What’s for Dinner?
Part V

2013 January 15
by drdog09

Ben Franklin actually proposed this bird as our national symbol! Considering our debt situation he might have been right.



  • Provides meat, eggs.
  • Especially quiet, though the males do gobble its nothing like the volume of a rooster.
  • Meat is high protein with with a good feed conversion ratio.
  • Can raise a lot of meat in a descent space.
  • Ready fliers in the breed we will discuss.


  • Extremely low reproductive rate.
  • Wastes can be a problem.
  • Can be free ranged. But they are just a comfortable roosting in your neighbors tree as in your purpose built roosting shed.
  • Raising poults is tricky and they have to be trained to eat and drink, but less of a problem once feathered out. Turkeys will brood a clutch of eggs however.
  • Cost of poults these days approach the $10 per bird range.

Overall Notes:

Turkey hold a unique position as a food item. Though enjoyed all year round it has been an American tradition since the Pilgrims to have turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Nary a ham has ever graced a Norman Rockwell painting. ‘Nuf said.

Lets reduce the scope of the discussion. The typical butterball turkey that may have graced your table in November or December can neither reproduce or feed themselves out in the wild. They are a development of modern agrarian science. The craft has so advanced that reproduction is done by artificial insemination. And these commercial turkeys are endangered. Millions are produced every year but only two firms hold the trade secrets to their genetic lines, one of which is British! How about that for tradition? No old butterball won’t do.

So what are we talking about here? In the trade, `heritage` turkeys. One of several breed of turkeys that except for plumage Miles Standish would recognize. There are bronze, Royal Palm, Narragansett, Midget White to consider but a few. All can reproduce naturally to continue the flock. All have feeding requirements similar to chickens just more of it. A heritage turkey will not be as broad breasted as a butterball but the taste will be far superior. Fact the midget white was named best tasting turkey in a blind taste test by a group of well known chefs.

So if they taste so good why don’t more people raise turkeys? Cost for one. Whereas you could have eggs or meat from a chicken at say 16-18 weeks, a turkey will take 8-9 months to reach a consumable size. So if you want to raise your own turkey for Thanksgiving you would have to placed your order for poults in February! You then have to manage their care over the period and if you wish to free range them you run the chance of some flying the coop — for good. Considering that by the time Tday rolls around one can have $50 invested in one bird; that is a sizeable loss. There is also the issue of turkeys not being compatible with chickens. Chickens are carriers of a disease called Blackhead which is deadly to turkeys. So you can not have mixed housing of the two.

Why even consider them? Well for one, there is the pride in having a bird on the table raised on the homestead. To do so is a mark of a superb poultry manager. Their feed ratios are pretty good so that is in their favor. A turkey could be feed solely on seeds and table scraps diet that would impair the growth of your average chicken. Turkeys don’t crow constantly. Their gooble is more muted and is only invoked in males during the mating season lasting a month or so in the spring and fall. Turkeys are also pretty good at free ranging for part of their meal. They are also pretty darn smart as far as birds go. When I was a child a home flock would follow my grandfather out to the garden whenever he had the hoe in his hand. They knew grubs were to be unearthed. Otherwise they paid him no heed. As a meat bird no other bird provides the amount of meat in a single swing of the axe.

As a survival partner chickens are most likely the better choice. But there is one breed one might consider — Midget White. Even though the MW was developed in the early 60’s to meet a particular market segment that never developed they have all the attributes of a heritage turkey and are classed as such. Fact the MW nearly died out if it was not for luck. The thing is the MW is only a couple of pounds more than a White Orpington with a little taller stature that makes them look bigger. They can be housed in any setup that a Orpington could be housed in. So if you are more into the meat need than eggs a group of midget whites would be a good substitute for chickens and they winter better according to reports. If you wish to find out more, here is an interesting read.

If you want to strike for something different, up for a little challenge and have a homegrown turkey gracing your table its worth the try.

54 Responses leave one →
  1. 2013 January 15 6:03 am
    mulletover permalink

    Turkeys are not a good solution for one reason. It’s true that they provide great sustenance they are cheap and easy to feed, don’t require a lot of space, and are not too noisy. Turkey and dressing are everybody’s favorite. But one thing offsets all those positives.

