Keeping Turkeys

Today we are talking about keeping turkeys. I must admit that at first I was quite intimidated at the thought of keeping turkeys but after the experience, my mind was changed. Ok, I LOVE turkeys! Seriously they are so sweet and cute and little- well little for a while. But I do find them sweet and loving and they “need” you.

Keeping Turkeys – How We Got Here

The first turkeys we kept were broad breasted white and broad breasted bronze turkeys. Mr. Cottage brought them home one day from the Farmer’s Co-Op and mom was not so sure about them. We were having nice weather that sprig but the weather turned cold and we were worried about them. It was too cold to be outside so Mrs. Cottage let them stay in the living room in a large tote. They would trill a gentle peep peep peep when they saw her.  
Mrs. Cottage would whistle back to them and they would echo her call. But if she walked away the peep peep peep got louder and more panic-stricken each time.  Then when she walked back to them they would trill the gentle peep peep peep.  They were so adorable!

Keeping Turkeys From Tiny Baby To Gentle Giant


When they grew up they still were sweet and gentle, just a bit bigger…
And bigger.
This is the male turkey as it is doing its gobble, gobble, gobble and it makes the snood (the long piece of skin on its snout grow longer and its face turns blue.  It will puff itself up and hold out his wings to look bigger.  Then it will slowly prance around.


Turkeys don’t have the best eye sight and they are heavy.  See this little uh, er big lady standing on Mr. Cottage’s hand.  OUCH! She is over 50#

They are really fun to raise and are a pretty easy animal to keep.  Just make sure you keep an eye on their feet.  Sometimes they can get infections.  We keep lots of straw or shavings down to keep their feet in good shape.
Related Video: Baby Turkey 

Keeping Turkeys – Royal Palm Turkey


Later, Brianna caught some Royal Palm Turkeys and they were not as friendly as our other hand-raised ones but they were quite pretty. I think it was just how they were raised. 

Royal Palm Turkeys are a heritage breed turkey and are mostly raised for their beauty and I must admit they were beautiful. They do not get as large as the double-breasted variety.

They are very curious and love to have their photos taken.
Here are the boys looking to impress all of the ladies in the pen. Who am I kidding? They were talking to my mom.  She would come out and talk to them and they would turn blue in the face and spread out their feathers like this.
Related Video: Winter the Turkey
Love these guys!  Any questions?  Send us the question and we will do our best to answer them.

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