How Not To Raise Turkeys


| 7/15/2015 3:00:00 PM


Christine NelsonFarm animals seem to be a bit of an addiction. I don't know about you all, but we seem to want to keep adding more. At the beginning of the year I had said we weren't going to add anything else new and just stick to what we had for now, but before long we had already arranged to get a small milk cow this winter and then we started looking at turkeys.

My husband, Jacob, has always had an interest in turkeys. For some reason he always said he wanted to see a big tom strutting around our property. We also enjoy eating turkey so we decided why not just give it a go and start off with a few. We could raise them just in time for Thanksgiving and maybe keep a few back to breed.

I was afraid that a really big turkey might terrify my poor children, the oldest already has a small fear of birds for some reason, and so we decided on the Midget White. They don't get very big and hopefully size wouldn't be so intimidating to the children.

The hatchery has a minimum purchase of 15 so we decided that would be a good number for our first experimental batch.

We had done quite a bit of reading and heard that turkeys can be a bit high maintenance at the beginning, but once they were outside they were basically indestructible. As with anything, we were up for the challenge.



Well, the turkeys arrived and, boy, were they the challenge. We couldn't keep them alive. Right out of the box two of them didn't look well and I knew we'd lose at least a couple. When we have ordered broiler chicks in the past, the hatchery has always sent us a couple extra. There were no extras (probably because they cost four times as much!) with the turkeys so we were really hoping a couple would be all we would lose.