The Pros and Cons Of Raising Chickens Vs. Turkeys
By Tom Seest
At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.
When it comes to raising chickens and turkeys, it’s important to understand the differences between the two breeds. For starters, you should know that chickens lay more eggs per day than turkeys, which means you’ll have to buy more food. But there are also differences in terms of cost and time commitment.
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Raising chickens and turkeys is similar in many ways, but there are some differences to keep in mind when selecting which bird to raise. Turkeys have a richer flavor and are often healthier than chicken. Despite their similar appearances, turkeys tend to be larger and require more seasoning brine and longer cooking times. Despite their differences, both chicken and turkey produce delicious and nutritious meats.
One of the main differences between chicken and turkey meat is the way the meat is processed. Heritage breeds have a softer, more flavorful texture and meat than commercially raised production turkeys. This is likely a result of the way turkeys are raised because they are allowed to forage for nutrients while outdoors.
Despite the differences in appearance and taste, turkey eggs taste similar to chicken eggs. However, the turkey egg yolk is more fatty and has a slightly thicker texture. This texture and additional creaminess add a layer of creaminess to the yolk. Nevertheless, turkeys are more expensive than chickens.
While turkey eggs are smaller than chicken eggs, they contain more protein than their chicken counterparts. In addition, turkey eggs are typically speckled and have a harder shell. Compared to chicken eggs, turkey eggs contain a higher percentage of monounsaturated fat and are generally richer in taste.
Although turkeys don’t lay as prolifically as chickens, the eggs are delicious and similar to those of hens. Turkey eggs weigh around 80 grams and are perfect for scrambling and baking. Turkey meat is also more tender and moister than chicken meat. Turkey meat will keep for up to two days in the fridge. Turkey roast can be stored for two days and then eaten after standing for about 15-20 minutes.
Another difference between raising turkeys and chickens lies in the breed of the bird. Some breeds are tastier than others, while others are less fatty and more hearty. Turkeys can be raised outdoors in fresh air, which is an advantage.
Blackhead disease is a complicated problem that can severely damage the health of turkeys. This disease is caused by a bacterium called Histomonads, which lack the mitochondria necessary to make energy. Antibiotic treatments can treat the disease, but they may not be effective against secondary infections.
The disease first appeared in turkeys in Rhode Island in 1892. It was then imported to the United States and widely propagated for release as game birds. Soon afterward, it was discovered that turkeys could contract the disease from other poultry. The disease is transmitted through the air, egg, and mating.
Blackhead disease in poultry can cause fatalities, especially if untreated. This infection affects poultry primarily between the ages of three and eighteen weeks. Chickens are generally resistant to the disease, but poultry should never be kept in the same coop with turkeys. A successful blackhead control program focuses on removing worm eggs from the cycle and providing a sanitized environment.
Blackhead disease is more severe in turkeys, especially in young birds. Infected birds typically lose their appetite, show yellowish diarrhea, and are emaciated and depressed. Infected birds also develop an infection in their cecum, which eventually leads to their death. This illness can kill up to 70% of turkey flocks, so treating it immediately is vital.
While turkeys generally develop the disease more quickly, chickens are susceptible to it as well. Infected flocks often show severe outbreaks of the disease, but the susceptibility to the disease varies by breed and strain. Infected turkeys typically have sulfur-colored droppings, which result from severe damage to the liver. The disease may cause other non-specific symptoms such as drowsiness, dropped wings, or loss of appetite. Birds may also cluster around a sick bird, making identification and diagnosis extremely important.
The first outbreaks of blackhead disease in turkeys nearly decimated the industry in New England. Eventually, the disease spread to other parts of the country and was the major cause of turkey mortality up until World War II. The disease is also transmitted by game birds. If your turkeys live in an area where game birds live, try to keep them away from your flock. Chukar and pheasants are ideal hosts for the parasite. Their high metabolic rate and low weight make them ideal reservoirs for it.
If you are interested in raising poultry as part of your family’s sustainable food source, chickens are a great choice. Not only do they provide you with eggs and meat, but they are also a great source of fertilizer. However, there are a few differences between chickens and turkeys that you should know about before deciding which type of poultry to buy.
Although both types of poultry are delicious, each requires different feed and space. Turkeys are generally larger than chickens and require a larger space. Depending on the breed, chickens have different flavor profiles. Small farmers are likely to raise heritage breeds of turkeys rather than the commercial variety.
Although chickens produce lighter meat, turkeys can be used to supplement your diet with protein. Chickens lay daily eggs and grow quickly, while turkeys can be slow to mature. In addition, turkeys are susceptible to blackhead protozoa. While turkeys may be a more expensive choice, they can be a great way to get started with your own food production.
One of the biggest differences between chickens and turkeys is the cost of feed. Compared to chickens, turkeys require about twice as much feed per pound of body weight. As a result, turkeys are also more expensive per pound of meat. You can save money by buying turkey feed in bulk from a feed mill.
Another major difference between chickens and turkeys is the cost of raising them. Turkeys tend to grow larger and require more feed per pound. Aside from their larger size, turkeys are also more difficult to raise. Poults, or baby turkeys, are less hardy than chickens and need a brooder for the first few weeks. The brooder should be heated to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and should be adjusted a few degrees every week.
The main difference between chickens and turkeys comes down to how much room and feed they require. While chickens can be kept in a small dog house, turkeys will need a larger shed or barn. They will also require a larger amount of feed, and turkeys tend to be bigger than chickens. Turkeys require higher protein feed and may be more expensive per pound.
Raising a flock of turkeys requires more space than raising chickens. Turkeys can grow larger and eat more food than chickens. They require a higher level of protein in their diet than chickens. A few simple guidelines should be followed for both species.
To raise a turkey, you need six square feet of indoor space per bird. This can be a separate building or a spare room in a barn. Another option is a simple structure with roosts and a fenced-in yard. Both breeds need shelter and regular access to water.
Chickens can be a nuisance to your neighbors. They produce a lot of dust and attract flies and insects. If you live in an area that does not allow pets, you can consider keeping your flock indoors to minimize noise and dust problems. However, it’s important to note that many communities have bans on owning peafowl or roosters. In addition, poultry carry disease. For this reason, it’s best to locate your poultry housing as far away as possible from neighbors.
Turkey production is an excellent choice for a part-time or small-scale operation. With a small flock of turkeys, you can raise them to meet your labor needs and your budget. Turkeys are easily started from eggs and can be raised from young poults. This makes them an ideal choice for fresh turkeys that can be sold locally. English colonists first introduced European breeds of turkey to eastern North America in the seventeenth century. Turkeys were originally bred primarily for their plumage until 1935 when breeding shifted to meat quality.
Raising turkeys requires timely and regular care. Basic management practices and good sanitation are vital to successful turkey production. It’s important to purchase turkey stock from a disease-free source, such as a National Poultry Improvement Plan member hatchery. These facilities regularly test for and eradicate disease from their flocks. Keeping turkeys separate from other poultry will also reduce the risk of disease from other animals. Turkeys can contract diseases such as histamines and Mycoplasma galacepticum if they’re raised near chickens.
Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.