Wanting to raise turkey's - need advice!!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by meghanc, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. meghanc

    meghanc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Whitwell, Tn
    I'm already raising chickens but wanted to raise two turkeys for the holidays, before my husband lets me he said I have to do my research :)
    What kind of house do they need? Perches?
    Who much do they eat? Do turkey's home back to their pen like chickens when it's bed time? What size pen is needed for them?
    And what breed of turkey is best to raise?

    Thanks for any advice!!!
     
  2. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The best turkey to raise depends on what you are looking for. If you want meat than Broad Breasted are the way to go since they grow faster and are most common. If you want a slow cooking heritage variety than pick any of the following:
    Black
    Buff
    Choclate
    Royal Palm
    Lavender
    Narragansett
    Bronze
    Betsville Small White
    White Holland
    Slate
    Bourban Red

    Turkey's can be raised on stuff like flock raiser especially when they're broad breasted because they grow faster anyways. The only exception would be when you show them (white birds don't do as well with corn because it can cause brasiness)

    Turkeys are normally heavyset so they won't roost as much as a chicken because they're so heavy. They may more may not house in the dark since they are already so near-sighted. Mine would always sleep outside and I only got them to come in by bribing them with food.

    There is a big contraversy whether or not to raise poults with chicks because of the risk of Blackhead. I've seen people raise turkeys with chickens and be fine but never raise them with pigeons!

    I feel like a pasture is better for turkeys because they have more room to move. They will produce a lot of manure and if you let them they can eat a lot of food (Broad Breasted) Heritage turkeys seem to grow slower and therefore eat less at a time. I went through a bag a week in July before county fair
     
  3. meghanc

    meghanc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Whitwell, Tn
    Wow! Thank you for all the information, very helpful!!! Really just wanting to raise two turkeys a year for meat for thanksgiving and Christmas.
    I would have a different pen for them away from the chickens. My husband was worried that they eat more then their worth in hassle and feed; I'm more just wanting to do it for experience and try to raise what we eat.
    Would a lean to style shed be ok for them?
     
  4. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry but, as usual, I'm confused...lol !!! Are you going to shut them in somewhere at night so the local predators don't get them?
    If that's the case, then a lean to would be sufficient enough. They just need a draft free area and a place to get out of the sun or rain.
    I raised Narragansett turkeys and enjoyed them very much. They were inquisitive and followed me everywhere I went. They do eat a lot though, even the heritage breeds do as they mature. Mine wouldn't 'put themselves to bed' like the chickens do, but they got to know the routine and when I would go out at night to close the coop doors to the chickens, they would start to head on over to their coop. No bribing was necessary (of course I could of just been fortunate). And my guys did like to roost at night. The higher up, the better. Although, as they got bigger, I would occasionally hear them fall off in the middle of the night with a big THUD !!!
    Good luck!
     
  5. meghanc

    meghanc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Whitwell, Tn
    Ya, I was planning to have pen to put them in at night but just wondered if they would go back in their pen like chickens at night once they got into a routine.
     
  6. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, sometimes I get out of the house and back to the chicken coop a little later than what the chickens would like and since I leave the coop door open all day, they've just gone ahead and put themselves to bed. All that's left for me to do is shut the door. No fuss, no muss. That what I refer to as 'putting themselves to bed'. I literally have nothing else to do besides shut the darn door and if I ever get one of those automatic doors, I guess I really wouldn't have to go out at all, but then what's the point of having chickens if you don't interact with them occasionally.
    As for turkeys 'putting themselves to bed' just like your chickens do...that would be a definite 'maybe'. I kept the turkeys pen door shut during the day after I'd let them out because I didn't want my layers to go in an eat the 21 to 28 percent protein pellets that I fed the poults and juvenile turkeys. It would be bad for them. So since the door is shut and they can't get in, mine don't literally put themselves to bed like my chickens do, but I will say that I am nothing if not a creature of habit and they picked up on my routines pretty early on. What this means is that after the chickens are all tucked in for the night, I turn my attention to the turkeys, who by now have all grouped together and are standing very still just looking at me as if to say 'So are you going to open the door and let us go to bed, or not.' 'Cuz if the answer is 'not' well then I've got a date with a willow tree down the road a few.' The moral here is that your turkeys will probably watch your routine and they'll soon discover when the appropriate time is for them to 'show up' before bedtime. They're nothing if not consistent. Mine don't go over to their door and stand in front of it until I get there, but once they see that I've opened their door, they don't hesitate to go in. Hope this helps. Turkeys can be a lot fun! Enjoy !!!
     
  7. meghanc

    meghanc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
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    Thanks!! That helps a lot!!!
     
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Hav you planned WHERE you will be getting your poults??? THey can be hard to find. Especially if you only want two ALso consider that if you need two to cover the holidays have a back up plan. Either raise extra poults, or buy a processed turkey.

    THe heritage type turkeys are not well filled out their first thanksgiving, so plan ahead on when you get the poults. My suggestion is go with the broad breasted types your first time. THey are ready in 4 months.
     
  9. meghanc

    meghanc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Whitwell, Tn
    No I was just looking on Craigslist and had seem some for sale but hadn't looked into a quantity yet. Didn't even think about getting a few extra! Glad this website is here!! Lol
     
  10. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    You might contact those sources now to find out what their spring plans are and to have contact info.
     

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