If there were such things as farm animal popularity contests, turkeys would win Best Personality.
They are active, inquisitive, and make quite a few distinct sounds. Smart birds!
However, they’re not always so. Have you heard the old adage about how turkeys are so dumb, they’ll go outside in the rain, look up at the sky, and drown? Well, I’m sorry to say…it’s true!
For the first few weeks of their lives, it’s very difficult to get turkeys to thrive. Our method here at the farm is to brood them along with our baby broiler chicks. The turkey poults imitate the chicks and learn how to eat, drink, and go under the hovers where it’s warm. After three weeks, they’ll go outside in the pens with the broilers. By eight weeks old, the turkeys are solid, and ready to be on pasture on their own.
They then get moved to an electrified net. A great attribute of turkeys is they are aggressive foragers and like eating the taller, bushier plants that chickens can’t get to. We can be strategic about this if need be – they are a great “clean-up crew” for places like vineyards and orchards.
We process our Broad Breasted Whites at 16 weeks and save them in the freezer for our Thanksgiving customers.
Have you ever raised turkeys?