If you may be considering getting into farming turkeys, Cathy Isom gives some pointers about the perfect turkey for the small scale farmer. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Many people don’t have space or money to keep up with a 30-45 pound turkey until processing time. That’s what makes the Beltsville Small White Turkey perfect for a smaller scale farmer with limited space. Because this heritage variety is not large enough to satisfy commercial demands, many farmers have found this to be a very charming and accommodating breed that is a staple for many homesteads.
These turkeys are of good and docile temperament that makes them very manageable.
Usually, turkeys require a large amount of space, but these birds demand little more than large chickens. Inside the coop, provide 5-6 square feet per turkey. Place the roosts no more than 24 inches off the ground because heavy birds can develop leg problems by hopping off high places.
Beltsville Small White Turkeys are not specifically susceptible to any health issues. However, Blackhead is a common health issue that plagues many turkeys. Chickens are not as vulnerable to Blackhead as turkeys are, but they can be carriers of the parasite and get turkeys sick. It’s recommended to house your turkeys and chickens separately if you own both types of poultry. Despite the recommendations, many people house their poultry together with no adverse reactions.
I’m Cathy Isom…
Raising heritage Beltsville turkeys
Hear Dr. Julie Gauthier talk about raising Beltsville Small White Turkeys, an older, dwindling heritage breed, on her farm in Wake Forest. The News & Observer video by Chris Seward.