turkeys

Hotwings

Songster
Jan 27, 2007
833
5
161
southwestern Michigan
I am kicking around the idea of having turkeys next year. I am not sold on the idea of a bb bird because of the health issues. I am leaning more on the heritage turkeys especially the burbon red. I am not finding the info I want. Are the burbon reds a good tasting bird? What about the other heritage birds, not the royal palm because I was planning on having a homegrown turkey for next thanksgiving and I hear royal palms were more of a pet bird. Are heritage breeds have to be taught to drink like I hear you have to do with the bbs? Do you start them on game feed? Would a bb hen have the same problems that a bb tom would have? I would appreciate any advice on turkey behavior, feeding and the taste of the meat. Thank you.
 

joshchickens

In the Brooder
Sep 29, 2007
30
1
22
Hey i had two bronze turkeys, a tom and a hen. those were excellent eating birds. I got them to weight around 25 pounds with no leg problem. The only problem i really had is how messy they are.
 

AK-Bird-brain

I gots Duckies!
May 7, 2007
1,030
6
169
Sterling, Alaska
I started out with 6 BB bronze, 1 died at about ~ 2 weeks from spraddle leg, another one died at 2 days from not eating/drinking. the other 4 did just fine growing to butcher weight in about 3 months. my 3 hens weighed ~24-28 lbs and my tom was 38! (plan ahead how your going to cook a bird this size).

We placed marbles in thier water so they can see and peck at something shinney this helps them figgure out where the food and water are.
We started them out on a medicated game bird starter then switched to a turkey grower.
We kept ours in a coverd run so we had to clean it out just about every week. they eat alot more than chickens and the poo alot more. when the poo gets rained on it really brings out the amonia smell.
The taste was incredable I smoked mine. I beleive the cost to meat ratio makes it well worth it. Mine averaged ~$40 each to raise to butcher weight.
 

mullers3acers

Songster
Oct 9, 2007
1,355
0
169
la porte, In
We've had turkeys for about four years now. We've had bronze and the white. It really was histerical when the chickens and the turkeys went into the neighbor's yard and the teenage daughter was frightened when she didn't know what this huge bird was.
 

Blisschick

not rusty
Feb 20, 2007
1,875
32
191
Shepherd, Texas
I've read that a home grown turkey has a much better and deeper flavor than bb types you buy at the store, simply because of diet. Commerical turkeys are fed commercial feed and grow too rapidly for the meat to take on any real flavor, so the breast in injected with flavor enhancers when processed. Home grown turkeys get the opportunity (most of the time) to free range and eat things that they would normally eat in the wild, therefore adding a better flavor to the meat. I've yet to eat any of mine, so I can't say how much better they actually taste.
 
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