When do you harvest your heritage turkeys?

PioneerChicks

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I plan on getting some turkeys next year. I want to go for Bourbon Reds and White Hollands. The problem is the place I was planning on ordering them from only starts selling poults halfway through June. Do you think I could harvest a couple of the bigger ones for Thanksgiving dinner, or should I harvest them around December, or maybe even keep them for a whole year? When do you harvest yours?
 

R2elk

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Feb 24, 2013
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I plan on getting some turkeys next year. I want to go for Bourbon Reds and White Hollands. The problem is the place I was planning on ordering them from only starts selling poults halfway through June. Do you think I could harvest a couple of the bigger ones for Thanksgiving dinner, or should I harvest them around December, or maybe even keep them for a whole year? When do you harvest yours?
I just processed a Sweetgrass jake that was hatched about June 15 of this year. It dressed out at 10 lb.s 11 oz. The ones that I did last year around 5 months old averaged 12 lbs. dressed weight.

You can process them at any age. The older they are, the more they will weigh.
 
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PioneerChicks

Longing for spring...
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Sep 4, 2019
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I just processed a Sweetgrass jake that was hatched about June 15 of this year. It dressed out a 10 lb.s 11 oz. The ones that I did last year around 5 months old averaged 12 lbs. dressed weight.

You can process them at any age. The older they are, the more they will weigh.
That is really helpful, thank you! A lot of people have been telling me "7 months minimum, a year is better" or "I don't do any under a year" and I know I don't really want to do that. Thank you so much!
 

R2elk

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That is really helpful, thank you! A lot of people have been telling me "7 months minimum, a year is better" or "I don't do any under a year" and I know I don't really want to do that. Thank you so much!
The people that I give these carcasses have been very happy with the taste and the quality of the meat. Since they are small families (2 people) they also appreciate the small size.

I appreciate the reduction in my feed bill.
 

unhitched

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Nov 28, 2018
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I dont really keep to close of calendaring of my turkeys but I start incubating when they start laying, as I dont have them under lights. I personally find that it is hard to get a store bought sized bird by Thanksgiving. So I always keep a couple for more than a year just so when we have the whole family over we dont have to process 3 birds.
 

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