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Author Topic: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas  (Read 10757 times)

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
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advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« on: November 27, 2010, 11:15:50 am »
Hi There :wave:

  I am thinking of raising some turkeys for next christmas. Can anyone tell me how old they should be at dispatch so I can work out when I need to get some as chicks. Also, any suggested breeds for a turkey novice and what accomadation they would need.

In fact any turkey advice generally would be apprieciated.

Buffy
visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
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shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 02:53:11 pm »
it depends on breed and the weight you want. we get eggs in mid may and that does us.

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 06:45:41 pm »
 I agree research what you want ..a rare breed or a supa dupa fat one...! Our wild north american are small , 10lb hens, but tastiest you will get. The crosses with a norfolk white we killed last month for the freezer a lot heavier but will not be as tasty  even though they hatched at the same time. So slower to mature = tasty, quick to mature = not so tasty, same as a chicken.

Bright Raven

  • Joined May 2010
  • North Shropshire
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 08:12:09 pm »
I will be dispatching mine Xmas week at 28 weeks. Norfolk Blacks. Biggest will be around 15kg.
Julia xxx 3 acres and a day job!!!! Chickens, Turkeys, Sheep, Pigs, Veggies and Homebrew. Husband, son, pets, chutney and music.
If I am here it's because I am putting my feet up!

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
    • www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 06:29:59 pm »
Thanks for the advice,

  I dont need a huge bird, I would rather have something tasty. I will speak to some local breeders and see what's available for next spring.


Buffy
visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 06:37:17 pm »
avoid whites and bronze to big. the black is a smaller middle breed. there are others that are good birds but are more for keeping and they will produce a smaller bird.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
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Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 04:20:48 pm »
Thanks for the advice,

  someone near by was selling the following recently,

"For sale unsexed bourbon red turkeys 2 at 10 weeks old @ £10.00 each and 5 at 7 weeks old @ £8.00. Buyer to collect"

Are they a slow maturing / tasty breed? Would I need to buy this breed now to be ready for next year?

I have found it quite difficult to find much info on turkeys on the intranet so appreciate any recomendatins or advice.

Buffy
visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2010, 07:18:47 pm »
they would be ready june july of next year. don't keep them too long for a full roast. they would be fine for cutting upby next christmas but could be getting a bit chewy. at that price go for it. 10 quid is about right for a 10 week old turkey. a pound a week is the normal for blacks and bronzes.
Bourbon Reds slaughtered at market weight are 16 pounds (7.25 kilos) in toms and 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) in females. not massive but they will do a nice meal.
the 7 week olds will need extra heat at the moment obviously. so a heat lamp and a pretty draught free shed would be needed. the ten week olds will still need shelter but don't need heat. make an enclosed run for a month or so untill they are big enough to protect themselves from preditors. order some turkey crumb  for the younger ones as it may be hard to get hold of at the moment. if you can't get it get chick crumb and add hard boiled eggs to it. do not get upset if you lose some they are weaker than chickens when young but pretty tough when adults.

piggy

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 10:07:04 pm »
Shetlandpaul

Some near us is advertising norfolk blacks 19weeks old £10 each,would they be ready for xmas.

Thanks

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2010, 09:42:58 am »
probably not. however at that price get them if they look healthy. if any are bigger than normal it may just do. weigh them and then take off about a half and that would give you a rough idea of there dressed weight. even if they are not ready for christmas you would have some seriously cheap turkey meals. i wonder why they have raised them to 19 weeks and are then selling them at a loss. still it would be to your gain. just make sure they are healthy. you really don't want sick turkeys.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
    • www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2010, 06:45:23 pm »
Thanks Shetland Paul,

 the bourbons have allready been sold but thanks for giving me an idea of price. I have been reasearching what I can about Turkeys and have found a bit of info from US sites.

I have discovered that they should not be kept with chickens so I'm thinking of keeping them in a stable with perches. I am also informed that if you dont herd them back to their coop at dusk they roost in a tree and get eaten by foxes the following morning. As I cant get home till well after dusk in winter they would need to be in a fox proof run.

I still dont know much about the various breeds and which ones I should get but I am thinking of a trio to breed from ( I may change my mind about this idea) I am going to ask Santa for a book called "Starting with Turkeys" Katie Thear.

Perhaps I should start a "which are the tastiest turkeys?" poll ;D

Thanks as ever,

Buffy
visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 07:48:13 pm »
don't worry about the turkeys once they are adult they are really easy. we keep them with the chickens without problems but people do have issues with blackhead. just keep your hens wormed and they should be ok. going into trees is quite possible but again not a problem with us as there are no trees. they take themselves to bed without any help. foxs well yes they would be a problem but if you have hens then you know how to keep them safe. but don't pen them up they love to wander about. whilst young watch out for seagulls and crows. if you hatch any get them on to a non slip floor as soon as they are dry. if they have deformed legs treat them quickly and it should resolve quite fast. if you leave it then most likely you will have to cull them when they get older.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
    • www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 01:19:57 pm »
Thanks Shetland Paul,

  they sound as though they wouldnt require much more effort than my hens. Having said that I do have lots of trees and buildings for them to roost on so I would hope to find some as obliging as yours in order to have them take them selves home to roost. I really like the idea of having them in the stable with access to a paddock but I need to plan this out.

Do they need the same dry, draft free well ventilated space as hens or are they happy out and about in winter with snow on their backs?

Buffy
visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk

TheCaptain

  • Joined May 2010
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 04:48:36 pm »
Shetland Paul is right - keep your chickens well wormed and you shouldnt have an issue with blackhead.  We had one that's been a bit poorly but we started with 15 and will finish with 15.  They are Norfolk Blacks, and got them from 6 brothers for £7 as day olds...

CameronS

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: advice on raising turkeys for next christmas
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2010, 07:55:11 pm »
just bumpign this thread a little (sorry)

but can turkeys be housed with hens/ducks or not?

 

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