Turkey

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wacocowboy
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Turkey

Postby wacocowboy » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:37 pm

Anyone here raise turkey? Can they run in the same pen as chicken? Outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas is there much of a market for them for a small scale place? I see them sold in pairs can you have multiple hens with one tom? Just doing some thinking. Any other info would be more than welcome. Thanks in advance.
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dun
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Re: Turkey

Postby dun » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 am

Even outside of breeding season you can only have 1 tom per pen. The can be raised with chickens but the toms will have a tendency to whip up on the chickens at times. Easter is also a good time to sell. Regular meat turkeys don;t sell well as pairs or trios. The heritage breeds, i.e. Bourbon Reds, Royal Palms, etc. have more demand for breeding birds.
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Re: Turkey

Postby Workinonit Farm » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:58 am

I used to run a few turkeys with my chickens, a bunch of years ago. I had Narragansett turkeys. I only 6 hens and one Tom, they all seemed to get along okay with the chickens.

As far as a market for them, I didn't really pursue it. I had a handful of people interested in the occasional bird. I ran them, mainly, for our own wants/needs.

In the county where my sister lives, there are a few folks raising "organic, heirloom" breeds for the purpose of selling them killed & processed and ready to cook. They are high-dollar birds! They also sell some at the farmer market in the summertime. Where they are, lotta folks willing to pay the price for that type of bird.
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Re: Turkey

Postby farmerjan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:37 pm

The heritage turkey market is a specialty market and the birds will command a fairly high price. There is a following and if you get in with the ones that sell at farmers markets etc, they can be an additional source of income.

Turkeys are susceptible to blackhead and can get the disease from being raised with chickens. I have raised mine with chickens and have never had a problem but most places that have turkeys will tell you that it is a no-no.

Toms can and are actually better off, if run with a flock of hens. In the wild there will be a tom to 6-15 hens. A good tom can cover up to 20 hens if young and active. Most purebred breeders will run 4-8 hens per tom to insure fertile eggs.

They are slower growing, and will do better if raised in a range type situation. Turkeys require a higher protein and they get that from foraging and eating more insects. They were often raised in orchards in the "old days" because they helped to keep down the pests that plagued fruit tree growers. They also do a good job of cleaning up the drops and spoiled fruit, and the bugs that overwinter like coddling moth eggs etc.

Royal palms do a good job of raising their own. Had several hens set and hatch and rear their own poults. Many of the older breeds will set but not all are good mothers.

The meat has a stronger flavor than commercially raised birds. They do not have the "double breasts" like commercial birds, but they can breed naturally because they are not "top heavy" .

I fed a commercial ration that is 20% protein and let them free range. I also get commercial white poults and do the same. They actually do pretty good until they get really big. You get some leg problems in the BB ones, but not like when they are kept confined and fed all they want.

The white ones will pluck cleaner than the dark feathered ones. Some of the breeds are better foragers than others, but if you raise them to forage from the time they are small, they usually all will do a pretty good job.
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Re: Turkey

Postby backhoeboogie » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:10 am

I keep turkey chicks separate from chickens until the turkeys are 3 months. Then they can run with the chickens.

Chickens scatter their feed. Turkeys seem to waste nearly nothing.

You can sell them all day long on Craigslist. Fertile turkey eggs $10 a dozen sell really well too.
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Re: Turkey

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:40 pm

wacocowboy wrote:Anyone here raise turkey? Can they run in the same pen as chicken? Outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas is there much of a market for them for a small scale place? I see them sold in pairs can you have multiple hens with one tom? Just doing some thinking. Any other info would be more than welcome. Thanks in advance.


I raise turkeys all year round and truly only sell a lot during special holidays... You know all my stuff is sold direct to the consumers and is live when it leaves or they kill it there or I do it for them. Raising hem from chicks is a lot of work and they can get sick and die easily I buy them after they are ready to go outside then keep them in separate pens. All of my stuff is separate. I will tell you this I may sell 15 a year and they cheapest I sell them for is like 35.00 bucks full grown various lbs I buy them and feed them on dirt cheap feed only fuel to get the feed but by the time they leave im pretty sure with all the work and stuff involved me personally im not making any money but what is good is it brings in folks and they typically buy other animals. I am not saying don't do it but think about what I just said.
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Re: Turkey

Postby wacocowboy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:45 pm

skyhightree1 wrote:
wacocowboy wrote:Anyone here raise turkey? Can they run in the same pen as chicken? Outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas is there much of a market for them for a small scale place? I see them sold in pairs can you have multiple hens with one tom? Just doing some thinking. Any other info would be more than welcome. Thanks in advance.


