Grow Your Own Thanksgiving Turkey - 4 Simple Phases

Hey good morning how you guys doing I'll

let you guys out in a minute but first I

want to move you to new grass as a

family we love and cherish having a nice

turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas

for that matter and even sometimes

throughout the year for no good reason

at all except good-tasting me problem

was we couldn't find local healthy

organic free-range on pasture turkeys so

this year we decided to do it ourselves

it's be my first time ever doing this

I'm going to show you how I was

successfully able to do it from all the

way to the beginning to the end I'll

talk about some of the mistakes I made

and what I would do next time to prevent

that and of course I'll talk about the

tools and strategies I used my rookie

season to be success and I'll break down

our story into four phases and finally

I'll talk about the advantages and

disadvantages compared to chickens be

sure to check out the show notes where I

link all the resources I mentioned in

this video all right let's do this

the first phase of our story was to make

a plan we found out that turkeys needed

a special high protein feed so we found

out where to get it

luckily we had an organic type farm

store nearby that we could get it here

in our town we also figured out that we

would need to baby them more than

chickens twice as long up to eight weeks

so we figured out a nice place in our

house where we could actually do that we

also figured out how many birds we would

get we wanted at least two for the

holidays it was our first run so what

deck we bought 14 then we made sure we

had the right supplies to transition

them to grass and for that matter we

came up with a plan to raise them in the

brooder transition them to the grass and

then to be full time on the grass so

then we made sure we had the right

equipment like this electric poultry net

and an extra housing to house them in

for when they were out in the field and

of course made sure that we had their

feeders and waterers and things like

that early in the year I'm talking like

January long before we would get them in

May we found a breeder we went with

someone through the sustainable poultry

Network and so we just went with the

breed that we could get that's closer to

us it's the bronze breasted it's been a

wonderful breed if you can't find

anybody through the sustainable poultry

Network you could try the livestock

Conservancy even Craigslist and then if

you need to hatcheries online they'll

ship anywhere then we made our order of

these Poltz

plan for them to be hatched in about

mount maius so it's nice and warm in the

spring but they're also ready by now

like early November just in time for


the second phase of our story is the

brooding face for brooding 14 turkeys we

went to the tractor supply and bought

the metal trough I believe it's the two

foot by 8 foot

it was awesome to serve as the brooder

we placed this in our large hallway at

room temperature then we put down at

least eight inches of pine shavings for

bedding and then everyday we added a

little more to keep it fresh and didn't

have to change it out to the very end we

use a standard heat lamp just attaching

it to the trough with a white light but

notice that the turkeys were picking at

each other until we read up about it and

we learned that we should put a red heat

lamp in there and we kept that going

24/7 not only do they stop picking at

each other as much they still picked on

each other a little bit which is normal

they actually slept and rested a little

bit better during the day to simulate

daylight we kept the hall light on since

we are told that turkeys were so fragile

in the beginning we really upped our

preventive measures we gave them magic

water which is warm water mixed with

apple cider vinegar some crushed garlic

and some honey

and then we fermented their feed I think

up to the first four weeks and guess

what we only lost one out of 14 that's

seven percent part of the key was

keeping their bedding fresh adding

bedding every day but it was also

keeping their water and fear clean to do

that I would put a little cup in there

in the in the bedding so that the water

and the feeder would sit above that and

at some point they began to hop up on

the water and feeder to perch and they

would poop in it and so I got to where I

would tape a plate plate on top of that

and that kind of work I'd have to adjust

that every day but at least it got the

poop out of there maybe next time I

would try to figure out a better way to

do it so I didn't have to adjust that

every day and it was more permanent

after a few weeks some of the turkeys

started jumping out going walking around

in our house I built this frame just to

fit the top of that thing it worked out

great just two by twos one half inch

wire mesh a mount for the heat lamp it

worked great to keep them in of course I

used turkey starter for the first six

weeks of their life

so in addition to the fermenting and the

magic water as I like to call it I would

bring in fresh greens from the yard

I noticed early on that they would be

loud if they were stressed out if

somehow one of the kids turned off the

heat lamp or they were out of water or

feed they would start chirping and be

loud and that was cool because they were

inside and we could hear if they were

stressed out and fixed it really quick

now one thing I should say don't be

alarmed at dead-looking turkeys I don't

know how many times I thought somebody

was dead they just but they're so

relaxed and fragile in the beginning

compared to chickens they're just laying

down there and you will swear they're

dead they're not let them rest I mean I

first like us you're probably going to

want to poke at them a little bit just

to make sure but if one dies like like

it did for us

you just dispose of it correctly but

don't worry about it if one dies it's

part of the process you're trying to

eliminate as much that as possible the

third face my favorite was transitioning

them to grass around six weeks as we

transition from Turkey starter feed to

Turkey grower feed we also started

transitioning them outside we put them

outside during the day transporting them

with a cardboard box we put them outside

in a floorless cage we also put a shade

