Updated on February 23, 2015.
Our turkey breeder flocks were hit very hard by Buffalo Gnats at the end of May and all of June in 2013. In the end we lost more than 65% of our adults. The remainder had trouble recovering from massive blood loss and stress. Thousands upon millions of Buffalo Gnats descended upon the pens each day late in the afternoon when there was no breeze, driving the birds nuts as the gnats crawled in the turkey's ears and covered the exposed skin on the head, sucking blood. This seriously impacted our numbers and plans.NOTE: No turkey poults can be shipped by us to the State of Minnesota. We are very sorry, but your state Agriculture department requires over 6 blood tests that cannot be done realistically or economically around here. If we are shipping your turkeys to a state which does not border Iowa, you MUST request and pay for Express Mail Service. Turkeys are just too fragile to take a chance on them taking three days for delivery.
Any who raises turkeys is aware of the issues, when raising chickens and turkeys together - that being the condition of Blackhead (a complex disease that turkeys get from chickens. Our sandy soil (good drainage) helped keep things in check for over 20 years, but our conditions have changed and we are now having periodic outbreaks. (Please see Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry (fourth edition) for an explanation.
We dearly love our turkey flocks and are constantly doing research on the benefits of raising chicks and poults together to prevent Mareks in chickens. We will always continue to raise turkeys, but our poult supply will be variable. When we started this operation in 1989 turkey genetic supplies were at an all time low and we felt pressured to do all we could to maintain and put all our efforts into perpetuation. Fortunately, times have changed and there are now multiple sources for some.
Our new project will be to continue to select for the hardiest birds to withstand Blackhead. Hopefully, we can do what has been labeled the impossible by the professionals and breeders - Blackhead resistant turkeys.
Therefore, turkeys will only be sold in assortments this year (3 types of assortments).
PLEASE REMEMBER ALL DAY-OLD POULTRY IS SOLD AS STRAIGHT RUN ONLY. WE DO NOT SEX ANY OF THE DAY-OLDS. Since we do not sell sexed chicks, we have no control over what you receive as far as a male-female ratio. Ideally, it is supposed to be a 50-50 split, but anyone who has been in poultry knows it can vary from that.
PLEASE NOTE MINIMUM NUMBER OF BIRDS REQUIREMENT BEFORE ORDERING!
You MUST order 15 turkey poults (the equivalent of 25 chicks) per order. You may mix turkeys, chicks and guineas in the same order. One turkey poult equals two chicks or guineas. This is required because the poults will not stay warm enough to arrive alive at your Post Office if there are too few poults in the box. The only option that we have to keep the poults warm enough to ship is by the body heat of the poults. Please do not ask us to ship less than this minimum requirement.
Super Assorted - 15 Poults for $105.00 or $8.00 each: These can be 1 or 2 of each of any breeds from the list. This is a good way to find out which best fits your needs. Then order the specific breed you like next season. Remember, you will receive a list of the contents with the shipment. There will be ABSOLUTELY NO CHOICES in the assortment. (SOLD OUT THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF 2015)
Assorted Poults (2 breeds) (7+ of each of 2 breeds) - 15 Poults for $165.00 (SOLD OUT THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF 2015)
Assorted (3 breeds) (5 of each of 3 breeds) - 15 Poults for $150.00 (SOLD OUT THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF 2015)
There will be ABSOLUTELY NO CHOICES in the assortments.
Turkey Breed Descriptions
Auburn: A chocolate color diluted with reddish tint. From a distance they look like a chocolate that is off-color. Close up the feathers are chocolate with faint red dots. The wings are barred white and chocolate. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Black Spanish: Large, pure black turkey. Dates back to one of the earliest selections from the Wild turkey. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Blue Slate A slate, blue-grey, medium sized breed. Like all blue fowl, three types of offspring are produced -the blue slate which is blue with black flecks; a dull, self-blue color; and a black. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Bronze, Wishard Strain This is a true-breeding strain, not the common type found in feed mills. They are the large birds people used to picture when they thought of turkeys. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Bourbon Red Developed in the late 1880's. A beautiful, dark red with white wing and tail feathers. They are not as broad-breasted as some, but they make a nice eating bird. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Chocolate Chocolate brown in color. Day-old poults are white faced with chocolate bodies. A very old variety. Now back in decent numbers after nearly becoming extinct ten years ago. Thanks goes to Paula Johnson for the work she put into this breed to help bring it back from the brink of extinction. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Jersey Buff An old breed that is a beautiful buff color. These are very rare today. Because the blood line was very limited on these just a few years ago, we keep 2 separate lines. One line is darker than the other and occasionally has a few black tips in some feathers. The other line is a pale buff. We hope that by keeping 2 lines going we can keep the vigor and genetic diversity up. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Lilac A beautifully colored, exceptional bird. A Lilac with Lilac mating produces only 25% offspring that are Lilac. Lilacs are a 3-way cross with a genotype for color of bbRrSlsl. Recessive for black, and heterozygous for red and slate. Twenty-five percent of the offspring are Lilac, 25% are Fawn, 25% are Red Slate, and 25% are a washed out Bronze color. Lilacs are a bluish grey with tiny red flecks and a red band in the tail. We try to select the day-old poults that show the most potential for turning out Lilac as adults. You can expect to get some that will not, but we do our best to send the best. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Midget White A very small, white turkey developed by the USDA in the 1930's. A very unique, genetically small sized turkey. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Narrangansett Medium to large sized turkey with contrasting black and grey color. Wing feathers are barred. A very old breed. Overall looks to be a rather silver color. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Royal Palm A striking color pattern of black and white. Very attractive and showy. They are a small breed. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
Sweet Grass Large, broad-breasted type. Almost Calico in color on a Royal Palm base. The color and body conformation is somewhat variable because we are still selecting for an ideal size and naturally breeding type. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)
White Holland This is the true-breeding type, not what is sold as White turkeys in the feed mills. These are a realistic size and capable of breeding without artificial insemination as the modern turkeys of today's farms require. (AVAILABLE ONLY IN ASSORTMENTS FOR 2015)