I raise turkeys all year round and truly only sell a lot during special holidays... You know all my stuff is sold direct to the consumers and is live when it leaves or they kill it there or I do it for them. Raising hem from chicks is a lot of work and they can get sick and die easily I buy them after they are ready to go outside then keep them in separate pens. All of my stuff is separate. I will tell you this I may sell 15 a year and they cheapest I sell them for is like 35.00 bucks full grown various lbs I buy them and feed them on dirt cheap feed only fuel to get the feed but by the time they leave im pretty sure with all the work and stuff involved me personally im not making any money but what is good is it brings in folks and they typically buy other animals. I am not saying don't do it but think about what I just said.


Yeah probably not going to they are low on my list of stuff I want to raise. I was curious so figured I would ask. I think I will look into getting chickens, rabbits, hogs and goats then may reconsider turkey down the road.
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Re: Turkey

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:36 pm

wacocowboy wrote:
skyhightree1 wrote:
wacocowboy wrote:Anyone here raise turkey? Can they run in the same pen as chicken? Outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas is there much of a market for them for a small scale place? I see them sold in pairs can you have multiple hens with one tom? Just doing some thinking. Any other info would be more than welcome. Thanks in advance.


I raise turkeys all year round and truly only sell a lot during special holidays... You know all my stuff is sold direct to the consumers and is live when it leaves or they kill it there or I do it for them. Raising hem from chicks is a lot of work and they can get sick and die easily I buy them after they are ready to go outside then keep them in separate pens. All of my stuff is separate. I will tell you this I may sell 15 a year and they cheapest I sell them for is like 35.00 bucks full grown various lbs I buy them and feed them on dirt cheap feed only fuel to get the feed but by the time they leave im pretty sure with all the work and stuff involved me personally im not making any money but what is good is it brings in folks and they typically buy other animals. I am not saying don't do it but think about what I just said.


Yeah probably not going to they are low on my list of stuff I want to raise. I was curious so figured I would ask. I think I will look into getting chickens, rabbits, hogs and goats then may reconsider turkey down the road.


Here my # 1 seller is chickens and goats... then hogs... before getting a bunch try a few of each at a time.. Also try to find alternative feeds... Feed is your biggest profit killer ASIDE from buying the animals sometimes
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Re: Turkey

Postby backhoeboogie » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:33 pm

skyhightree1 wrote:Here my # 1 seller is chickens and goats... then hogs... before getting a bunch try a few of each at a time.. Also try to find alternative feeds... Feed is your biggest profit killer ASIDE from buying the animals sometimes


When I can turn them all loose, they eat an awful lot of grass. They love to chase crickets and grasshoppers. Then they're out in the cow lot scratching for worms. They don't eat much feed when they can roam.
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Re: Turkey

Postby skyhightree1 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:43 pm

backhoeboogie wrote:
skyhightree1 wrote:Here my # 1 seller is chickens and goats... then hogs... before getting a bunch try a few of each at a time.. Also try to find alternative feeds... Feed is your biggest profit killer ASIDE from buying the animals sometimes


When I can turn them all loose, they eat an awful lot of grass. They love to chase crickets and grasshoppers. Then they're out in the cow lot scratching for worms. They don't eat much feed when they can roam.


Your probably right about them not eating much when they roam here thats not an option too many predators. My feed bill is cheap so I don't sweat any feed.
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Re: Turkey

Postby Craig Miller » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:38 pm

If they roam do you clip their wings like chickens?
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Re: Turkey

Postby backhoeboogie » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:14 pm

Craig Miller wrote:If they roam do you clip their wings like chickens?


I don't clip unless something becomes a problem. Everything comes to roost at night and is closed up overnight. They are turned out by day. Hens lay in the nesting boxes and everything sticks fairly close. Turkeys ward off hawks plus I have a scarecrow and whirly gigs. I bust a fox once in a while.
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