    People invariably will make pets out of them, and give them cute names like Tom, or Mabel, or Jermaine, or Mustaffa, or IP727. Then, when it comes time to get the machete and do the deed, they cannot part with them. They become part of the entitlement society, and draw their monthly rations.

    We don’t want more of that.

  2. 2013 January 15 6:09 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Ha, Ha! IP727. I’ll be nice.

    Petdom is a problem. My wife has said she will disown me if I kill two of our earliest breeder ducks. (They wait by the back door for table scraps like a pair from the ‘Hood waiting for a new EBT card.)

  3. 2013 January 15 6:20 am

    Eat more mullet.

  4. 2013 January 15 6:20 am

    The eyeballs of TEXAS be upon ye.

  5. 2013 January 15 6:35 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Good for Texas. We join a long list of States doing likewise. I feel shamed that the 2nd Amendment even needs defending! It used to be if dear politician proposed chipping away at any of the 10 amendments they were political toast come election time. Not so much anymore I am afraid.

  6. 2013 January 15 6:39 am
    drdog09 permalink

    A little peek at a Chinese phone market — http://www.gizchina.com/2013/01/15/a-trip-to-a-chinese-phone-city/

    Currency rates — 1 Yuan == .16c USD

  7. 2013 January 15 6:43 am
    drdog09 permalink

    For those of you who might have a Mac Mini or run OSX you might want to look at this article — http://lifehacker.com/5976042/display-your-entire-download-history-on-a-mac-with-a-terminal-command

  8. 2013 January 15 6:54 am
    justrand permalink

    used to work in Folsom, CA. Wild turkeys are all over the place! They are protected and seem to KNOW they are protected! Several times I watched as a entire flock (brood?, whatever) walked into the middle of a busy intersection and sat down…stopping traffic. Horns blaring, people swearing…and the birds sat there ignoring everything. And you were NOT allowed to physically move them. And some of those birds were HUGE! Yum!

    Oh…and mating season was a hoot (gobble?). The building I worked in had a low roof, and the females would fly up there and perch along the edge, while the males strutted back and forth like the Dating Game…feathers in full display! Great stuff.


  9. 2013 January 15 7:07 am
    drdog09 permalink

    O’Keefe is at it again! — http://youtu.be/wt1Zy_ASNyA

  10. 2013 January 15 7:31 am
    justrand permalink

    great piece by O’Keefe…but “journalists” having no convictions??? Um…let’s see…

  11. 2013 January 15 8:04 am
    justrand permalink

    IP…Texas leads the way…again! I wonder if Holder and his thugs will try to test Texas’ resolve on this?

  12. 2013 January 15 8:07 am

    There are 44 states that have their own version of the 2nd amendment. Even if the federal 2nd is thrown down, the states via the 10th amend should still have protection from a fed gun grab.

  13. 2013 January 15 8:14 am
    justrand permalink

    IP, Kalifornia is (of course) NOT on the list. But Illinois IS! “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    except in Chicago…duh!

  14. 2013 January 15 8:15 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Even better 49 states have CCW laws now making it legal under varying training regimens and many recognize the CCW permits of other states. That’s a big change from just 20 years ago.

  15. 2013 January 15 8:40 am
    mulletover permalink

    WTF is it with all the Lance Armstrong hype?

    Does anyone care?

    I don’t.

  16. 2013 January 15 8:41 am
    JustMary permalink

    I really really love this series, Dr. Dog!!!!

    I have to mention something that was strongly on my heart this morning. It was present enough that I even mentioned it to my husband over breakfast, and he agreed with me. The words “false sense of security” are on my heart today, and were on it yesterday as well. For a while there, friends of mine were stocking up on food, feeling the need to be prepared, and wanting advice on how to be ready for xyz issue, in order to hunker down for at least a week or two. But, then, the mayan thingy didn’t happen, and Obama’s reelection didn’t cause the sun to hurl itself into the moon, and now they are going on about their lives as though crisis has been averted, and there is no reason to consider making any preps for themselves. It is the strangest thing. That overwhelming sense of dread for ‘whatever’ is gone, and the mall parking lot remains as packed as it was before Christmas. Life is going on. Why this hit me so strongly yesterday I don’t know, but it did. No news is not always good news. It means that news is coming.

