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300                                                   THE FRIEND OF ALL.


Breeds . ..........300


Bronze . ........ . . 300

Breasts.......... . 300

Common........... 300

Care of Young Turkeys......300

Crooked Breasts........   301

English Turkeys........   300

Fattening of Turkeys......   300

General Management......    800

History of Turkeys.......   300

Kinds............    300

Profits of Turkey Raising.....   301

Raising Turkeys ....... .   301

Shelter for Young Turkeys ....   301

Turkeys for the Market .....   301

Roost for Young Turkeys.....   301

Turkeys.The turkey has been domesticated for
nearly three hundred years, yet it still retains some of
its wild habits, doubtless due to the fact that it will
bear confinement less than any of the domesticated
land-birds. Nearly every color is represented among
them, black-bronzed and white-mottled being the
common wild color. Some of the species are the
Common turkey, Black-and-white mottled ; Black-
bronzed ; Mexican; White; Buff; Fawn-colored.

The Black-Bronzed, said to have been produced
by a cross of the Wild turkey upon the common
Turkey-hen, by subsequent careful selection and
breeding, is the largest, as it is the best of the domes­
ticated land varieties. They are hardy and of
beautiful plumage, and will weigh about thirty
pounds, while forty is sometimes reached by some

The Common Turkey.The Common turkeys are
the most profitable to breed where only dollars and
cents are concerned, as they are hardy, of medium
size, little inclined to wander, and mature early.
At eight months old they will weigh, when fattened,
from ten to twelve pounds, and at maturity sixteen
and even eighteen.

In color, they are white-and-black mottled, hav­
ing the head and wattle of the wild turkey.

English Turkeys, so called, are small and a sub-
variety of the common American turkey, but cross-
breeding and selection have increased the size and
rendered them quite uniform in color.

Besides these breeds there is a Narragansett tur­
key; the White turkey; Black turkey; Buff turkey.

The General Management of Turkeys.Those who
understand the proper method of rearing turkeys,
the appliances and the convenience, do not find it a
hard business, and a very profitable one when prop­
erly managed. The first essential is, to know the
habits of the fowl. Turkey geese may be used for
breeding at two years of age and the hen at one
year. Farmers are very negligent in this respect;
the hen which you choose to hatch eggs should be
of good size, as the hen will lay an immense num­
ber of eggs. The first eight or nine should be
set under a good hen; and after that the turkey-hen
will have as many as she can cover. May and
June are the best months for hatching. The hen
is very constant in her sitting, and must be watched
or she will not get her own food ; she must always
be kept quiet. Many turkeys are hatched out in
about twenty days, and as a usual thing are very
stupid in learning to feed, so that it is a good plan

to put two or three hens’ eggs to be hatched out
with the turkeys’ eggs, putting them in about five
days later than when you set the turkey-hen, so that
at least one or two chickens may come off with the
brood of young turkeys, and thus teach them how
to feed, which is the same as for young chickens.
A little dandelion mixed with boiled eggs is found
very good.

Great care must be taken of the little turkeys
until they are nine weeks old, or until they com­
mence to put on the red. Under no circumstances
should they be exposed to the rain or cold. Take
good care of them and they will become the hardi­
est breeds known in the poultry-yard, braving with
impunity the fiercest storms, and even preferring to
roost on high trees in the depth of winter. In fact,
turkeys will rarely roost in the fowl-house, and
therefore a very high open shed should be provided.
They will not bear confinement at all well, and must
have plenty of range in order to thrive. They are
of a roaming disposition, and they are quite liable to
do much damage in gardens and cultivated places
and fields. It is always well to remove the turkey-
gobbler from the flock before the hens commence sit­
ting. Foxes, skunks, hawks, and crows are great
thieves of eggs. Turkey-hens are good sitters, but
sometimes uncertain; turkeys are very liable to steal
their nests, being sly in their habits. It is therefore
a good plan to decoy, in the places which are fre­
quented by them, by placing nest-boxes in corners
remote from intrusion, and in tops of trees where
they are in the habit of roosting; it does not need to
be an elaborate nest; it may be in a clump of bushes,
or in fact any place that is secure from the driving
storms, and which will act as a hiding-place for

In setting turkey-hens, they should not be set near
together, as one clutch will be hatched before an­
other, thus enticing one of the other setters to leave
her eggs to take care of the young turkeys which she
hears near by. As soon as the chicks peep through
the shell, you will know it by a peculiar sound
which the turkey-hen makes, as she does not make
this noise at any other time. Care should be taken
lest before you even suspect it, you have a large nest
full of young turkey chicks.

