What birds/small animals are cheap to raise for meat???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cjeanean, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    I've been talking to my mom, and she doesn't have much money for food and stuff for herself or my brothers and sisters. I'm wondering if it would be more cost effective to raise turkeys and geese for food than to buy them from the supermarket. I know that it's not really profitable to do so with chickens, just more beneficial due to the freshness of the food, but does the same apply to turkeys and geese???

    Also, can BROADBREASTED BRONZE turkeys breed true???

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    BB bronze have to be artifically inseminated, but they do breed true. Factor in housing, bedding, feed, and care... and much like meat chickens... I doubt it will be any cheaper financially, although enriching in other ways.
  3. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    so you can't raise them without artifical insemination????
  4. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    housing and care won't be an issue, mainly just feed. What turkey breeds can reproduce naturally???
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    You can keep them... just might not have any fertile eggs... if they don't keel over first.

    Heritage breeds can mate normally.
  6. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    What are heritage breeds??? I dunno, I just don't want to spend money on birds that aren't gonna be able to lay fertile eggs....I want to be able to independently replenish my flock....Any ideas are helpful, and just to let you know they will be raised on quite a bit of acreage. I don't know how free ranging works with turkeys, I don't know if they come home at night (assuming they don't) or whatever. I dunno. Just an idea my mom and I were talking about!
  7. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Heritage breeds include Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Slate, Black Spanish, and White Holland. Later added to the standard were the Royal Palm, White Midget and Beltsville Small White.

    Be aware these birds can FLY! So some serious flight feather trimming or penning will be required to keep them home. Do you have fences to keep them on your property?
  8. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    yeah, we have fences...it's actually on my uncles property, he lets my mom live there cause she's sick and can't work. All I'm worried about is having turkeys that can reproduce on their own, and I wanted some opinions as to the cost. My mom's on a tight budget, so I don't want to get in too deep.
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    Broad breasted types are too large to get close enough to do the deed, and the hens would likely break the eggs sitting on them. Heritage types breed naturally, and if you keep a bit of feed out they will stick around. Turkeys and geese can forage for themselves for part of the year, but I think that what they eat over the winter still would give you a higher cost than buying the meat. Heritage turkeys are smaller than the BB types, the larger of the heritage are about the size of wild turkeys with varieties like the royal palm being considerably smaller. They are 'single breasted', so you won't have the thick breast meat. There is actually the same amount of breast meat, but the keel is longer so the muscle covers a longer area. I had a palm/bourbon cross hen hatch out some eggs, I kept them locked up for a few weeks then let them out. The mom and babies joined a wild hen with babies that were a little bit older and they all ranged together. I would put feed in the barn for my group, and the wild turkeys started coming in and waiting for me to put food down so that they could get some too! When I wanted to lock them up for the winter, I just put the feed down in the barn like I always did and closed the doors while they were eating. Caught my group and let the wilds back out.
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    If you care only about the price per pound, then you should buy from the store. Industrially raised turkeys and geese are kept for a very short time, just long enough to reach slaughter weight. They are intensively farmed in barns with thousands of birds, 24 hour light, high protein feed and little room to move.

    If you care about providing high quality, wholesome food for you and your family, then you should raise them yourself. You cannot do it anywhere as cheaply; but that's not why any of raise our own meat birds. It's all about ensuring that the animals yo use for meat were treated humanely.

    My geese sell for around $50 for Christmas. It is a fair price, as waterfowl only lay in winter. I have to keep them for up to 10 months and all the little costs do add up. I have never done turkeys, as goose is far superior food; but you can get them late in Summer for fattening prior to Thanksgiving. So I imagine it could possibly be less expensive than a goose.... but turkeys don't graze, while geese do, so that factors into the ammount of food they'll eat.

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