what breed of turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by sydney13, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanksgiving has got me thinking about raising a few turkeys but i really know nothing about the breeds. Im interested in a breed that will be a good forager and need little commercial feed. i would like one that is hardy against weather and diseases. i really like the look of royal palms, can someone tell me about their experiences with these. and what about midget whites, ive heard good things about those turkeys? do certain breed produce a better tasting carcass then others? And does anyone have any good links on different turkey breeds?
     
  2. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like to raise the blue palms, slates, and the sweet grass, I find they have a nice personality! I have not had good experience with naragansetts or bronze turkeys, but that may have just been a bad tempered group.

    If you want info on lots of heritage breeds, check out www.porterturkeys.com they have an amazing website, with loads of info on so many color variations!

    One thing I have noticed, is that if you want friendly turkeys, you really have to spend a fair amount of time with them as babies, handle them alot, and they become lovebugs, ignore them, and they ignore you, or get unpleasant when they get older. Warning tho, a turkey with a crush on you when they get big can be a strange experience! We had a blue palm that wanted to be in our laps or on our shoulder ALL the time, she followed us everywhere, and completely ignored the tom! Poor guy, he was displaying for her 24/7, and she didnt even know he existed!!

    We love our turkeys, and raise some every year, I bet you will like it too!

    Enjoy!
     
  3. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    We raise Royal Palm, Midget White, White Holland, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White and standard Bronze and have pics on our website. All the heritage varietes will require feed even if you free range them, all can handle weather (there are BYC members in the upper mid west and Canada, that's about as cold as it gets and theirs do fine)

    Steve
     
  4. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Royal Palms were basically bred to be an ornamental bird and IMO they don't carry a lot of meat on them because of that though you'll find that the heritage breeds aren't going to have as much breast meat as a Broad Breasted commercial bird anyway. They are some pretty birds though. The taste tests done with different heritage and commercial turkeys have shown Midgets and Bourbons to be the best tasting birds with Butterball coming in dead last. I adore my Midgets but for pure personality the Bourbons are best. Porter Turkeys has some good pics of most heritage turkey breeds.
     
  5. themoorethemerrier

    themoorethemerrier Out Of The Brooder

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    We LOVE our Bourbon Reds! Very friendly birds, even the tom is fairly relaxed. As soon as they hear my husband calling the run to the front pasture and gobble and cluck away. They're excellent foragers (we also have free-choice feed in the barn) and good mothers. Though I will say, they take a long time to put on a decent amount of weight.
     
  6. ChickenPotPie

    ChickenPotPie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I chose Royal Palms as my first turkey and I absolutely love them! They are better than I was hoping for which was just a small, heritage bird, that would hatch their own babes.

    We began with them cooped but since an enormous 500+ yr old oak tree destroyed our coop, they've been 100% free range. They've hung around the make shift poultry area that houses the smaller birds now. They're sweet birds and I love hearing the chirps of the females. The exception is the Tom who's got a testosterone charged chip on his shoulder but he's small enough to not freak me out too much.

    The hens really are excellent mothers! We had a kazillion eggs this year from just two hens. We incubated a few clutches and let them each sit on several eggs. My hen who sat on her eggs out in the pasture fought off a bobcat and large dogs to protect her poults. I'm sure they could fight off the small coyotes we have here, too.

    They sleep in our black walnut trees or on top of other coops. Of course, we give them commercial feed but they get by on little of it. They've been excellent foragers. I'm very concerned about rattlesnakes and scorpions here because I have little children yet, we've not seen a single rattler by the house since the turkeys have been on patrol. I think the snakes are afraid of them. Bugs have nearly disappeared, too. They've eaten them. I've seen them eat all sorts of things - walnuts, olives, and berries that people wouldn't.

    Did I mention that their babies go like hotcakes? The ones we hatched went uber fast each time we advertised.

    They're gorgeous birds - very pleasing to the eye but, taste? I don't know yet. I'll let you know after tomorrow. [​IMG] Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  7. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

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    Mine free range right now, but they wait on Mama every morning for their gamebird crumbles. [​IMG]
    I have MW's, Royal Palms and Blue Slates and they follow me everywhere and just talk. [​IMG]
     

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