What kind of turkeys are best for first timers?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Quailer21, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Quailer21

    Quailer21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im looking into getting some turkey eggs to hatch as pets. I was wondering what kinds are most docile and friendly towards other birds and humans?


    Thanks Chris
     
  2. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only raise Holland Whites, so far, but what I have read on these threads is that your Heritage turkeys behave about the same. Like every other living thing, some are very passive and some are Dennis the Mennises. Some like to be held and petted, some do not. It is my understanding that the one thing that differs is that if Mama raises them they have better survival and foraging skills and less friendly, but if you hand raise them, they imprint more on you as Mama and are more people friendly. I hope this helps. I plan on hatching and raising 4 or 5 more breeds this year to see which ones do best in a double blind taste test, and will be reporting on the results after Thanksgiving. I think I will also find out that the breed doesn't change their personality as much as environment.[​IMG]
     
  3. Quailer21

    Quailer21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I think I might just get some eggs and hatch them so they are more people friendly. One more thing, whats a heritage turkey??
     
  4. Charm1704

    Charm1704 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised 3 Bourbon Reds...they are like pets and think I am their mother...they follow me around every where......they are supposed to be at the top of the list...on best tasting!...~Charm1704
     
  5. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you get eggs, be sure you let them set large side up for at least 8 hours after they arrive and before you put them into your preheated incubator, so the yolk can settle back into place properly.
    Heritage turkey, by definition,

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    Heritage turkeys of various breeds on a farm in Maryland
    A heritage turkey is one of a variety of strains of domestic turkey which retains historic characteristics that are no longer present in the majority of turkeys raised for consumption since the mid-20th century. Heritage turkeys can be differentiated from other domestic turkeys in that they are biologically capable of being raised in a manner that more closely matches the natural behavior and life cycle of wild turkeys. Heritage turkeys have a relatively long lifespan and a much slower growth rate than turkeys bred for industrial agriculture, and unlike industrially-bred turkeys, can reproduce without artificial insemination.
    More than ten different turkey breeds are classified as heritage turkeys, including the Auburn, Buff, Black, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, WhiteHolland, Royal Palm, Slate, Standard Bronze, and Midget White. Some prominent chefs, farmers, and food critics have also contended that heritage turkey meat tastes better and is more healthy.
    Despite increasing interest in heritage turkeys, they are still a tiny minority, perhaps 25,000 raised annually compared to more than 200,000,000 industrial turkeys, and most heritage breeds are endangered in some respect
    Size ranging from the smallest to Standard Bronze and White Holland, being the largest, the rest falling somewhere in between.
    Hybred turkeys such as the Broad Breasted types are Hybrids and have to be AI, Heritage turkeys reproduce naturally. Also see APA standards for an approved list, if you intend to show them.
     
  6. Quailer21

    Quailer21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks I will. I'm still wondering which breeds are most hardy and dont fight with each other as much?(I know each bird is unique)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  7. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're going to get a different answer from everyone. I've raised Commercial whites, Midget Whites, Bourbons, and Bronzes. The Bourbons are by far, way by FAR, friendlier and more curious than any other variety of turkey that I have raised. They love their treats and will come up to the house asking for them, knocking politely on the door first of course. They will sit in your lap and fall asleep. They will follow you around all day checking out what you're doing to make sure it's being done right. ANY noise will get the boys going to tell you that something strange is going on. They're great layers but I can't talk about how well they nest because I take all their eggs and put them in the incubator. I can't afford to let a turkey take off almost three months while she lays the eggs, sits the nest and then recovers. Anyway, that's my opinion. Good Luck!
     
  8. Baybrio

    Baybrio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first turkeys were Narragansetts. Very nice temperament. I recommend them. Only problem I had with them, they wanted to be with me all the time, if they saw me in the car they would follow me down the driveway. I had to put them in a pen when I left. [​IMG]
     
  9. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you only want them as pets, you might want to look into the Royal Palms, which are called the eye candy of turkeys. They are the showiest, but I have been told by people who raise them, they are not so good for eating!
     
  10. Baybrio

    Baybrio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want them for pets you may not want commercial broad breasted. They typically do not reproduce naturally.

    Although I only have experience with Narragansett, I think the best approach for you is to figure out which of the heritage breeds you find most attractive, buy poults (or eggs) and keep the ones whose personalities you like the most. I could tell fairly early on how "people oriented" each of my turkeys would turn out.
     

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