Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)

Gender: Both





Meat quality


Commercial value


Thanksgiving bird?


4275, South Africa

Posted Oct 01, 2015

I think people underrate the turkey. I love the meat. It’s expensive, but tasty. People say it’s dry and takes a long time to prepare. I just roll my eyes. You can spice, stuff and cook a turkey in a halogen oven in 1.5 hours. You heard right. And it is succulent and moist. The skin is crispy and the aroma to die for. In my opinion, I would not just use turkey for special occasions.

We breed every kind of turkey. They are not for show, but for meat purposes.

Keeping turkeys

We have different kinds of turkeys and keep them in reasonable sized pens. They have a house they sleep in at night. We added lathers. They seem to love sleeping up high. The pens don’t have grass as they have removed every shoot. We clean the pens every couple of days to ensure they have a hygienic space to live in. Having a cool space for hot days is vital. I have lost a couple of turkeys due to heat exhaustion.

What to feed turkeys

We feed our turkeys, commercial feed, grass clippings and vegetable peelings. They are keen to attack any insect who dare enter their territory. Make sure that wherever you keep them, there are sand or grit for their digestive systems. A quick way to add it to their diet is to crush dry eggshells. Provide plenty of clean water.

Turkey facts

1. Not hardy at all.
2. They like to fight
3. They like to chase you.
4. They will answer you, if you call them. :-) I never get tired of this.
5. They are not the sharpest tools in the shed. When they fly out. They don’t know how to get back and go into a panic. :-) Provides entertainment for a couple of minutes until you open the gate for them.

Breeding turkeys

They breed quite easily if you provide them with the right environment. The birds will not breed if they feel threatened. Making sure that they have a secure environment, this will turn them into breeding machines. They need nesting boxes with wood shavings in them. Make sure it is deep enough. Place water and food within reach of the hen, as she isn’t likely to leave the nest until the chicks hatch.

The chicks/poults

They are difficult to raise and having a good turkey hen is vital to show them the ropes. We try not to incubate unless necessary. We have a couple of good mothers and when we have a bad mother, we simply remove the eggs and place it with one of them.

Turkey health

Not the easiest bird to keep healthy, but it is possible with good hygiene practises. Keep an assortment of medicine and ointment ready. Adding Cornish crystals to their water once a week will improve their health.


It took a while for South Africans too catch onto the turkey-eating thing. Turkeys are produced for meat. Makes me think about Christmas, which is just around the corner. Yum!

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