Care of Young Turkeys.Turkeys require no food
for twenty-four to thirty-six hours after they are
hatched out. They should be put with the mother
in a pen, and fed practically the same food as you
would feed young chickens; they should always

TURKEYS.                                                                        301

be fed four or five times a day. They should be
confined in the pen for two weeks, until they are
strong enough to follow the mother; for it is always
the way with the mother to lead the young brood
on long rambles among tall grass and green fields,
thus tiring out the little chicks.

Essential care should be taken not to expose
them to wet before being full fledged. Dew is
very fatal to young turkeys before they are fully
fledged, and it is always well to keep them in a
covered shed. Sour-milk curds is an excellent j
food for young turkeys ; after the first week or two,
the egg and bread crumbs may be done away with,
and corn meal mixed with skim-milk will take its
place. Grass and other green food can be given at
that time. Cayenne pepper should also be put in |
with the food. As the turkeys grow old, the
amount of food may be decreased; and if there is
no danger from dogs, turkey-hens may be left to
select their own nests, and at the end of four
months they will bring home with them a fine
brood of young turkeys. When young turkeys
commence to droop and appear sleepy and drowsy
it is a sure sign that they have vermin, and it will
be wise to examine your broods.

Shelter for Young Turkeys.If a farmer wishes to
have a fine crop of young turkeys as well as old
ones, it is necessary for him to see that they are
well sheltered at night. These shelters can be a
shed, barn, or hovel, it makes no difference which.
Most young poults up to six weeks old should be
kept in a small coop surrounded by a yard, boarded
up about fifteen inches high. A very good method
is, if the young poults do not come back at night,
to have some one go after them, and very soon
they will get into the habit of coming by them­

Roosts for Young Turkeys.Turkeys are usually
left to seek roosting-places on trees or buildings.
This is a very bad practice, and should at all times
be avoided. Roosting on trees causes the breast­
bone to become deformed, especially in the early
period of their life. Roosting on barns and other
buildings is a very filthy habit, and no first-class
farmer would permit it. It is well in locating a
roost to put it on the south side of some building,
thus protecting it from the winter colds ; it should
be high, and four or five inches in diameter; care
being taken not to have one side under the
other, but along in a parallel line about two feet
apart. The advantages of this system can be
easily seen in that you have access to your flock
morning and evening where you can count them,
and by putting a few carloads of manure under­
neath the roost, you will have a fine mass of com-
posit nitrogen.

Crooked Breasts.This is caused by a weak con­
stitution, or by injury received from sitting upon
small limbs of trees, and it also may be caused by

too much inbreeding; if this is the case, change
either the gobbler or the hen. Birds having such
deformities should be killed and sent to the market.

Fattening Turkeys.Turkeys should always be
sent to the market in the finest condition possible.
The economy in feeding is to give the young tur­
keys all that they can digest of corn food up to the
time they are killed for market. They should be
fed morning and night, and should be put through
a regular course for fattening. The first of October
is the time to kill for Thanksgiving; it is also a
first-rate plan to reserve the smaller birds for Christ­
mas and New Year's market, and they will ninety-
nine times out of a hundred pay for the long feeding.

The best food is old corn and warm meal; milk
is also an excellent fattening food. The corn should
be given plentifully, and a good way to do is to put
it in a field of grass if possible, making long throws
of corn so that the turkeys can help themselves.

Turkeys for Market—In caging turkeys, it is well
to spread the ground over with corn, placing a
noose in the center, and when the turkey steps into
this, pull it quickly and you have a turkey on the
string; but, however, if you follow out our sugges­
tion and have roosting-places the birds can be very
easily caught at night. Prepare in a room, shed, or
stable as many nooses as you have turkeys, hang
up each bird by the feet as high as will be conve­
nient for handling; then take a sharp-pointed knife
and stick them in the mouth across the roof near
the top of the back, thus penetrating the brain with
the point of the knife.

As soon as the bird is dead, pick clean of all
pin-feathers, cut off the neck as near the head as
possible, cut off the wings, and draw the crop and

The bird should be taken from this noose ready
for market. It is also a first-class plan to put the
j bird, after dressing, on a table or clean board to
cool off. In all circumstances great care should be
taken not to break the skin, and not to leave any
of the feathers on the birds.

In order to keep up your reputation as a turkey
raiser, the bird should be as clean and as fine-look­
ing as possible, and doing this will make a great
difference, not only with your class of customers
but also with the size of your bank-book.

The Profits of Turkey Raising.The profit of tur­
key raising is very large, the outlay being compara­
tively small, as turkeys always command a good
price in the market.

The one great secret for a large profit in turkeys
is to take care of them and to look out for them all
[ summer long, and do not think, “ Well, let the tur­
keys take care of themselves, they are a good hardy
fowl,” because if you do this, you will let some of
I the smallest details go which are necessary in tur­
key-raising. Always watch the small ones, and the
! large ones will take care of themselves.

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