Eastern Turkeys

Raising Turkeys

There are different subspecies of wild turkeys and they vary in size, color, and behaviors.  Each breed lives in a different part of the United States.  The Eastern turkey is the most commonly seen turkey in the fields of Iowa.  There are five subspecies : Eastern, Merriam, Rio Grande, Goulds, and Osceloa.  These are the names of the wild breeds of turkeys.  However, they are no longer considered “wild” after they have been breed in captivity.  It is illegal to own or capture a wild turkey for breeding purposes.

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My turkeys are Eastern turkeys that have been breed in captivity and are no longer considered wild.

 

Eastern Tom Turkey

Eastern Tom Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eastern turkeys weigh 18-24 pounds or more; hens (females) weigh about 10 pounds. Plumage is iridescent bronze; dark with tips rusty to light brown.  The colors may have variance according to the area where birds live.  The neck and head of adult males is reddish, while females have bluish heads with more and darker feathers on the head.

 

Tom & Mike

Tom & Mike

 Iowa Turkey Farm’s flock

Iowa Turkey Farm has 42 Eastern hens and 3 Eastern toms.  We collect about 3 to 4 dozen eggs daily in the spring and just into the summer months.

The original 2 pair of Eastern turkeys was purchased from a registered DNR breeder in Northern Iowa.  I also recieved rescued poults from a river flood and a pair of turkeys the DNR captured as they were causing trouble in a new housing development.  As you can see I am extremely careful where I purchase and obtain my birds.  The Farm is DNR licensed to sell the Eastern Turkey.

 

The Eastern Turkey Flock.
The Eastern Turkey Flock.

Turkeys on the Farm

Each turkey is banded with a number and a breed tag.  The Turkeys are protected from night predators by being locked in a 40 X100 pen.  Turkeys are naturally the ghosts in the woods, but on the farm they turn into curious pets that investigate everything in and on the farm.  They are mousers, snake catchers and insect exterminators.

Young Eastern Poult getting her fill of Mulberries.

Young Eastern Poult getting her fill of Mulberries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We raise happy birds by creating natural habitat within the enclosures and letting them free range on the farm for the off season.  If you let them free range while they are laying, they try to stay on their nest and then they become an easy meal for predators.

We take orders for poults in the early spring.  There is usually one pick up date in the first two weeks of May.  They poults are $7 each.  We do not sell adult birds and we only butcher when we are rotating stock.  We sell hatching eggs on Ebay only, but you are welcome to pick up to save on shipping.  We sell the turkey eggs as eating eggs when mating season is complete in June.

Farm bug control workers.

Eastern Poults out for a stroll and a snack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about the turkey’s adventures on the Farm by selecting ‘Home’ to visit our Blog.  Read turkey entries by selecting ‘Eastern Turkeys’ in the ‘Select Category’ box.