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Country Discussion Topics
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Turkey Poult
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Zenia    Posted 03-03-2005 at 13:27:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thinking about getting a Turkey poult this year, and see if I get the nerve to have it for Thanksgiving.

When should I get one?
Where? Feed store, I assume. I'll have to check around, my feed store only carries chicks.
Male, or female? I don't need a big bird for T-day. There is always the possibility it will end up as a pet... Which makes a better bird?
I read they should not be kept with chickens because of some disease. But I have no room or much inclination to keep them separate, too much hassle. I have the rabbits with the chickens, & they do fine. Is it really that big a deal?

I do believe in the old saying, if you can't stand to see the slaughter you should not eat the meat... We'll see. I think I can do it. Of course, the boys might get attached, that's another story.

One more thing - which breed? I don't want the unnaturally fat artificial semination commercial bred kind. After reading how commercial turkeys are produced, I'd rather eat tofurkey for Thanksgiving...

Colin in WI    Posted 03-03-2005 at 23:09:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Your local feed store should be able to get white or possibly bronze commercial varieties for you. If you start now those birds will be humonguous by Thanksgiving and having problems walking because of their weight. We start a few now to be ready for county fair in July and if we keep those same birds for the holidays they can easily weigh 45-55 pounds dressed. What you really should consider is to try finding and raising one of the heritage breeds. They are all smaller, much more attractive, and grow at a rate that will allow you to start anytime in spring for a reasonable sized bird at holiday time. If you decide later that you've got a pet on your hands any of these breeds will work for you. We raise the commercial broad-breasted varieties purely for meat production but raise Narragansetts and Royal Palms for show and to help protect these threatened varieties. The link I've given will take you to a site that discusses many heritage breeds and offers pictures so that you'll know what the animals will look like. Check it out. One last thing...don't do just one. Do two or three at least. If you do one and something gets it or it fails for some reason, you'll be really disappointed. If you do several, you can share with friends or put in the freezer for use at other times of the year. One other last thing...your local county extension office should be able to help you find the local 4-H poultry leader, sources for the rare birds and places that will process your live bird at the end. Good luck and have fun.

Zenia    Posted 03-04-2005 at 08:59:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks! Great site. I'll contact the local 4-H & work from there. I don't want a commercial breed, I think one or more of the heritage ones would be great!

RN    Posted 03-03-2005 at 17:52:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bourbon Red turkey might fit your needs- not as big as nearly infertile commercial breeds, can breed naturaly if want to establish flock. McMurray hatchery in Iowa has some in catalog-need to order more than one though, You're in southern California? - check if there's a organic farming newsletter for your area, may find small flock grower with some hatchlings available soon. Otherwise check for commercial breed availability, give it some exorcise, DON'T name it, and have for dinner. RN

Dell (WA)    Posted 03-03-2005 at 16:24:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Zenia..........unless you know how to S*X chickens, (and turkeys are the same) yer gonna haffta take 50/50 chance on yer poult being a tom or a hen. Don't really make much difference meat quality/tenderness/tastewize 'scept toms naturally grow bigger. Just butcher when less than 8mos old 'cuz that is when they molt into mature tuff-tasting tuff-meat birds. Most commercial turkeys are butchered at 3-4 months. Young animals are ALWAYS tender and tasty.

And yes, homeflock can raise turkeys, chickens, ducks in combined flock without the economic disaster losses of bird factory diseases. Nutriently feed requirement for turkeys a little more protein but that is for optimum growth. (economists call that time/value of money) Just feed'em what'cha feed yer chickens.

Commercial turkeys are WHITE BROADBREASTED because the white pinfeathers don't show when dressed like haffin'ta squeeze the BRONZE blackheads. Bronze's are a little more robust and self-forraging than the whites.

Can you imagine being a turkey grower and going to a party and conversationing yer cityslicker party-goers that part of your job is to mast*rbate turkeys? .............Dell (giggle)

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