Turkey Size - Does it matter?

AquaCluck

Chirping
Jul 17, 2018
26
66
61
I'd like to see everyone's opinions about turkey size. Do the "food" birds really get to big? How big is too big? I read a lot of contrasting information before purchasing my turkeys and curious about personal experience from turkey owners.

I have two broad breasted whites. The feed store call them heritage whites. They're both BIG and white. Goldie the tom is 50 lbs at least. Probably pushing 60 now. My girl Momo is 45ish. They're both under a year old. They're huge bodied but have monster legs and feet and have been fed appropriately. They very personable and friendly. If they're "food" birds are they really going to outgrow themselves?
 

R2elk

Free Ranger
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,178
38,822
1,141
Natrona County, Wyoming
I'd like to see everyone's opinions about turkey size. Do the "food" birds really get to big? How big is too big? I read a lot of contrasting information before purchasing my turkeys and curious about personal experience from turkey owners.

I have two broad breasted whites. The feed store call them heritage whites. They're both BIG and white. Goldie the tom is 50 lbs at least. Probably pushing 60 now. My girl Momo is 45ish. They're both under a year old. They're huge bodied but have monster legs and feet and have been fed appropriately. They very personable and friendly. If they're "food" birds are they really going to outgrow themselves?
At those growth rates it is just a matter of time before their health issues show up in the form of leg and heart issues. People that manage to keep BBs alive for longer than normal periods tend to limit their feed and provide them with lots of exercise.

They were bred for fast growth and processing at no more than 6 months old.
 

mandelyn

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 30, 2009
2,443
927
331
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
My Coop
Size does matter, since the double muscling genes of the broad breasted doesn't also double the bloodflow and skeletal structure. The girls can get along longer than the boys it would seem. Limited feed is key, but even then they're going to fizzle out long before a heritage variety will.

Too big is when their quality of life deteriorates.
 
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