Posted Jul 17, 2016
One year we decided to raise a dozen turkeys. We bought them at the age of three weeks, brought them home and penned them up with the intention of letting them wander once they became big enough. My three young children picked up the baby birds on a daily basis and were fascinated with them.
It wasn't long before the turkeys were allowed to roam free with children following them. The result was turkeys following people! Given the chance they would eat and drink out of the dog's food and water bowl while the dog calmly watched. They ran to the sound of a bucket of grain being shaken. At night the turkeys would roost on our old truck. So if we wanted to take that truck to town, we had to hose it off first!
Eventually the turkeys destroyed my vegetable garden, eating squash, tomatoes, cukes beans etc. They ran in front of any vehicle that pulled into the driveway. We decided it was time to have them butchered once they started wandering up to the neighbor's apple trees.
Overall, raising bronze turkeys was an enjoyable experience. It taught my kids were turkeys came from (we were dairy farmers) and taught them that some animals simply aren't pets. The meat was incredibly moist and cooked much faster than commercially bought turkeys (in fact the turkey was finished cooking before anything else was ready on Thanksgiving). I wouldn't say that you save any money by growing your own turkeys, but you certainly have a better product than what you can buy in a grocery store!