Monday, May 17, 2010

Turkey Roost News

I made a decision that I've pondered on for over a year and more-so this last few months. Do I or don't I want to try raising some turkeys again?

I had some poults years ago and didn't have the best of luck. The poor things were not bright at all. Their picnic was missing more than 1 sandwich! In fact, they needed to be hand guided to the "picnic basket" for every meal! Thriving didn't seem to be part of their genetic being! If it rained I had to go out in the rain to move them into shelter as they'd just sit down and look up then be soaked and cold! When those who managed to be saved (survived with intense care) were finally getting to a size that they seemed to be going to make it, a weasel managed to kill them off! Fortunately a cat caught the weasel and brought him to the back step for us to see. We didn't realize it was a weasel killing them.

I've learned a lot about turkeys since and I think I'd like to give them another try. I also want to get them while I have chicks who can "lead them to water"! I will raise them with the chicks so they have survival guides! I also was a bit concerned over them escaping to run wild with the wild turkeys. I'm prepared to keep them penned when they get a bit larger. I'd like to start with a trio for keeping and then either sell or butcher the extra Toms. (I've had store boughten turkey and wild turkey and I don't ever recall having a home raised turkey! I'm looking forward to it and if it's as much better as home raised chicken is I know I'm going to be hooked on that too!)

Like other livestock, if something doesn't work out for us, we can sell them, trade them, etc. It's not a life-time commitment like a dog (pet) is. We also don't know if we'd like to raise something unless we research and then try it if we think we really would!

I was down to a couple preferred breeds. Unfortunately, my decision was based a lot on looks which isn't always the best way to acquire animals. However, I hear that my preferences are good natured and in demand. I really like the Royal Palms and the Red Bourbons. The Palms are white with some black trim and the Bourbons red with some cream/white trim.

(Tom on the left is a Royal Palm. I'm not sure what the Tom on the right would be colorwise. Is it color or is it breed? The species would be turkey!)

(Red Bourbon Toms with a hen in the pic below. )

(Photos: I don't know where these came from other than I received them via email. I would love to give photo credits so if they are yours, please let me know. I'll also remove them if they are yours and you're prefer that. If you raise them to sell eggs, poults or the birds, I'd be glad to post your info for you!)
That said, it's time! I saw a post from a gal I've done business with and know will do right for me as a customer as she has in the past. She advertised she has Royal Palm poults to sell!

I'm IN!! I'm hoping to be able to get 6 Royal Palm poults from her! If it all goes successfully, I'd like a pair or trio of Bourbons next. If they do work out, maybe I can find someone who would like to trade! That's usually a win-win for me!
I'm also hoping I have much better luck this time! I'll be managing them in a completely different manner than I did in the past. Last time I did what the hatchery said was the right way for back then. Now I'll work at this with what is definitely a better way and makes much more sense!
Wish me luck!


  1. I thought about getting some turkeys too. I really like the looks of the bourbon reds and have heard that they are calm, friendly birds. I decided that it's not the right time for me to raise turkeys but I'll sure enjoy watching YOU do it!


  2. Thanks, Nancy! I was debating and had gotten to the point that IF it was to be then I'd run across someone I could get them from locally. I didn't really think it would happen this year and yet was fine if it did. At least this way, IF they work out well I'll have some eggs I can sell come spring, maybe some poults.... I can't go wrong there if it works out! I will have to blog about them! They should also be fun to photograph and watch grow up if I can do it successfully! I think the horse trailer and chicken tractor will be better for them than a large outdoor pen with shelter was years ago!