The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Poultry & Waterfowl => Topic started by: langdon on February 06, 2010, 10:36:35 am

Title: turkeys
Post by: langdon on February 06, 2010, 10:36:35 am
does anyone fatten ou turkeys for the christmass table(sorry to mention the word so soon!!!)
we would love to do it. i think its spring you get the little ones?
how easy are they to successfully get ready for the table.
any advice will be app. ;)
Title: Re: turkeys
Post by: SuzyJ on February 06, 2010, 10:54:11 am
We keep and breed turkeys here for the table and they're fairly easy to care for. Slightly different from chickens as they don't come home to roost at night so need to be put away. As long as they're fed well and allowed some space to range they get to a decent weight by November.

Not the brightest of creatures and we did lose a few when we first started as they tend to fly a bit and 2 of ours landed in water and drowned! But they are funny to watch and can be very comical. I love the noises they make.

We do clip their wings as they've been known to fly over the garden wall and go off wandering across the fields.

We keep ours separate from the chickens and find that's best otherwise they get bullied.

Ours usually start breeding here in March so the first clutch of eggs are usually ready around the first week in april.

Title: Re: turkeys
Post by: gavo on February 06, 2010, 11:03:14 am
We do. We use Bourbon Reds they DO NOT get massive we average 10-15lbs but they taste fantastic . They are very hardy and do very well in a free range set up.They are very active and like to range ;they also love to roost really high [as in on top of our tall barn roof]

We have also had a few commercial turkeys ;you have to watch how long you keep them as they get very heavy ;and towards the end they tend to mainly roost a lot; we also kept these free range but they don't taste as good in our opinion.
Title: Re: turkeys
Post by: langdon on February 06, 2010, 07:01:07 pm
thanks for your reply, i read in another reply the person clips their birds wings,
do you do this to your turkeys?
how are they health wise e.g. are they prone to much probs or are they tough.
once again thanks for reply, this is something we really want to do ;)
Title: Re: turkeys
Post by: shetlandpaul on February 06, 2010, 08:56:26 pm
just keep them wormed and they should be fine. i don't bother clipping because they can jump/flap pretty well. they do like to wander. our last lot were home birds but the lot brefore were always taking themselves for walks. they are big birds so they eat lots but they are not in the least saggresive. thou they will stop the chickens fighting.
Title: Re: turkeys
Post by: harry on February 06, 2010, 09:33:14 pm
as i remember, you have day olds in july/august. feed growers for about 8 weeks while free ranging them when off heat, the growers is to build a good frame/ bones, free range them till november feeding growers to get them in a night, i used to rattle the bucket of pellets and they came running.feed your fattening mix for 8 weeks up to xmas and restrict the birds movement.. the stags will put on more weight than the hens for the same amount of feed, you only get out what you put in, ie if you buy a heavy breed 25lb they will at more than a medium breed say 15lb, if you want to feed fatterners pellets ok but if not you feed barley/ wheat/ maize grits and field beans or tic beans, these beans are high protien 25%, permanent CLEAN water, the starter feeds may have medicine in them, a good free ranger is a norfolk black medium.