Turkey vs. CHickens

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Arielle, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Since jumping into poultry with both feet, I have far more birds than I want to winter over. I have treid a few different birds to see what will work and what we like. Though after only a short time, I don't yet have enough information to be sure which birds I like best.

    Here is a question I struggle with. A little more back ground first.

    I raised BBW to a very large size to get as much meat as possible for the processing fee of $ 10 each. These were big birds, males dressing out at 35 pounds. A little big for our family and roasting pans, but doable. I need to learn how to cut up a birds before freezing.

    THen I hatched a lot of hatchery type birds mixes with some non-hatchery. I learned to process my own and discovered two things. I can clean a bird pretty quickly now with little mess. ANd the carcass was poor on most, better on the non-hatchery types. I definitely liked the character of the meat,

    My question is turkeys or chickens? THey are very different in management. WHat do factors do you consider when selecting one over the other?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    What are you looking for exactly in them?

    I like having both. My turkeys eat more, but Ariel predators can not bother them, where the chickens can have issues.

    I personally find there is more bang for your buck with chickens, though I just love turkeys. The personality in them can't be beat.
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    It depends upon what you want from your birds.

    Which do you prefer to eat, turkey or chicken? How many eggs are you hoping for? How often do you want to butcher? Is space so limited that you can't keep both?
     
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    I like the turkeys myself over chickens but peafowl would have to be my favorite bird. We eat all the birds except the pea's and raise what we do for variety. You are eating pretty good when a couple times a month you can have pheasant, quail, duck, turkey, chicken, rabbit, throw in some venision and you are good to go. We buy pork but haven't bought any beef in years.

    Unless for a special meal we don't often eat whole birds, they take up to much space in the freezer. We skin them and freeze the breast fillets and leg quarters, keep the wings and giblets until we get enough for a meal of them

    The duck legs all get deboned and made into duck sausage.

    Turkey wings and leg quarters, chicken leg quarters we put in the pressure cooker cook 15 minutes at 15 pounds pressure and take that meat and freeze it. It works good for quickie meals during the week, you can use it so many different ways. Taco's, casserole etc etc. plus plenty of good stock for soups to.

    You don't really need to winter over alot of birds to keep a steady supply. We have people that buy chicks, poults, ducklings from us every year and raise them out just for the freezer. I always think they are the smartest ones when i'm out chipping ice out of waterers first thing on a cold morning.
     
  5. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We do much the same as Sandspoultry, We have Chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, geese and hopefully soon sheep. We do not eat pork, but I will buy Beef until I get sheep! IMO chickens are your best value for eggs, they eat less to produce eggs year round, other poultry do not. Waterfowl produce dark meat and eat a lot of mosquitoes, rabbits give you more meat for the cost of feed than poultry, We like the taste of turkey over chicken and turkey does not get tough and stringy, like chickens do. Turkeys are more fragile than chickens as poults, adult chickens are more prone to hawks than adult turkeys, turkeys come in a lot of different sizes from 12# to 40# for heritage birds and a whole one is too much for your family, buy a wood saw or a hack saw and keep it as a cutlery tool, only for the kitchen and cut them in halfs or quarters or debone, grind for burgers and sausage. It really does depend on personal preference and how much of your own meat you want to raise. Even if I only had room for one, I would raise Heritage turkeys and also keep a very small flock of chickens in a tractor for fresh eggs all year. BTW, I raised BBW, before I knew they had to be AI, and the last one, was over a year old when we finally got around to eating him and he weighted a whopping 80 pounds. At that size, we made cutlets and roasts out of the breast(35#of breast meat) smoked the wings for seasoning beans, deboned everything else for stew meat or ground meat/sausage, and used the back and the bones for turkey soup.I raised only White Hollands the past 2 years, but hope to try several this year with our "Turkey Egg Swap" :
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...t-which-breeds-of-heritage-turkeys-taste-best If you would like to join us and see what other folks are raising and want to try!
     
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    THAnk you all for wonderful input!! I have a better picture of turkeys v chickens. THe big surprize is that rabbits are more effecient than birds for producing food. Now i wish I hand not had rabbits as pets as a kid. WIth the cost of grain, effeciency is good!

    If I might ask about foraging?? I threw out corn in a wooded area where the leaves have accummulated. THe chickens started right in digging around, scratching to find every golden nugget; the turkeys only snagged the corn on top of the leave litter. Is this typical turkey behavior? THeir foraging technique is different than chickens?
     
  7. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    If the turkeys are raised with chickens they will scratch some but turkeys seem to forage more by sight.
     
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    Thanks S and S.
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    I have been mulling over the wonderful responses, and have more questions.

    I think I do like the chickens, they seem to be able to forage for more of their food; and we like the eggs and meat. I also think breeding single breeds to the SOP is a notallgic idea, but the reality is that the commercial strains produce meat more effeciently and eggs more efficiently. ANd the cross bred from two hatchery strains produced roosters much bigger. THe effects of hybrid vigor.

    Turkeys seem to need more care feeding wise with plenty of pellets available. I'm thinking I need to separate the two operations: turkeys limited to their coop and chickens to theirs. THis puts the kibash ( spelling?) on free ranging. ANd increases fencing costs.

    Sorry I need tovent and chare here, I thought raising poultry would be cost effective and I"m not seeing that. Customers always want to pay less than what it cost to produce.

    ON the plus side I like the flavor nuch better on the 5 month old roosters than the mush I have always enjoyed from the grocery store commercial birds.

    I'm on the fence folks. Convince me!
     
  10. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, chickens will scratch the ground bare, turkeys do not destroy the grass, while foraging, they eat it, but do not dig it up, so when I got too busy to pull up the weeds this fall, I put the chickens to work, weeding my large veggie garden, by throwing corn and oats into the beds for the chickens to eat and in the process, have very weeds left, before I can plant in the spring. You can raise both on free range, I do, as long as you do not have wild turkeys around and do not live on a busy street or have neighbors close and not fenced.[​IMG]
     

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