Wish I had a home raised bird on the table. Questions for next year.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cupman, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Turkey comes out of the oven in about 40 minutes and I'm just jealous it's a store bought and not a home raised. I am building a new chicken coop and moving the chickens into their new area. I'll have an old coop that has a 90 square foot run and a 30 square foot hen house. I wanted to get 3 or 4 turkeys for next season because I would love to eat my own bird. So my 2 questions are:

    1) What are space requirements for turkeys in the run and in the coop? I will probably do big turkeys, not midget white.

    2) Can multiple males be raised together or are they destined to battle for the hens?

    Also a good breed suggestion would be nice. Truth be told I would love to have 3 or 4 turkeys as pets and breeding and incubate extras for meat. Well thanks in advance, happy Thanksgiving.
  2. chicken farmer 1997

    chicken farmer 1997 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    lewis county ky
    the coop sounds big enough, you can not breed meat turkeys. you can only breed heritage breeds like blue state, bourben red, etc.
  3. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Oh good to know... a lot like chickens then, unfortunately.

    What would be a good heritage breed that I can hatch and raise for eating purposes? I am not looking for some big juicy turkey like I can buy, it really does not bother me to eat a more scrawny, gamey turkey that I raised myself.

    Also, what is the textbook recommended space requirements? If my coop is big enough for 5 or 6 or whatever I'd like to do that many. I just don't want them to get crowded and unhappy.
  4. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx
    Well as long as you don't over cook the turkey it will be just as moist and tender. They are not gamey tasting. They are a little more flavorful but in a good way. The coup will be fine for 3 or 4 and once they feather out will be fine outside in the trees. Get any heritage bird you like the looks of by April and he will be ready by Thanksgiving. They are great pets and you will get attached. Make sure you don't name one of them, it will make it easier come processing time.
  5. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    A good start on researching the breed you want is http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/wtchlist.html#turkeys

    coop sounds fine.

    If you just want table birds any hatchery is fine to order poults from. If you plan on showing, that is a bit different. Duane Urch is a good show turkey (and chicken) hatchery.
  6. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:last year we deep fried a store bought bird.. this year we cooked one of our heritage birds the same way.. used the same seasoning too
    with both birds being cooked the same way I can honestly say that the heritage bird was just as moist as the store bought and not at all tough

    my husband commented on how much better the bird from this year tasted

    I like to eat the livers.. in the heritage bird the liver was so much better.. made me realize that store bought birds have a funny chemical taste to the livers that the heritage bird didnt have
    the meat on the heritage bird we cooked was a lot more flavorful and didn't have a funny chemical after taste either.. i never noticed the chemical taste before since we had always had store bought birds when i was a kid.. i can really tell the difference now.. so we plan to continue growing our own turkeys
  7. chicken farmer 1997

    chicken farmer 1997 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    lewis county ky
    Quote:listed from largest to smallest
    bourbon red, narragansett, blue slate, black spanish tom 33 lbs hen 18 lbs
    royal palm tom 22lbs hen 12 lbs
    midget white, eastern wild tom 20 lbs hen 12 lbs.

    these all from meyer hatchery.
  8. java girl 2

    java girl 2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    Quote:# 1 the toms need 5 sq ft per tom and the hens are 4 sq ft per hen . #2 the toms can be raised together for up to 30 weeks but I have had them together longer. they will fight sometimes but there is no blooded fights it's to see who is the top bird [​IMG] p.s 1 tom can do 10 hens.
  9. Junaleefarm

    Junaleefarm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2011
    Crane, Mo
    We ate a beef roast for thanksgiving this year because we didn't have a turkey. We plan on raising a few turkeys next year- dinner wasn't the same.

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