cloth over it so no aerial predators

would get them and to provide them shade

during the day from the hot Sun to give

them that extra protection give them

that extra care at night we would bring

them back in but not turn on the heat

lamp in the morning before we move them

out we would move the cage to new grass

and was absolutely amazing to put them

out there and to see just how much they

really enjoyed it they would just pick

all day long of course we would bring

their water and feed out there too as a

supplement but I really started to

notice then that the turkeys really

liked the grass and can really eat a lot

from the land

the fourth phase in our story was

maturing them on grass for my pasture

setup I used the premier 1 164 foot

electric fence and this chicken coop

that I wasn't using that's one thing I

do different they didn't like this

chicken coop they don't like the

enclosure like chickens do I found out

they would much rather have something

more open in fact they tried to perch on

top on the open door outside on the

ground so I would make a more Airy coop

definitely a roof and some sort of

protection over the side because we have

an owl problem here so maybe some

poultry net but something so that a lot

of air can go through and they really

feel like they're out in the open I

tried to let them perch on the roof and

outside like they wanted to but an al

got them and then they got a little

older and I thought I'd let them try it

again and then I'll cap get him we lost

three that way so that's definitely my

biggest mistake from then on we herded

them in every night in fact hurting him

in was so easy actually the children did

it probably for the last two months

herded these guys in every night and we

didn't lose one since then I moved these

guys every week or two to fresh grass I

notice they ate so much from the land as

compared to the chickens the first thing

they do when they come out is is get on

the grass especially when you move them

to a new place it's gonna be really

exciting I'm about to move these guys

and you'll see they'll go for the grass

not the feed first and if you can and if

I could have do if I had more time you

can move them more often the more you

move them the fresher the grasses the

more they're going to eat off the land

and less grain inputs you're going to

have to feed them from outside your farm

it's absolutely amazing

all told it took about 15 backs organic

I was paying about thirty four dollars a

bag for those things to raise ten Birds

so that's only fifty dollars a bird and

around here we get $10 a pound so I

estimate about 10 pound bird maybe more

maybe a hair less

we'll see butchering that's double the

money that's not bad and if you raise

one turkey for 50 bucks yourself that's

great if you're buying the heritage

free-range turkeys around here if you

did spring for that it's going to be

like two hundred and fifty bucks so I'm

really excited about that and I know

this story I could tell this story when

we sit down to Thanksgiving would give

me like kids you remember heard these

every night you remember when they would

get out every night and we would chase

them and oh and by the way if they do

get out I forgot to address that problem

just clip their wings they got to where

they would fly over the fence and we got

a little worried about it because too

many we're getting out you just clip

their wings and that solved the problem

for us for the most part okay so this

has a story and this is a special meal

and I believe from my own conviction

this is priceless you just can't buy

this ah let me compare these guys two

chickens real quick well first of all

they aren't crazy impossible like

everybody made me think I didn't lose

half my pulse in the beginning I'm

extremely happy about how well they

Forge and survive on grass compared to

chickens for that matter they have a

different purpose in the sense that now

I do love that a chicken scratches

because that's a tilling machine but

there is a place where you might not

want chilling like mowing grass look

check this up check this out I mean they

didn't get the big stuff but this is

well mowed but not torn up you know what

I'm saying

and it's a little beat-up right now but

it's going to come back so lush because

of that manure plus they add a variety

of flavour to the table

there are many turkey dishes you just

don't want to make with chicken and as a

homestead are trying to grow most your

food you want the biggest variety

possible the easiest way and I think

turkeys are a great transition addition

if you're already doing chickens it's

not that hard to transition into turkeys

or it's not that hard to do turkeys

before you do anything else in many ways

they're easier because there's so much

more gentle and calm and can eat more

from the land okay you guys ready for

this this is the best part

this is

the best part of firemen right here

grass-based Pharma come on out guys

enjoy the new grass see look how calm

quiet they're gonna check out

their new surrounding now they're not

the smartest they do have bird brain

especially this one will not sometimes

will not walk out that door come on man

the doors right here here talking to

each other she will eventually get get

out again I'm puffing I got mostly males

they'll come out here no no puppy look

they eat in the grass yes I love you

guys I'm pretty convinced that if I

committed to moving them every day I

wouldn't even have to feed them grain to

wrap this video up in conclusion I love

this I absolutely love this I would

totally do it again just a few things I

would change but totally excited and

happy about this process on one thing I

thought of is that I said it was $50 a

bird but remember what if I was only

going to keep two or five I would have

five others to sell and if I sold five

at just $100 apiece that's fifty five

hundred dollars that's covering my feed

cost essentially I grew my own

Thanksgiving Christmas and a few other

turkeys throughout the year for no cost

to see and it's not that much harder to

grow ten turkeys than it is to so it's

absolutely amazing system absolutely

love it I couldn't be more happy about

it be sure to check out the notes for

all the resources and I wish you the

best on your own adventures raising your

own Thanksgiving turkey