Misfitmorgan's Journal - Fall....Don't leave me yet!!

Baymule

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I am so glad to see you on here. I have missed you! I am VERY interested in turkeys. I'm thinking on trying a few in the spring to raise for Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner, plus maybe a few for sale. The big thing for me is them not flying up to roost in trees or flying over the fence. Don't want aggressive Toms either. The Midget Whites sound like a good way to start. Do you raise them over the year, then they breed/lay the next year at a year old? Do they brood and raise their own young? I am also looking at Royal Palm, eye candy!

I'm so sorry for your pig losses. It would be hard to hold back from shooting Sara on the spot. How frustrating.
 

misfitmorgan

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I am so glad to see you on here. I have missed you! I am VERY interested in turkeys. I'm thinking on trying a few in the spring to raise for Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner, plus maybe a few for sale. The big thing for me is them not flying up to roost in trees or flying over the fence. Don't want aggressive Toms either. The Midget Whites sound like a good way to start. Do you raise them over the year, then they breed/lay the next year at a year old? Do they brood and raise their own young? I am also looking at Royal Palm, eye candy!

I'm so sorry for your pig losses. It would be hard to hold back from shooting Sara on the spot. How frustrating.
Thank you Bay, I always miss you too!

None of our toms at at all aggressive toward humans. We have 9 broad breasted and 6 midget white, now the toms do bicker with each other now and then but nothing horrible.
Broad breasted can not fly, midget white fly very well but you can clip their flight feathers if flying is a problem. Basically they fly as good as chickens. Honestly our friend has had blue slate, royal palm and bourbon red.....they all flew too. I think flying is just something you have to live with if you want turkeys.
Our midgets will roost in trees if we let them, as in If I dont go give out corn in their pen about 30 minutes before dark. They follow me to the pen and fly back in or I open the gate and they walk back in for the corn, by the time they are done eating they just roost inside the fence in the apple trees.
Really the turkeys, even the midgets dont fly away from me and herd like ground animals. Kind of like ducks but a lot quieter and buckets calmer.
Midget whites are a smaller bird, hence the name. They are heritage so slow growing. All turkeys start laying/breeding at 6-7 months if there is enough light.
For butchering broad breasted are 4-5.5 months, heritage are 6-7.5 months. Or whenever they reach the size/weight you want. Turkeys get very big, like I am 5'3" and their heads are at my waist at this point, midgets are probly 3" shorter.

Per research:
The midgets are small and only dress out at 6-12lbs
They may or may not sit and raise poults (some say yes and some say no)

I always thought I would prefer the eye candy i love blue slate, bourbon red, royal palm etc but we wanted smaller turkeys because for DH and I we dont want a 20-25lb dressed bird and many other people want smaller birds or buy two small birds cause they stay juicer. So both the midgets and the beltvilles are small and totally white. I will tell you the pure white heritage turkeys are really stunning and I love them more then I thought I would. If you wanted a bird a little larger then the midget but not full size the beltsville will dress out to 15-18lbs. If you want larger yet something like a bourbon red will dress out to 13-25lbs.

From my experience even the broad breasted are friendly, not as much as the midgets but way more then any other poultry we have. I will say I did spend a lot of time with both breeds while they were in the brooders. I spent the same amount of time with the swedish blue ducks though and they are manic and wont let you closer then 3ft.

Only thing that stopped Sara's lead poisoning was freezer space. He came up to the house for the gun, I had to remind him the freezer was full and we had more to butcher. Sara is going in a friends freezer instead.
 

misfitmorgan

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We didnt actually have to much trouble. I gave them grow gel as soon as they arrived, and
Sav-A-Chick Electrolyte & Vitamin as well as Sav-a-chick probiotic in their water for the first month. Then we just fed them per normal with turkey starter, then turkey grower.

I will say make sure your heat is consistent in your entire brooder, turkeys are not dumb like most people portray them but they are a little dense and can do stupid things like go stand in the only drafty corner in your brooder.

The other biggest tip never ever let the waterer go empty. We did that once with our broad breasted, and 3 drank themselves to death in a matter of about 15 minutes. Then it took 2 weeks to train them back out of it, which included making them puke when they drank to much and taking the water out as soon as everyone had an appropriate amount of water. We basically had to give them water, take it out, give them food then come back every hour and give them water again until they got big enough and learned not to try to drink themselves to death. So yeah just avoid all that and never let the water run out for broad breasted. Our heritage never had that problem but doesnt mean they couldn't.

To make them friendly I just spent a lot of time talking to them, and hanging my hand down in the brooder with my ring on. The diamonds in my ring(sparkles) made them brave enough to approach my hand. Plus side if I need a certain turkey to come closer to me I just show them my sparkly ring and they walk closer.

Other then the water incident and one turkey deciding to go sit in the drafty spot I didnt find them horribly hard to raise. Pick them up instead of having them shipped if you can, if you have them shipped order extra. We did lose 4 poults in the 48hrs after shipping however they got stuck in shipping and took over 3 days to get here without food or water. These were all hatchery stock as well. This was the broad breasted.

The midget whites I ordered from Ideal Poultry and I'm super happy with their vigor and quality. They are just such beautiful stunning white birds. The boys dance and show off for me whenever I go down to see them and they actually started doing this while still in the brooder at like 4-5 weeks old. Ideal does have a minimum of 10 turkeys for an order but you can mix and match and they have all heritage varieties. Another bonus, they are the cheapest hatchery price on heritage poults.
 

farmerjan

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I'm with @misfitmorgan on Ideal Hatchery. They contract out for the rarer breeds of poultry, and the turkeys, so many are actually out of purebred show type stock. Have gotten several orders from them over the years and they have been super to work with. Had a batch of chicks arrive.... a friend was the "postal person" on duty and she called as soon as they got there and told me that there was something wrong because they weren't peeping like they should be. I was there in half an hour.... they were all dead. Called Ideal right from there, told them and they didn't even ask to talk to the postal person.... said they believed me. I had called from the P.O. in case they needed to talk to her. I have had very good liveability with most all their other shipments.
Don't know how far they are from you @Baymule ... might be able to pick them up.
 

Baymule

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They are about 3-4 hours away, no big deal, but their web site says that you can't pick up turkey poults. Probably because they contract them as @farmerjan said.

I'm a firm believer in Ideal Poultry also. In fact, just got 20 chicks from 'em last week - all healthy and vigorous.
What did'ja get? :D =D
 

frustratedearthmother

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Nekkid Necks, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Black Australorps, and something else, lol. Oh yeah - their own Leghorn type white egg layers...Ideal 236. Five pullets of each. Bought 'em after I thought all my pasture chickens had disappeared. Pasture chickens all turned back up and I've got 20 more mouths to feed. Funny how things turn out, lol.
 

misfitmorgan

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This is one of the hens. She actually laid her head under my leg but I didnt get a picture. Also they have blue eyes.
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This the same hen I picked her up and put her on the hip board for the High Tunnel because the boys were getting really interested in her.
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You can also see some of the broad breasted in the backround of some of the pics, also displaying for me.
 
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