Raising Turkey? First Decide Which Breed of Turkey You Want and Why
If you are raising turkey primarily for meat you may want to choose a breed that grows quickly, and efficiently converts feed to quality meat. The Broad Breasted Bronze and the Broad Breasted White hens will average 15 lbs at 20 weeks and tums about 27 lbs. at 22 weeks. The Broad Breasted part of these birds name tells you that they have more breast meat. These birds have been developed to produce a lot of meat fast and efficiently, and they have been created to fill the preferential demand that many consumers have for white meat.
If you want a smaller bird with lots of white meat you might consider White Midget turkeys. The White Midget hen weighs just over 8 lbs. at 20 weeks and the tom weighs about 14 lbs. These birds do not convert feed as well as the Broad Breasted white or bronze.
If you would like to try older breeds of turkeys, both to experience the difference in taste and texture and to help to protect older breeds from extinction, you may wish to obtain heritage birds. These birds take longer to grow (not reaching market weight until about 28 weeks), and they don't have as much white meat.
Some of these varieties were raised for taste and many people think they are the best tasting turkeys available. But, if you are a big fan of white meat you may not enjoy these heritage birds as much as the modern commercial birds.
Please let us know what breed you select to raise and why. Tell us about your experience with the breed: growth rate, disposition, intelligence, live appearance, dressed appearance, and taste. And do share pictures.
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