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#81567 - 05/20/03 12:45 PM Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
I am planning on raising Turkeys and broilers together for the remainder of the summer. I have a choice of White, Bronze, Royal Palm or Bourbon Turkeys to combine with Cornish Rocks to raise for meat. Which of the turkey choices will be the most hardy with chickens.

I don't think my chickens have a blackhead, but who knows. I guess I am trying to get the most meat on the bones, but at the same time I don't want to loose turkeys to mortality. My hunch is bronze, since they can naturally mate, but I don't know enough to make a decisive choice.

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#81568 - 05/20/03 02:23 PM Re: Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
I think if I were to raise turks for food and wanted a self sufficient breed, it would be the midget whites. Easy to clean, dont eat you out of house and home, raise their own young and are the right size for the average family. If I wanted a bigger bird and appearance was important I would have black Spanish or Kardosh Bronze.

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#81569 - 05/21/03 11:36 AM Re: Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
Hi Aram, I'm a turkey newbie myself and am currently raising 15 (7 bronze and 8 BB white) 6 week poults outside with my chickens and ducks, free range. They were never vaccinated and never fed medicated feed. They were driving me nuts at 4 weeks and wouldn't stay in their box, so I actually tossed them outside then. Probably about 4 weeks too early according to most recommendations, haha, but after two weeks outside, they seem to be doing fine and growing like weeds. Had a predator (cat?) problem on their second day out, but no problems since. They are pretty clumbsy and I worried about them falling into the duck pond, but if one did, it got out ok, haha. I have given them a heat lamp for overnight, but only some are using it while others are roosting with the chickens. I realize I'm flying in the face of much conventional wisdom here, but so far I'm getting away with it. If any problems occur disease wise, I'll let you know. But their run is a very thick weedy lawn, no real muddy areas for disease organisms to buildup. I had the government agriculture guy out to check my setup out and he couldn't identify any areas of concern.

My only real problem occured right after I recieved them (day 3-5) and kept them at chick temps rather than turkey temps. I lost 8 to what we believe to be starveouts. I guess I got rid of the dumb ones (too dumb to eat, haha) right away and left myself with the "survivors".

Oh yeah, ever hear the story about them being too dumb to get out of the rain? Well I was away from home when we had a sudden rain/hail storm. I ran home to get the turkeys to cover, but they were already there. They are actually faster than the chickens at getting out of the rain, haha. So I guess I did accidently cull the dumb ones, haha.


One thing to think of when choosing a breed is to decide what you want more of, white meat or dark meat? Rob, how are your black spanish and kardosh bronze with respect to this and flavour? I hope to raise a more refined flavoured bird next year, and am just practicing with the mainstream birds this year. However, for marketing, it seems like it will be easiest to market the whites and their abundance of white breast meat.
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#81570 - 05/21/03 12:57 PM Re: Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
Thank you both. I decided I'll get 2 white and two bronze ones. If I like it, I'll get more and if I like it too much, I might keep some. We'll just have to wait and see. BC I am basically in your shoes, so thanks for sharing your experiences.

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#81571 - 05/21/03 04:02 PM Re: Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have four adult bronze (1.3) living with my chickens for about a year. No problems. They eat, sleep, and scratch with the chickens.

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#81572 - 05/30/03 09:44 AM Re: Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
Big Boy Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 845
Loc: Kansas
The BIG problem is Blackhead and that is not necessarily endemic to a place. I raised turkeys for a number of years without problems UNTIL I purchased adult chickens from off the place which were carriers. Now I have it. I keep it under control by allowing only limited range and not where chickens have been lately; the birds are kept separate fron chickens until the 12th week; the pens are mostly concrete and are easily cleaned-out 4 times a year and I keep the stock as healthy as possible - it's the stressed ones that have displayed a heart-breaking tendency to come down with tthe disease. Do I lose many? In '02 I lost my first bird to it since 1997. I have lost no others since.

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#81573 - 05/31/03 03:10 PM Re: Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
There is only one breed turkey....white, royal palm, etc are varieties of the breed turkey.

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#81574 - 06/02/03 07:35 AM Re: Chosing Turkey Breed to go with chickens
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
Absolutely, but it just seems so strange how a white turkey strain seems to look so much different than royal palm.

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