Age Of Maturity Of Male Birds

The age of maturity of male birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the males reach sexual maturity and will start breeding with their female partners.

Quail = about 60 days old.

Hen = about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = male grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old.

Ducks = about 8 months old.

Turkeys = about 8 months old.

Geese = about 8 months old.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop to browse through our collection of books on sale.

If you keep poultry, gamebirds or waterfowl or are thinking of keeping pouultry, gamebirds or waterfowl then join the free farmingfriends forum.

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Age Of Maturity Of Female Birds

The age of maturity of female birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the females reach sexual maturity and will start laying eggs and breeding with their male partners.

Quail = about 50 days old (I have observed that female Japanese quail will start to lay eggs from about 6-8 weeks old.)

Hen =  about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = female grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old, however female guinea fowl can start to lay as early as from 16 weeks old.

Ducks = about 4 months old, generally domestic ducks will start to lay from 21 to 26 weeks of age. My khaki campbell ducks started to lay from about 20 weeks old.

Turkeys = about 7 months old.

Geese = about 7 months old.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop to browse through our collection of books on sale.

If you keep poultry, gamebirds or waterfowl or are thinking of keeping pouultry, gamebirds or waterfowl then join the free farmingfriends forum.

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Male To Female Ratio For Keeping Different Varieties Of Poultry

Here is a rough guide to the male to female ratio for keeping different varieties of poultry together.

Quail = 1 male to every 3-4 females.

Hen = 1 males to every 6-10 females. (The Domestic Fowl Trust normally recommend 1 male to 6 females for breeding chickens.)

Partridges = 1 male to 1 female.

Pheasants = 1 male to every 6-7 females.

Guinea fowl = 1 male to every 2-3 females. Although best paired up.

Ducks = 1 male to every 4-6 females. (Debbie at South Yeo Farm normally puts 1 drake with min of 6 ducks and she says, “but some are more rampant than others!” I too have 1 drake to 6 ducks.)

Turkeys = 1 male to every 10 females.

Geese = 1 male to every 4 females.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop.

If you keep poultry, gamebirds or waterfowl or are thinking of keeping pouultry, gamebirds or waterfowl then join the free farmingfriends forum.

If you would like to receive regular information about poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Norfolk Black Turkey

The Norfolk Black Turkey is a traditional Christmas breed.

  • The Norfolk Black has jet black feathers and white flesh.
  • The beak and feet of this bird are also black.
  • This breed has a smaller breast.
  • Norfolk Blacks are slow growing birds and take longer to mature than other breeds of turkey.
  • A good choice as a free range turkey.
  • A curious and mischevious bird.
  • The Norfolk Black has a friendly nature.
  • The meat has a strong, gamey flavour.
  • Norfolk Black turkeys originate from Mexico and came to Europe in the 1500s.

A useful book for a turkey keeper is Turkeys At Home By Michael Roberts £9.00

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If you keep turkeys or are thinking of keeping turkeys then join the free farmingfriends turkey forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about turkeys and turkey related issues.

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Steve’s Turkeys In Chiang Mai – Which Turkey Breed?

My farmingfriend Steve who lives in Chiang Mai has a couple of  Turkeys and would like to know what breeds they are as he bought them from a market in North Thailand and they didn’t tell him what the breeds were, so if anyone could help that would be great. Here are the young turkeys.


Steve says, “Just for your info turkeys love our local grown bananas (nam wa), eat chinese cabbage with joy and the turkeys eat mango. They enjoyed termite alates. The turkeys have already eaten a whole bed of young brassica, the leaves from a bean like crop we grow and all the new shoots of the corn. They now stay in unless I can be there to keep them off the garden beds.”

I think that it is really interesting to find out about the animals people keep in different countries and the food that they feed their livestock. Little by little I am learning about smallholders around the world and I really enjoy making new farmingfriends.

If anyone can help identify the turkey breeds then please leave a reply and I’ll let Steve know.

Turkey Litter

Does anyone have experience of keeping turkey‘s and know the best litter to keep growing turkeys on, as I recently received a comment on my forum from Lablanc asking about this,

I’m keeping a few Turkeys for christmas again, and every year I have this disagreement with my farther in law about the bedding in there shed. I let them out in the morning and they have a run in a fenced of section of a field where the have their food and water, and they are put in each night with water. Every second day I cover the shed floor with some fresh straw which covers the soiled bedding underneath. Now he says that I should clean out the old bedding rather than adding new straw.Can I have your opinion on this….

My answer was:

“Hi lablanc,
Thanks for your question. I don’t have turkeys and although I have incubated turkey eggs before, unfortunately the turkeys never made it to adult life.
My husband says that in the big commercial sheds they keep adding straw as you are doing and then clean out at the end of the Season.
Hope that helps.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends”

So if anyone know the best type of litter and how to often to change the litter used to keep growing turkeys on, then I would be pleased to hear from you.

Incubating Turkey Eggs

Incubation Period

 

The incubation period for turkey eggs is 28 days.

Incubation Temperature

The temperature in the incubator for turkey eggs is 99-99.5 degrees fahrenheit.

Humidity Levels

The humidity level (wet bulb thermometer) for turkey eggs is 83-86 degrees fahrenheit.

Final Day Of Egg Rotation

The final day of egg rotation for turkey eggs is day 25.

Please note that all of this information is only a guide and that this information may differ according to the incubator manufacturer’s guide.

Always consult the manufacturer’s guide when using an incubator and automatic egg turner.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Turkeys (Storey’s Guides to Raising)