It would be nice if taxpayer money was not squandered on journalism.We are butchering the turkeys this week. We really need a proper set up for this. They were really expensive. If we do this again I am thinking we need to grow a garden specifically for them to keep the costs down.
I think that I read on backyardchickens.com that turkeys will do better than chickens free ranging or foraging.As far as turkeys, I wanted some, but I wouldn't pay $12-15 apiece. That's why I don't have ducks or geese, except I don't have any facilities for them either. I could be tempted to have a half dozen hens and a tom and raise my own young ones. But that is a lot of work and feed to maintain them for a year too. Perhaps one could sell chicks. I think they like to sleep in the trees and therefore are pretty vulnerable to owls.There is a place about ten miles from me that I drive by every day that has a hen turkey that has raised poults the last couple of years. They have a lot of kinds of birds, peacocks, guineas, chickens, and turkeys.It isn't so bad raising poultry, but it costs so much to get set up and it is so cheap in the store.
I want to free range them, but I am worried about them following me everywhere. It would be amusing for a little while, but it would get old quickly. I want to expand their enclosure and try to plant some things they would like to eat in there.You are right, the set up costs are pretty high. Raising the poultry is not necessarily bad, although it can get tiring.I would like to raise some guineas at some point. They just seem interesting.I will probably write a brief post about my experiences with the turkeys with a detailed look at the setup we have so others can avoid the mistakes we made.I tried some turkey jerky today and it tastes awesome. I am still not ready to recommend the smoker I have though, I want to use it more and see what kinds of problems there may be.
Finally finished butchering the turkeys. We had 3 males and 3 females. Females were over 23lbs each. Males were over 34 lbs. Last one we did was 39 lbs...Not sure how heavy other breeds get. We only plucked 2, the rest were skinned. Their skin is pretty tough so we were able to dry pluck them. The wing feathers were difficult.
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