The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Poultry & Waterfowl => Topic started by: cazz67 on July 11, 2008, 08:54:23 pm

Title: Turkeys
Post by: cazz67 on July 11, 2008, 08:54:23 pm

I am new to small holding, have been keeping horses and sheep for a few years now as pets.  This year I have gained 3 turkeys, they are now 9 weeks old and I have them in a stable at the moment on a bed of straw, I just want some advice on when they can go outside and at what age can you tell the sex of them.  Any advice most welcome.
Title: Re: Turkeys
Post by: Rosemary on July 11, 2008, 10:03:17 pm
Hi and welcome. I'm sure someone will be able to help - just not me!
Title: Re: Turkeys
Post by: pigsatlesrues on July 19, 2008, 11:07:14 pm
My female  turkeys were bought at about 5 weeks old, and have enjoyed being outside since the day they arrived.  They are locked in at night of course. We have had Homer for a year now and he is grand. His original Marge was taken by the fox in the spring, so I have now bought him a new Marge and a Betty, and even though they are young, he displays for them all day long.

The males heads are totally different from the females.  They get all warty and develop a long gobbler as I call it, around their neck. They also have a lump in the middle of their forehead which develops like a huge worm.  All this on and around their head is all there for displaying to their women.The lumpy thing on the forehead extends and contracts - it hangs at a lenth of about 3 inches when he is full display and dangles at the side of his beak.

The gobbler bit under the chin also hangs low and changes colour when he displays and then contracts again when he has finished.

The females have sqrawny little heads which look very small in comparison to the size of their body.

Not a technical explanation but I hope it helps.

Kate  :turkey:
Title: Re: Turkeys
Post by: Rosemary on July 20, 2008, 08:38:40 am
I watched "Jimmy's farming heroes" the other night and one of the farmers was the chap who is credited with saving the Bronze turkey in the UK - Paul Kelly, I think. I can't remember what he called the "gobbler" and the "worm" and I've deleted the programme - but he said they were for cooling the bird down - full of blood vessels so if the bird is ho, they expand and act as heat exchangers.

They'd be pretty small here today.
Title: Re: Turkeys
Post by: pigsatlesrues on July 21, 2008, 11:04:12 am
I didn't realise that Rosemary.  I am guessing then that when Homer displays to his ladies he gets a bit 'hot under the collar'!

Kate  :turkey: