner. once again it's a personel preference, if you really want to see process one at 6 months and then another at 9 and compare, we like them more filled out. our Thanksgiving bird for this year was hatched in Feb.

    There are other members here from New England, Canada and the upper Mid West so hopefully they will jump in on the cold hardy question.

    Steve in NC
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  4. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We wintered over two bourbon reds this year. We kept them in a barn like enclosure with a coop and large pen inside of it. The coop had some heatd but when the temps were down to -20 here the coop was about 0. During the day the Tom would shiver a little but was ok.

    The biggest thing is keeping the wind off of them. Wind chill will kill domesticated turkeys, since they are less likely to find good cover during periods of really cold weather.

    Tom
     
  5. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you everyone! This is all very useful info [​IMG]
     
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    They must be pretty well insulated to. We had one "big" snow last winter (about 3 inches - lol [​IMG] ) . I went out in the morning and they were all roosting on a log outside, each one had about an inch of snow on their backs. They had their heads all tucked under a wing, I felt under them and they were nice and toasty warm. Ours never go inside the houses except to lay. But then again low teens is about as cold as it gets here, single digits are very very rare.

    Steve in NC
     

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