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Fertility of a "production" White turkey Tom

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1 Fertility of a "production" White turkey Tom on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:43 am

Ruffledfeathers

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So hey gang, been awhile since I've been on. I have lots of reading ahead of me Smile

My question is are White Turkeys specifically toms fertile? I have a small batch of commercial turkeys and was wanting to keep a Tom for guard duty and maybe if he makes nice with the locals some babies. Please keep in mind I do realise that he is a meat bird and I know they aren't supposed to have long lives but if I could keep 1 would it be worth it.

Thanks all, better get reading.

lanaire-ranching

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I would think that as long as you carefully managed his weight it "should" be okay??
The biggest problems I can think of is breeding true, and weight-- since they are bred to pack it on quickly....if he is overweight he can hurt a hen, and could have troubles with breeding/fertility in general

Guest


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Yes, they are fertile. But the broad breasts make it difficult for them to "connect" and their heavy bodies are hard on the hens. They can get hip injuries from the production toms.
Artificial insemination is how the hatcheries do it for those big white turks. They are so efficient at converting food into muscle that the toms can really pack-it-on as they age.

You'd have an easier time covering production turkey hens with a lighter breed of Tom.

If you plan to keep the production turkeys as breeders it's a good idea to free range and feed them a lighter feed from the juvenile stage, onwards. Otherwise they put weight in the meat faster then their frame can develope. The extra excersise helps them grow strong legs and feet. 
I had a 4 year old white production turkey hen that was succesfully bred to a Bourbon  tom. The eggs were fertile but I was using a low grade incubator at the time, they died close to hatching.

Turkey saddles help immensly. and protect them from from the tom's spurrs.

I love the production Turkeys! I often keep a couple toms around just-for-cuz. They can live for many years, problem free. But have to be raised accordingly, or you will see leg problems and overheating in the Summer.
Currently, I have two, one year old Orlopp Toms (just as big yard turkeys) and a bunch of Miller white poults right now. I plan to keep the girls. I also have a couple mixed poults from zenchicken that should cross nicely with the turkey girls for our family meat turkeys.

Ruffledfeathers

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Thank you. You have confirmed my suspicions and expectations Smile. I'm very happy that I'm not crazy for thinking you can keep a production bird around with a little work.

Omega Blue Farms

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Feeding production toms beyond their designated slaughter date is a complete waste of time and more importantly, feed, as far as I'm concerned.

Chance of them breeding successfully is .... well you have a better chance of winning the lottery. Plus you risk exposing hens to needless cruelty. Far better off using production hens if one wants to play around with breeding them.

I push the limits with my own turkey breeding and learned long ago to never save the largest toms for breeding. I use oversized hens for maintaining size, while using the slighter smaller toms (35-36 pounds) for maintaining fertility.

http://www.OmegaBlueFarms.ca

Grandma Art

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I tried keeping commercial hens and covering with a heritage tom when I first started into the turkeys.
I tried with 2 hens, they mated and I incubated the eggs but ended up with clear eggs 100%. As much as I liked the big feather balls I never tried it again and have gone to strictly Heritage birds with a few Commercial birds for a few customers that want the " big bird" for their thanksgiving or Christmas table. this is just my experiences.

http://www.sheltiesalberta.com

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