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Baby turkeys
May 14, 2011
3:29 pm
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debbie
Big Chicken
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April 13, 2010
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My husband came home today with 4 baby bronze turkeys.  The man at the feed store made him an offer he couldn't refuse…well, that's his story, and he's sticking to it.

I have searched the forum and can't find anything on raising them.  I need help! bug-eyed

May 14, 2011
3:35 pm
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mammaleigh
NW Georgia
Mighty Chicken
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From what I understand you will raise them up the same way you would chickens, just a little bigger cage and babies! If your hubby decides that he didnt want 2…I would be more than willing to take them off your hands! (just dont tell my hubby!)

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living.  The world owes you nothing.  It was here first."  ~Mark Twain

May 14, 2011
5:49 pm
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Bev in CA
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April 20, 2011
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Hi Debbie, we used to raise our own turkeys.  They are a lot harder to raise than chickens.   Some feed stores will tell you that you can use regular chicken feed.  We lost quite a few.  We had better success using game bird feed.  Turkeys need more protein than chickens.  We shopped around for organic feed, no hormones, etc.   They love to forage during the day, but they will not put themselves up at night like chickens do.  You will have to herd them in.  We also found out that you don't want to butcher them until a least 5 to 6 months old.  Younger and you will have a lot of pinfeathers and it doesn't make for a nice looking bird.  Turkeys cost more to raise than chickens.  Figuring the cost out they were quite expensive per pound.  Our freezer space would become limited.  We used to bone the breast,  keep the skin on the breast.  Take half a breast and one boned thigh, add chopped garlic and butter and tie into a roast.  If you have access to netting from the meat market that works good.  Do the other breast and thigh, also.  Results, two nice turkey roasts.  Wrap legs and wings seperate.  Use rest of carcass for broth to can.  Worth the work if only for your family holiday dinners.   It was great to say we raised everything but the cranberries, flour, sugar etc.  when we sat down to to the table.

May 14, 2011
7:37 pm
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debbie
Big Chicken
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Thanks for the info!  The babies are currently in our sunroom.  How old do they have to be before we move them outdoors? Other than a high protein diet, is there anything else I should do?  They are so cute!

May 14, 2011
7:50 pm
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debbie
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Also, this may be a stupid question, but can I feed them whey from cheese, cheese, eggs, etc. as their protein supplement? If so, can I do that now? or should I wait until they are older?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is TOTALLY new to me!

May 14, 2011
8:23 pm
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Bev in CA
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Debbie, they need to be feathered out pretty well, 5-6 weeks before they can go outside.  If it is rainy and cold they should stay inside.  We found out we had to watch over them more than chickens.  Chickens are smart.  We hear lots of jokes about turkeys.  About feeding them your dairy products and eggs I am not really sure.  Someone out there should know.  It sounds good to me.   That would go really well for raising a pig.   Not sure what kind of Bronze turkeys you have.  The heritage bronze does not produce the bigger breast.  The bronze bred for todays standards are much heavier.  They hardly ever fly like the heritage breeds.  They are like chickens, targets for predators.  Don't be sorry, between CITR and the Forum I learn something new everyday!

May 14, 2011
10:01 pm
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Birdi
Western Maine
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We raise about a dozen every year.  Bev is right that turkeys aren't as smart as chickens.  They are expensive.  The first year we did organic grain for them and it was costly at the end.  We supplement them with swiss chard now.  They go nuts over it and it supplies necessary nutrients and they grow great.  Maybe a little slower.  Its worth it to us because we grow extra chard for pennies.  We also debone the birds except for one that is Thanksgiving.  We also can a good bit to cut down on freezer space.  It has worked out well for us.  Its awesome to have turkey all year in convenient portions without having to eat it for days and days.  We butcher/process ouselves in a weekend so the costs are reasonable. Good luck with your birds! 

"simple pleasures make my heart smile"

May 15, 2011
11:08 am
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Cheryl LeMay
Blanchardville,WI
Banty
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July 25, 2010
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You could try feeding them  your eggs and dairy products, but I don't think they'll eat it. Turkeys are fussier than chickens about what they'll eat.They also go through what I call a teenager phase, where they are all wings and legs.It's tough keeping them grounded then and I also clip their wings at that time.You'll know when it's arrived because they'll be perched on your rooftops at night.Clipping their wings, along with a six foot fence, should keep them in their pen.Once they start to bulk up it'll be less of a problem.Good luck!

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