Which is more economical...raising chickens for meat or turkeys?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by marquisella, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't, or haven't yet, eaten my chickens. I'm planning on getting some turkeys for the family consumption.

    Am I better off raising meat chickens or turkeys?

    No one seems to really discuss the differnece.

    It would seem to me, that chickens mature faster, but you need more of them to equal a turkey.

    Turkeys mature slower, but you get more bang for your buck per bird? I don't know....

    Any ideas?

    Sue
     
  2. SaraF

    SaraF Out Of The Brooder

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    It depends on the way you look at it, but sadly, I'd have to say it's more economical to raise chickens for consumption. The get a better rate of grain per pound than turkeys and are mature in half the time to get a decent turkey. You could raise 2 batches of twenty meat birds (raise 20 birds to 6 weeks, butcher. start agian) at the time it would take to raise just less than 10 turkeys to 18weeks. Thats what I have noticed at least when i'm raising my turkeys and chickens are the same time.
    I had about 8 turkeys going through the same amount of feed as 20 meat chickens each week, but the chickens were gaining dramatically more compared to the turkeys, and chickens only take half the time to raise. so ratio of 40chickens to 8 turkeys, which is about 5 birds per 1 turkey. Our chickens usually weighed in at 7 pounds live weight. and our turkeys at 35lbs live weight. So you get the same amount of weight if your taking 5 chickens to 1 turkey in the end, like i was.
    If it is not as much of a "which gives me more meat" but a "which will save me money, but for the same amount" I would go with the chickens.
    Though I must say, raising turkeys is a heck of a lot funner!
     
  3. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    For personal consumption? Or sale?

    How will you be raising them? (Include feed, environment, rearing, management, etc.)

    What varieties? Cornish X/BB or Dual Purpose/Heritage?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  4. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm not sure, I was thinking of Nangaresetes or a mixed breed for my own consumption. Chickens, probably cornish crosses. I'd also have to take into consideration slaughter costs, I wouldn't do it myself, so 5 chickesn vs 1 turkey?

    I've never had turkeys, and would like a little "fun" as people say they are. My chickens...not so much.

    Sue
     
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Turkeys have much better personalities, but for profit or feed conversion I would go chickens. The Naragansetts I have are slow growers. Got them in June and they are nowhere near ready for slaughter. I would suggest BB's, Bronze or Whites, if you wanted speed and food conversion in turkeys. My BBB's that I got in April at 25+ and 35+ lbs, and I kept them on limited feed. I'm sure someone else has more experience raising turkeys and can give you better information.
     
  6. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    In that case, I'd say hands down the chickens will be more economical for you.
     
  7. SaraF

    SaraF Out Of The Brooder

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    What I raised was the BBW turkeys and Cornish X chickens, both breeds are the more "superior" and fast growing of the two birds.

    BBW turkeys will grown from poult to (tom) 35lbs, (hen) 25lbs in 18weeks with turkey grower and high protein. Any heritage breed will take a lot longer to grow. My royal palms are exactly 18weeks and I'd say my hens are only 10lbs, my toms about 20lbs? If you perfer to raise a heritage breed for consumption i would recommend the Midget White. But if it is for your own consumption, it just depends on how long you want to wait for it to grow and how much money on feed you are willing to spend.

    As far as butchering, my butcher is $2 per chicken, $10 per turkey. so it would be the same cost for 5 chickens per 1 turkey at least at my butcher.
     
  8. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No matter how you cut it there is no comparison between chicken meat and turkey meat . Turkey being superior eating.

    I quit raising chickens for meat loooong time ago. There is lots more tastier choices around.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Interesting! What do you raise for meat, or what would you recommend?
     
  10. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raise now: (from largest birds to smallest)

    Silver Appleyard ducks just started them, for an ocassional treat when I get tired of gamebirds.

    Guinea hens (gourmet meat, personally I prefer their meat over pheasant meat, and they are much easier and cheaper to raise)

    Chukar Partridges, larger than quail, another gourmet meat, tastewise comparable to quail .

    Butler Bobwhites largest quails, take long to processing time, have not eat them yet but they are growing well.

    Coturnix quail: Jumbo Brown, Texas A&M whites, easiest, fastest growing, surerior taste (over chicken anyway) lots of gourmet quality eggs.

    If the meat of Butlers is similar to Chukars I will probably drop either breed to make things simpler.

    I like variety and raising my own assures healthy nutritious meat, I may still have steak once in the while, but thats OK.

    I just like to experience different flavor variety, then will stay what suits me the best.

    What one might want to raise depends, everybodys palate is different.

    However in my experiece and opinion chicken meat is definitely on the bottom of the poultry's food chain as far as taste is concerned.

    Next season I will try some heritage turkeys so I do not have to eat storebought garbage for Thanksgiving stuffed with hormons, antibiotics grown in crowded an inhumane conditions and pumped with water after slaughter.
     

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