Turkeys are a WONDERFUL addition to a backyard or farmyard flock. They have a totally different personality than chickens and, in an almost dog-like manner, will follow you
around as you work outside. They are very curious which sometimes get them in trouble as they checkout and even taste things like pans of used motor oil!
Turkey poults ARE harder to raise than chicken chicks. They require more vigilance in maintaining the proper temperature and making sure they do not get damp or wet. A wet poult
will lose its body heat and die quickly. Turkeys are also more susceptible to disease than chickens and will often be beyond saving by the time you realize something is wrong.
The statement that turkeys cannot be housed with chickens is based on the fact that chickens can carry Blackhead but are not affected by it, where it will kill turkeys. The
fungus that causes Blackhead is carried by earthworms, so having your flocks penned apart really does nothing unless they are FAR apart. Also, since there is not a test for Blackhead, other than an
expensive necropsy, many turkey illnesses and deaths are blamed on Blackhead when they are often due to parasites or other diseases. IF you have the fungus that causes Blackhead in your soil it is
there and you will not be able to raise turkeys (though your nextdoor neighbor might have great success).
Since turkey hens normally nest on the ground, they must be penned during breeding season or they become an easy target for foxes, coyotes, etc. Large owls and eagles can also
be a threat to even adult turkeys if allowed to free range.
Do be aware that over-interacting with poults as you raise them CAN cause the toms to lose respect for humans and make them become aggressive later. There is no "fixing" a tom
once he has learned to be aggressive towards humans and at 40-50 lbs an adult tom can inflict real injury, especially to a child.
Turkeys are alot of work but they are worth it!
This is the Classic Bronze Turkey. They are calm, friendly (in most cases) and good as egg & poult producers and as medium sized meat birds. The bronze is one of the original natural
breeds of turkey (domesticated way back from wild turkeys) and their genes are the base for most other breeds.
It is only possible to tell Eastern Wilds from Heritage Bronzes by DNA testing as they look identical. However, state and federal game regulations and laws apply to keeping and
raising WILD turkeys, but not to domestic varieties.
We will have 2 unrelated pens of Bronze / Red Bronze in 2018, so unrelated poults are possible.
Bronze poults are light and dark brown striped (On left in photos above.)
ROYAL PALM: (not available in 2019)
Royal Palms are a favorite with many people due to their flashy color. Their genes are the base of many newer breeds of turkey such as the Pencilled Palms and Sweetgrass. Royal Palms
are slightly smaller/finer than the Bronzes. The hens lay well and set their eggs well.
Royal Palm poults hatch yellow and begin getting some black markings at about 2-4 weeks old (in my experience, hen chicks usually get their color later than jakes). (in middle of top
The Bourbon Red was developed in Kentucky (bourbon country)by selectively breeding redder colored Buff turkeys. Then in the 40's they were used as the base genes to create the
Jersey Buff when Buffs all but became extinct.
Bourbon Reds are flashy, intelligent birds with loads of personality. They are large birds that lay well but - in our experience - are not quite as prolific as the Narragansetts. It
is said that BRs can be sexed when the breast feathers start to come in as the hens, when young, have white edges to their breast feathers.
We will have 2 unrelated pens of Bourbon Red in 2018, so unrelated poults are possible.
The Bourbon Red poults are a reddish color on top with darker brown patterns mixed in and yellow underneath (on right in photo at the top of this page).
We have 2 trios of Blue Slate turkeys and will have eggs and poults available in Spring 2020.