Midget White Turkeys
We started raising Midget White turkeys in 2003. We chose this breed because the turkeys were (and still are) endangered, could reproduce on their own, were small enough that we could enjoy turkey throughout the year without having a lot of leftovers (or as we call them, reruns). We have no regrets about our decision. The ALBC currently lists their status as critical for becoming extinct. We believe that this will change because Midget White turkeys are fun to raise and taste great. In 2008 a blind taste test of nine turkeys (eight heritage breeds and a very common commercial breed) was conducted. Approximately seventy food professionals sampled each of the nine turkeys. The Midget White turkey came out on top, and not surprisingly, the commercial bird finished last.
The hens are naturally broody and hatch the chicks by themselves. We usually take the poults (young turkeys) from the hens at a day of age and brood them indoors for five to seven weeks, depending on the weather. During this time they are fed our base custom ration supplemented with organic fish meal for the extra protein that hey need. After brooding they are reintroduced to the rest of the flock.
This past year we let a few of the hens keep their offspring to rear them. This experiment was quite successful, and we are looking into setting up a separate brooding house for the hens and their poults this breeding season.
We really enjoy raising these birds. Midget White turkeys are naturally curious and fun. On many an occasion I have had several hens slowly walk up to me while weeding a vegetable garden. Satisfied that what I was doing was not that interesting, they would then wonder away. They regularly spend their nights roosting atop our outbuildings – quite a sight to see at dusk or dawn.
We named our first breeding tom Mr. White, and he is special to our family. When he was not even a year old he hopped a fence and scared half a dozen girls to the point of standing atop a picnic table - a feat which he accomplished twice in a time span of less than five minutes. He also did something that still amazes us. In the fall of 2008 we started “losing” poults from a late hatch. The predator was an opossum. What fascinated us during this ordeal was that Mr. White started to bed down on the ground with the remaining young poults under his wings at the night. We did not lose another of these poults, and we will not eat Mr. White!
However due to an unfortunate incident with a bob cat this fall we currently do not have any turkey's left. So if you are looking to purchase either eggs, poults, breeding stock or thanksgiving turkeys we are unable to provide them.