We raised Bronze turkeys and they were about 1 month apart in age. Even though they were the same breed of turkey they both grew very differently and had very different personalities. Our larger turkey was much like a chicken while our smaller one was more like a overweight pig. She'd just lay around, eat and when she felt like it, she'd roam the grass. She also laid eggs for us while the larger one did not.
We raised them for about 7 months and butchered them yesterday. Before I go any further, let me warn the squeamish that there are some graphic turkey photos below. If you're a homesteader and butcher your own animals then it'll be nothing. If you don't even like to look at live animals and blood makes you faint then just go ahead and skip to another post. I've spared you the beheading shots!
The killing tree. Hanging the turkey up.
Time to take a dip in the 160 degree water (turkey has been beheaded already.) Gary had a nice large barrel that he had cut in half to use- certainly big enough for a turkey. Out of the pot and onto the table.
Plucking feathers. It was actually very easy to remove the feathers once the bird had been dipped. Gavin and Gary did the big turkey and Wyatt and I did the smaller one.
Gavin doing the dirty work.....cleaning up the smaller turkey.
Cleaning the gizzard to be fried in coconut oil and added into the stuffing.
One finished bird.
Our larger turkey ended up being fairly lean. She weighed 25lbs finished and had very little fat on her. Our smaller one had quite a bit of fat (remember I said she was like an overweight pig?) and weighed out at 17lbs.
Cost wise these turkeys were expensive. The chicks were about $8.50 each and then feeding them organic, soy free food for the last 7 months has been pricy as well. While they were free range and did get to eat grass and bugs and other squirmy things, they still ate a lot of purchased food. My guess is that each turkey ended up costing about $60 when all was said and done. Pricey? Yep. But in reality I'd much rather spend the time and the money and know what my food has been eating and the conditions it's been in rather than getting a free turkey from the store if I spend over X amount of dollars. There is something very satisfying about raising and eating your own meat.