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Turkey Breeds?

 
Andrew Seamans
Posts: 6
Location: The wilds of Fitchburg Mass
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Hey All,

I have a large family and just got two acres. I would like to hear some breed suggestions for the northeast.

I am thinking pastured pen and some free ranging here and there.

Also how long does it take a heritage breed to get big enough for thanksgiving?

Thanks
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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Andrew Seamans wrote:Also how long does it take a heritage breed to get big enough for thanksgiving?
Thanks


seven months-ish. really depends on how big you want them. don't expect a 25-lb bird, though. even the wacky modern large-breasted birds need 21 weeks to start putting on fat (fat=flavor for turkeys).

I have Narragansetts, and I like them a lot. could just be that I would get attached to any turkey, but these just seem to have a whole lot of personality. I haven't eaten any myself yet, but the one I sold got rave reviews. he was 24 weeks old and 14 pounds alive.
 
Andrew Seamans
Posts: 6
Location: The wilds of Fitchburg Mass
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How do you house your Narragansetts? and would you mix them with the broad breasted turkeys?
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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Andrew Seamans wrote:How do you house your Narragansetts?


I build some mobile coops that I move them around in most of the year. honestly, though, they roost on the roofs of the coops or in trees. and they seem to pick the smallest and highest branch, with sometimes hilarious results.

starting probably next week until the end of breeding season, I'll keep them in the barn coop where I've got some houses for the ladies to have some privacy for laying eggs. they'll still go outside, and they sometimes prefer to sleep on top of the barn instead of inside on a roost.

last year, a tom escaped. I figured he would just pick a tree and be fine outside the fence for one night. he picked a tree, but it was a dwarf apple, and he was only 24" off the ground and got nabbed by one or more coyotes.

Andrew Seamans wrote:and would you mix them with the broad breasted turkeys?


I wouldn't, but mostly because I wouldn't keep broad breasted turkeys. part of it is that I don't want to have to buy poults every year, and I'm not going to be artificially inseminating a turkey. that limits me to heritage breeds. stories about them being too big to walk also turn me off of the modern production birds.

I don't think there would be a problem keeping them together, though. the broad breasted birds certainly get a lot bigger, but they're generally pretty lethargic so I don't think they would harass the smaller birds. whether or not the more active heritage birds would give the slower big birds trouble, I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't expect a problem in that direction either.
 
Ernie Schmidt
Posts: 81
Location: Olympia, Washington
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I have Midget White turkeys. For a "homestead" type of turkey it can't be beat. They are small enough to breed well and lay eggs well. I have eggs in the incubator as we speak.
 
Emdad Haque
Posts: 8
Location: Rajshahi
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Six to seven months.
 
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