Turkeys for holiday dinners

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by georgiegirl, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. georgiegirl

    georgiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rockdale TX
    I know it is to late for this year, but I was considering 4 or5 turkeys to raise for holidays next year. And I know nothing about turkeys. Can I put them in with my big chickens? How long does it take them to mature to dinner size? Is feed and water the same as chickens? Any help would be appreciated. thanks
     
  2. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    We raise our poultry together from day one, chickens, turkeys etc etc and haven't had any problems to date. However, they can pass disease from one to another. For holiday turkeys we like them in the 9 to 10 month range, you can have them sooner but we like ours better filled out. Our guest of honor this year is a Midget White tom and he will be 10 months old in Nov. Turkeys need a higher protein feed to start than chickens, we start ours on 28% game bird starter for the first 3 months, then 20% chick start n grow until 6 months. If you want them to finish quicker then go to a 18% grow n finish to processing time. At 6 months ours are out with the flock and have free choice 16% poultry layer, plenty of fresh greens and all the bugs etc they can find.

    Actually I got a little ahead of myself here since you are new to turkeys. There are two types. The Broad Breasted and the Heritage. The Broad Breasted will finish much larger and in less time (about 5 months). They are basicly your home raised "butter ball". They normally don't self reproduce. The heritage types are the "old time" turkeys, they will self reproduce and keep you in turkeys as long as you want. The heritage come in different sizes from the Midget White, toms about 20 pounds to the White Holland and Standard Bronze in the 35 to 40 pound range.

    Taste wise, the home raised Broad Breasted is better than store bought, the heritage is the best tasting hands down. This year the Americian Livestock Breeds Conservancy did a blind taste test and the Midget white won with a store bough Butterball last. We have raised the Broad Breasted before and agree with the results 100%.

    Steve in NC
     
  3. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    Here is our Thanksgiving guest.

    John Henry- Broad Breasted Bronze, Hatched late May this year.

    [​IMG]

    These are some of our other turkeys. they are Poyal Palm, Sweetgrass, Beltsville White, and Naragansett(sp).

    [​IMG]

    We fed them a game bird starter then switched to a grower and will soom move them to a maintainer. We hope to select our breeders by this weekend and start selling the rest.

    We have had no problems raising a few with the chickens in the past.
     
  4. georgiegirl

    georgiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rockdale TX
    Thanks so much for the info. After seeing the beautiful pictures, I am sure we can only hold 2 or 3 in our pen. Its big for chickens but those turkeys get pretty big! Anyway this tells me what I needed to know before trying to convince DH, course he is the one that likes turkey for dinner not me!
     
  5. smom1976

    smom1976 too many projects too little time!

    May 2, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    Quote:wow my husband wondered how many turkeys you had.. and what you did with them all?
     
  6. georgiegirl

    georgiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2008
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    What DO you do with that many turkeys? Eggs? Do you sell them processed?
     
  7. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Alamance, NC
    beautiful flock! well done.

    I would like to possibly add some of those for next years holidays and sell them prior to the holidays. Do you have good success and get a decent price for them?

    Thanks for any info you can give.
     
  8. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gloucester, VA
    LOL! Well this is our first year with this many. We plan to keep 2 trios of each breed, 8 trios, to have hatching eggs next year. We plan to put about 10 in the freezer and sell the rest. There are 50 something total. As far as success in selling them, I guess we are about to find out. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  9. miron28

    miron28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    lenoir north carolina
    if i was to get two turkeys how much feed do you give them a day? or do you put a pot of feed out there and let them eat all day?
     
  10. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hastings, Nebraska
    We have a feed trough for our last two Bourbon Reds, we put about a ice cream bucket in it every two or three days. We got them last April.

    BB Bronze and Great Whites seem to eat at least twice as much.
     

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