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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've moved to southern Oregon and found a nice place in the country with plenty of room, naturally I want to get some birds now! With the lack of white turkey tails about I'm thinking that would be something I would really like to try. Obviously there is a ton of Info I need before getting into this but I'm curious if any of you have done this and if Turkey's are really something I should start with or are they a more difficult bird to deal with? I've read that golden pheasants and peafowl are easy but I will rip my hair out listening to peacocks all day and GP feathers are. Cheap enough that I don't feel the need to really do that... Plus turkey will make for good thanksgivings in the future!
 

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I can put you in touch with a bird guy in the Applegate. He does all sorts of birds and was chatting to me about white turkeys. PM me for his details. Main thing is to give plenty of space to avoid fights (wrecking feathers) and keep the vegetation high so the feathers stay clean.
 

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I don't own any turkeys but I do know this from talking to a turkey farmer in my area. If you are going to raise turkeys primarily for their feathers, you do not want to get the standard domesticated white turkey. Their feathers are okay but do not get as big and the quality of the fibers themselves are not great. Again, this is what I have heard from a farmer. I believe that there is a breed called a White Holland....don't quote me on that...and another breed that has excellent tail feathers. I am sure that talking with someone who knows more about it that they would be able to confirm or deny my above statement. Good luck!
 

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I don't own any turkeys but I do know this from talking to a turkey farmer in my area. If you are going to raise turkeys primarily for their feathers, you do not want to get the standard domesticated white turkey. Their feathers are okay but do not get as big and the quality of the fibers themselves are not great. Again, this is what I have heard from a farmer. I believe that there is a breed called a White Holland....don't quote me on that...and another breed that has excellent tail feathers. I am sure that talking with someone who knows more about it that they would be able to confirm or deny my above statement. Good luck!
So I did a bit of digging and found out another reason why the White Hollands are better to have than the Broad Breasted Whites. The BBW's cannot naturally breed because they get so big. The Holland Whites are able to breed and reproduce naturally.

Here is a great link to a site that shows a ton of color mutations. Makes a fly tier's mind go a bit crazy with possibilities!

http://www.porterturkeys.com/whiteholland.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info, after doing some research and starting some correspondence with farmers it looks like the white Holland's will be where I start, I haven't seen much about feather quality but the breeding aspect is a big deal. This should make for a fun spring! If things go well I might have to build somewhere for some "prettier" birds!
 

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I have raised chickens for meat and eggs for a number of years. Just recently I got some barred rock roosters specifically for fly tying and they are doing great. Really nice saddles developing on them.

I also tried turkey's this year and had a difficult time. I think partly because I tried to raise them with the chickens which is not recommended. They need much warmer conditions when starting and they need a higher protein food and are more susceptible to disease than chickens. I only got a couple of whites Thompson i believe and a couple of broad breasted bronze. They didn't make it to maturity which is too bad because the bronzes in particular had some beautiful white tipped tail feathers. I still got some useable good quality feathers out of them for married wings and also a number of feathers that because they were not fully developed have a thin enough stem they can be wrapped and produce some crazy spikey results with white tips.

Do lots of research first and be sure to sanitize the nesting/shelter area and provide good quality high protein food. Best of luck.
 

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I have a cousin who is an agricultural entrepreneur, a progressive farmer, who tried commercially raising turkeys ~45yrs ago. He did ok for several months until a thunderstorm hit. In one night, he lost over half of his birds----they ran to the downwind side of the coop and literally piled themselves up trying to escape the lightning. He assumed most died of suffocation, but others had broken legs, wings, necks, etc. He said they were the stupidest creature he had ever been around. I hope you fare better than Pete!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate all the info guys, I have been reading about Turkey's more than I have fishing lately! This should be an adventure!

Stumpy- one thing I have read is it's good to give them somewhere with a roof, it seems like even though they are just dumb Turkey's they get really stressed out so they should have somewhere to hide and calm down a bit. That's a wild story about your cousin, lets hope things go a little better around here!

I will make sure to keep everyone posted once spring comes around and I get some birds, I'll probably build a coop for some chickens too. Mzilliox is always amazing me with his use of different feathers so I'm hoping to get a variety of birds to make things fun... Eggs are a bonus too!
 
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