Friday, November 21, 2014


Gonna miss these bigs guys

Well, our turkeys are processed and in the freezer. Top tom dressed out just over 23 lbs. Can't hate that. The smallest hen had a twisted gut apparently. The guys doing our butchering found it when they cleaned her. That certainly explains why she wasn't quite as thrifty as the other 5. She finished out just shy of 16 lbs though so I am still pleased with her size.

The other two toms were also 20 lb birds, one weighing in at 19.92 lbs and the other at just shy of 23 lbs. The two remaining healthy hens finished out 16.7 and 17.7. All in all I'd say they grew quite well for this being our first year doing Thanksgiving birds. We have already decided on a couple things we will do differently. For instance, we are planning to spend the extra dollars and buy all toms for our butcher birds. The amount of increase lbs per bird works out to be worth the extra cost. Also, towards the end we found the toms were pushing the smaller two hens out of the feed. We're also planning to order earlier and get BB Whites. We want to see if we notice any difference with them. I'm very grateful to have a husband who supports me in my poultry business endeavors. 

These guys are insane

Yesterday morning, I found my only white guinea had been killed over night. She hadn't gone in the coop one evening and had not been thriving since getting snowed on. I had already planned to move all of the birds out of the smaller coops into the larger ones. That sealed the deal though. Instead of waiting until the turkeys were butchered and using their tractor, which had been moved in the barn, I moved Laura and Sir Reggie to the peacock barn, and the 7 remaining keets and the lonely pullet down to the main coop. There was the expected scuffling as pecking order was settled with the older laying birds, but all was calm this morning. 

Next on the project list is to clean up a few more sections in the old heifer barn, and build some horse stalls, and at least one more small coop for the cochins. Life is progressing nicely.

Remember to have a safe and happy holiday!


ellie k said...

Do people make toms into capons like you do young chickens? We used to have about 25 young chickens edicts each year to have nicer birds.

Paintsmh said...

Ellie, I honestly don't know. We didn't with ours, but I'd have to find a turkey farmer who did more than a few in his back yard to ask. We're going to do broilers next year, but I have no plans to caponize them. From a few poultry classes I took in college, there hasn't been a huge amount of data from research to support that they grow better or worse either way, and I just don't feel like doing the surgery on them. Did it in a class and ugh what a mess :)

ellie k said...

Thanks, I learn so many things from my blog friends. If I remember right the capons had more breast meat.

Paintsmh said...

That may be. I wonder, with the new types of bigger breasted broilers, how much difference if any they see now.