Raising some friendly breeds of turkey is really enjoyable. Moreover, if you bring them up at your home based settings, then you would be able to enjoy a number of flavored meats. At the same time, this strategy is also useful in saving some money. In this regard, you can make use of a number of old as well modern breeds. Glenn Drowns, a specialist in the domain of heritage poultry, asserts that the White Holland and related breeds are best suited for flocks which are below 20 and that the Bourbon reds are really useful in terms of pest control as well as for foraging. Frank Reese, another specialist in the domain of breeding turkeys, also suggests that the White Holland poultry breeds are quite competitive in terms of meat production and consumption. How to breed turkeys? This is the core question here.
Preference for Broad Breasted Breeds
For those who plan to raise for sales, then the breeds will come to be the most useful. However, these birds are available on a limited basis, all because of a respiratory disease outbreak that has effectuated thousands of flocks. The reason for which this bird is being recommended lies in the large amount of meat which is present in the areas of its breasts. In comparison to the wild turkey, the bird has 2 to 4 times more meat, due to which it is well suited for meat production purposes. These birds are able to achieve a weight of sixteen to twenty five pounds in a matter of 24 weeks. On the other hand, in order to reach the same weight, the heritage birds would demand nearly 2 years. The importance of this timing period is highly crucial in terms of poultry production, for which most of the poultry producers prefer to make use of this breed of turkeys.
Tips for selecting the best breeds for you farms
In terms of selecting the most suited and appropriate breed, you need to be knowledgeable of the various facets including its capacity of natural reproduction, its ability to fly, its pace in terms of reaching the stage of maturity and many other related factors. The thumb rule here is that the most famous breeds might not be necessarily suited for the smaller farms and at the same time, the big size is also not an indicator in terms of the best breeds of domestic turkeys.
Classes of Production Type Turkeys
There are two basic types which will be discussed here including Broad Breasted Whites and The Broad Breasted Bronze. You can easily purchase them from a number of hatcheries in times of the spring season. In addition, the pace of their growth is also quite agile, due to which you would be able to have a massive turkey in the minimal time span. However, there is a single drawback in making use of these breeds of turkey i.e. they aren’t able to produce on a natural basis. The reason for this can be linked to the large sizes of their breasts, which limits their ability to reach out. So, for those who plan to breed some large flocks of turkeys, these two breeds might not be suitable. But if you have no sort of problem with their reproduction limitation, then you should go for them.
Heritage Breed of Turkeys
There are a number of farmers and poultry producers who prefer to utilize the heritage turkeys, all because of their well-developed reproduction capabilities. Moreover, they also come in various colors and sizes and are also able to brood a number of eggs. Below are some of the breeds which you might want to consider at the time of selecting the best breeds of turkey for your farms and poultry houses.
Auburn: This heritage breed is believed to be similar to the bronze breeds, but happens to be more reddish in color. The origins of this breed go a few centuries back.
Beltsville Small White: This rare preservation breed is marked for being smaller in size. The breed is also more active in comparison to the other breeds, primarily because of its small size.
Spanish Black: Now here we have another rare breed which was mainly utilized by early settlers. The breed is also medium in size in comparison to other breeds of the same class.
Bronze: This breed is quite large in size and is able to carry out the breeding process in a natural manner. Do remember to distinguish it from the broad breasted ones.
Midget White: The smallest breed of turkeys, Midget White, is really suited for small families. Furthermore, these birds are also quite active and are also able to fly.
Royal Palm Turkeys: Famous for being a show bird, Royal Palm is a small sized heritage turkey. The breed is marked for having black and white colors.
Narragansett Turkeys: Believed to be good foragers, natural calm, medium sized and excellent brooders, Narragansett is the breed which you might want for your small farms. In the past, the breed had come quite close to being extinct, but now it is believed to be more prevalent.