Nova Scotia, Canada
Posted Sep 24, 2014
This is the standard, meat turkey used by most turkey farms in North America. We purchased hatchlings through our local farmer's organization.
Although we had chickens and ducks, my entire family felt that turkeys were the best bird we'd kept to date. The reason? They had such character. True, they are not the most intelligent of creatures (let's not go there), but they definitely have attitude. From an extremely early age, they are already doing their 'turkey walk'. The puffed out chest and wings, and strut. They were also quite friendly, though this may have been a result of being hand-reared. During the summers, you can see a whole flock of animals just following people through the yards. The only downside was their curiosity and propensity to peck at anything that looked interesting - my poor toes bore the brunt of that!
In general, we found turkeys to be fairly hardy, though of course there are always losses concerned when keeping animals.
Obviously, I do not have insight into how these animals would fare should they be kept as part of a large herd of meat birds. However, I can say that we found them an excellent addition to our small family farm, and the meat produced was simply superb.