Our happy turkeys lay healthy eggs!
What can I say about turkeys? I really like mine. They are friendly, they are annoying, they are pets. We do not eat much turkey meat. We will eat turkey eggs and we certainly love our turkey pets. Some people have trouble with the toms attacking them, some people have trouble with keeping the hens at home since they like to run off with the wild turkeys and some people, like us, just keep breeding them and raising them regardless because they are just so blasted appealing!
For a lot of the months the first summer we had RP there was a Guinea that was best buddies with him. They slept together and roamed the farm together. I think the Guinea finally found a mate and left RP's side.
RP has fathered many lovely turkeys here on our farm. He bred the Royal Palm hen as well as the Tiger Bronze hen and from the Tiger Bronze, Peggy Sue, he gave us a lovely Penciled Palm. We also kept a daughter of this pairing named Betty Sue.
You find them on your porch occasionally.
My turkey poults are raised on wire bottom brooders. They do not go on the ground until at least 4 months old. They seem very susceptible to organisms and bacteria they ingest. My poults are treated for coccidiosis quite often while growing up. The number one killer of poults.
Yes, I have a ton of these photos of my handsome RP. He is a huge attraction here at the farm. There are other photos of him interacting with people and more photos of my Bronze but I love my handsome RP and show him off about as much as he shows off to everyone else.
With Peggy Sue being our only Tiger Bronze hen we decided to get a Bronze jake to go with her after we lost her first mate. Poor Jake never got his chance as our beloved Peggy Sue disappeared one day. However, Jake is here with Peggy Sue and RP's daughter for 2014 breeding season.
Poults and chicks being kept together. I can't keep chicks in with them for very long as the poults get a 28% protein game bird starter but it is nice for them to be in there about a week or so for the boost from the food.
Ever lay down in the cool grass when it was really hot outside? RP says that works for him, too.
My peachick's benefited greatly to being raised with turkey poults. Peachicks often have a hard time figuring out how to eat but turkey poults have no such problem. My poults were also very calm and friendly which helped greatly with my peachicks.
Once Jake was mature enough he went on the ground in a pen with Guineas. It helped to calm down the Guineas....a little.
RP used to love to ride up and down the driveway in the truck. If the back was open he was up and in and ready to roll. He is quite the character!
Poults grow much faster than peas but I feed them the same diet and deworm them the same. Eventually they have to be separated but they sure do well together for a long while.
Turkeys grow up quick! Here is Jake at 4 1/2 months.
So by now I suppose anyone can tell we mostly have the Royal Palm turkeys. That is the ones Terry likes the best so I breed those.
Poults can be inquisitive, too curious by far and very smart. I find it rather irritating that people say that poults are so stupid they will drown in the rain. More likely their poults are sick and turn their heads up to try and breathe better and are too sick to move in out of the rain. Poults are highly susceptible to coccidiosis, as well as other parasites and should be raised with great care.
I have had poults to display as early as 2 weeks old. It doesn't matter if they are boys or girls. Though usually the boys can raise their tails a bit higher. Girls will puff up and display, too.
I know it isn't original since a young male turkey is a jake but I could never think of another name for him so it stuck.
I no longer own Bronze turkeys.
If you have been to my farm then you know this bird!
Danny Bracken holds RP so the children can pet on him. RP loved all the attention!
Nicole and RP have been buddies since he was a wee poult!
There is a very happy RP in the middle of all that petting. He loved every minute of it!
But it isn't just the handsome boys, there are lovely girls, too.
The children growing up. These are splits but in 2015 everything is separated by variety.
With the approach of hunting season I have had to pen up my beautiful Bronze. I would not want someone with little or no experience to think he was on my fenced property for their own gain. A true hunter can tell the difference.
Hens can grow beards, too.
Some of the Royal Palm and Bronze crosses came out with just some brown on the feathers and no penciling.
My beloved Peggy Sue. It broke my heart when she disappeared.
Love the cat coming up underneath RP just above Peggy Sue's back!
Royal Palm ladies ready for 2014 breeding season with RP. He has been getting his conjugal visits and I have been setting eggs to fill orders.
People ask me what he is doing when he drops his wings and his tail and starts stomping his feet on the ground. Why, he is demonstrating how well he can breed, of course! You would think he would have girls flocking to him with as much as he likes to show that off!
Spring 2014 has the Bronze Jake in with 2 ladies. One is Betty Sue, a daughter of Peggy Sue and RP and a full Royal Palm girl from Barky and RP. I will be hatching from them this year for either our freezer or extra poults to have around.
A chicken egg, a turkey egg and a Guinea egg.
The year or 2015 sees Jake with 3 beautiful Bronze ladies and hatching under way from them! Jake is very fertile! The girls are prolific layers!
New to our farm in 2015 is a beautiful Blue Palm. He came from a friend needing to outsource some of his genetics and I have the hens so he is here to make plenty of poults for us! I often call him Old Tom but he isn't really old. The eggs I collect from his pen are marked BP. I really feel bad calling him old when he is very fertile and has plenty of vitality.
Update: I no longer have this tom or any of his offspring.
This fine fella has been in breeding with Betty Sue, the daughter of RP and Peggy Sue. She has given me some fantastic offspring when bred back to her own father, which I am keeping and I know she should favor me with fabulous poults from Old Tom. He also has a pure Royal Palm hen in with him. Fertility has been great and I expect to get the breeding program going very well.
Babies are arriving and they are blue tinted! Can't wait to see them mature to see how blue they will be!
An obvious blue from first mating of BP to the RP girls.
A very nice Blue Palm poult. She turned out beautifully!
2016 update: We now only raise Royal Palms.
For 2017 breeding we decided to just go with Royal Palms. RP has been a fabulous sire for the poults and the hens are peaceful and beautiful.