turkeys for eating

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by supermommy, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. supermommy

    supermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    central ny
    whats the best breed for eating? Also males or females? Were thinking of getting some to raise for meat but Im not sure yet lol...I have an issue eating my pets [​IMG]
  2. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    When you get meaties of any kind, don't think of it as a pet, and don't give it a name. Give it a number, like MT01 (MT standing for "meat turkey") or something like that. The minute you name it, you're doomed to not want to eat it.

    ETA: Sorry I couldn't answer your question about what's a good breed, but I'll be following your thread because I, too, would like to know. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  3. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  4. supermommy

    supermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    central ny
    Quote:[​IMG] thats probably what Im doing wrong haha I name all my chickens and havent been able to eat any!
  5. supermommy

    supermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    central ny
    Quote:Awesome! Thanks!
  6. Echos_dad

    Echos_dad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2009
    Elbert County, Colorado
    Bourbon reds taste good. Broad Breasted Bronze have lots of meat, grow big quickly, and since you're doing them a favor by slaughtering them before the have health issues, no guilt in eating them.
  7. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Heritage turkeys taste the best but take 8-9 months to get to slaughter age. Broad breasted take 4-6 months and then need to be butchered before they start haveing health problems. I raise heritage birds for meat, just don't name them.
  8. Thomasturkey

    Thomasturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2011
    I have not counted recently, but I do believe I raise and eat 30 or more turkey variety's. Taste has a lot to do with what they eat or don't eat, their age at butcher, how they are processed, and how they are cooked. Any turkey that eats bugs and good pasture is going to have a richer flavor. If you like home grown chicken then you will like home grown turkey of any variety. Some people do not like the taste of home grown poultry.

    I do worry that you say you do not eat your pets. Have you ever butchered a chicken? Turkeys are so much heavier to processes than a chicken if you are scalding them. All my turkeys are friendly and sometimes that makes things hard. I don't like killing day. Heritage turkeys, make very good pets. Broad breasted turkeys can have health problems that shorten their life. Some do not make it to butcher age. Their clock is ticking, they all look the same, so I don't feel so guilty. I am just doing what needs to be done.

    I have done a lot of research on taste test of turkeys. I even started a post about the many taste test. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5758227 Seems there is a rumor that I see being repeated about Midget White winning every taste test. That is not true. The only taste test that the midget white has won is the taste test that Ayrshire Farm compared their organic heritage turkeys has put on against a Butter Ball turkey. The taste test was partly judged on looks, so not exactly blind taste test. Midget white have even come in dead last in a resent taste test. There is just a million articles about the Ayrshire taste test that make it seem like the midget white are always on top.

    If your looking for the most amount of breast meat in a hurry go with Broad Broad Breasted Whites. Standard weights at maturity are males-45 lbs. and hens-25 lbs. but most people butcher them way before maturity. Hens are marketed between 14 and 16 weeks of age. At this age hens will typically weigh from 14.7 to 17.5 pounds. Toms are often marketed between 17 and 20 weeks of age and will weigh from 26.4 to 32.3 pounds. Turkey hens at 16 weeks of age will have consumed about 45.5 pounds of feed with a feed conversion (pounds of feed per pound of gain) of about 2.5. Toms at 20 weeks will have consumed about 94 pounds of feed with a feed conversion of about 2.9.

    If you have a lot of time to raise a turkey, and do not care what it cost you. Then try any of the heritage breeds. We started our personal 2011 Thanksgiving turkeys last fall. They need plenty of time to develop good juicy flavor in my opinion. Many people eat them at 6 months due to the high cost to raise them. I find you will never know the great taste potential if you butcher that soon. Heritage turkeys reproduce naturaly. The hens are half the size of the males. If they are good enough to make breeders, I keep them. Those that are not good enough are cut up for the BBQ. The big toms do not look like the turkeys that you might be use to. The breast is a lot smaller. It is the dark meat that is different than the store bought turkeys. Some say chewy in texture. It is not for everyone, but those that like it really like it.
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Quote:My advice then would to be just pass on the whole idea, if you can't get past the whole Pet turkey/chicken thing you will just be wasting your time, sorry good luck though.

  10. 95yj

    95yj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2009
    Central Vermont
    start with chickens, they're alot easier to raise and process and also alot easier to keep in the "freezer bound" category. thats just my take on it, if you think you can handle turkeys and want to give it a go by all means do it.

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