Turkeys?!?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by faithm130, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. faithm130

    faithm130 New Egg

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Well, my family currently owns 2 chickens, 2 ducks, and are purchasing 10 meat chickens in the spring. Although we would like to get meat turkeys? We have a 14 by 10 pen with a smaller coop for our ducks and chickens, a kiddie pool, and a small lean too type shelter. We are working on another coop for our meat birds as I write this. But here is the issue... We know nothing about turkeys! What breed should we get to auction off at fair? What breed do you recommend? What kind of shelter do they need? What kind of daily care do they need? About how many pounds do they grow to be? What is an average price per pound? Are they mean animals? I can spend weekends and all if summer working with them... My parents will care for them during the week. What kind of food do they eat? Are they expensive to care for?
     
  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    First, [​IMG]

    Second, the answer to your questions could be pages long. The short answers are that they need higher protein feed than chickens. Start at 26 to 30 percent protein (gamebird starter), and work down as they get bigger. Many opinions on the "right way" to do this. I switch to gamebird grower (24%) at six weeks when I put them out in the fields.

    Turkeys don't need much shelter once out of the brooder. Don't put them out before six weeks, and hold them in the brooder a little longer if you know that cold weather, especially cold rain, is coming. Once they get to 10 weeks, they are pretty much invincible to any weather. Mine live outdoors all the time. There is no coop. Just a small set of roofed roosts. They never sit inside, always on the roof. We had temps in the -30s last week. No problem.

    Daily care is food and water. If you want them to be friendly, spend time with them feeding them snacks and just hanging out. They can be very friendly if handled well. I have never had a mean turkey, but rumors of the occasional ruffian exist.

    If you want a turkey that is shaped like a wild turkey, get a heritage breed. Lots of colors to choose from, live longer and healthier than broad-breasteds that are prone to leg problems, good fliers (this could be a con in some books), self-breeding. If you just want to grow some big birds in a hurry and will be butchering or selling them young, get broad-breasteds. But read about heritage birds anyway.

    Most heritage tom will butcher out at about 15-18 lbs after 30 weeks, and eat almost two bags of feed getting there. Broad-breasteds can be butchered out in as little as 10 or 12 weeks, or kept up to 20 weeks or more depending on how large of a bird you want. You can get a BB tom to dress out at about 20 lb in 14 to 16 weeks with about 1 1/2 bags of feed. (Numbers are approximate, please don't jump all over them if your numbers are slightly different).
     
  3. faithm130

    faithm130 New Egg

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Thank you so much for replying! This really helped out a lot[​IMG]
     

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