  17. 2013 January 15 9:09 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Glad you like it JM. We will be delving into critters of the 4 legged kind next.

    The foreboding feeling? That is because you are aware of what is going on. 51% of the voters/public think things are fine so long as they can get their EBT card, iPhone and iPad. Everything seemed just fine back in the late 20’s till the depression hit. But there were already signs — crop pricing failures, inventories were building up, too much margins on stocks (just like the derivatives today), etc. Then the crash came.

    Being prepared just makes good sense.

  18. 2013 January 15 9:16 am
    justrand permalink

    JM: “false sense of security” …indeed

    reminds me of:
    Sitzkrieg…September 1939 – May 1940. Allied Powers declared war on Germany after Germany invaded Poland…then did NOTHING, since the Germans did NOTHING. Result? In May 1940, once the Allies were utterly and completely asleep, the Germans rolled over ALL of Western Europe in TWENTY-FOUR DAYS!! 10 May 1940 – 4 June 1940.

    Kristallnacht…carried out across Germany and Austria, 9–10 November 1938. But “only” 91 Jews were actually killed…and afterwards NOTHING as bad happened to the Jews until after Germany invaded Poland 11 months later. Result? By the time Germany invaded Poland the Jews across Europe had convinced themselves that Kristallnacht was just about as bad as things would EVER get. Thus the Jews were nearly universally complacent as they were rounded up and slaughtered by the millions starting with the Death Camps the Nazis built in occupied Poland!

    and so on…

    a classic tactic: lull people/enemies to sleep…especially after some see the danger and get people alarmed. Thus those with foresight look stoooopid and foolish for even THINKING something bad could happen.


  19. 2013 January 15 10:24 am
    drdog09 permalink

  20. 2013 January 15 10:34 am
    JustMary permalink

    #18 That is exactly how I feel. Tis why I am finding it rather easy to ignore the Obama whiners who are pissed over their recent paychecks. In a couple of weeks they will be lulled to sleep again and forget all about their paychecks having been higher last year. Same thing happens when Facebook makes changes. Everyone is all up in arms, threatening to leave and whatever else, then they get used to the changes, and go back to looking at cat pictures. When the noise over the payroll tax stops, WHAM. Or maybe it is the gun thing. What if this EO is a big nothingburger. The left will say “See, wingnuts? No one is taking your guns away”, then a Reichstag fire happens. Can’t put my finger on it, but it goes like that in my mind.

  21. 2013 January 15 10:53 am


  22. 2013 January 15 10:59 am
    justrand permalink

    JM, you are exactly right! My ex-Facebook friend will be first in line saying that on every issue every time: “See, wingnuts? No one is…

    ObamaCare is the perfect example of this. Anyone with a brain KNOWS what the disastrous effects of the full implementation will be. BUT, since full implementation hasn’t happened yet, the full effects haven’t been felt. Thus the Left is screeching about how all the bad stuff didn’t happen…and they’re right…it hasn’t happened YET!

  23. 2013 January 15 10:59 am
    justrand permalink

    IP…sleeping, and about to be dinner (or at least the legs will be).

  24. 2013 January 15 12:24 pm

    The final pillars of the welfare state are almost complete. Socialized medicine and gun control are the final nails in the coffin. The left can rejoice after a century of effort. May piss be upon them.

  25. 2013 January 15 12:41 pm
    RepublicanPundit permalink

    I challenge POTUS and COTUS to provide evidence that at least one gun law kept a criminal from getting his (or her) hands on a gun, or even, a weapon for that matter.

  26. 2013 January 15 12:44 pm

    15. No. Much ado about nothing.

  27. 2013 January 15 12:50 pm

    O’Keefe piece = Classic

  28. 2013 January 15 1:03 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Mullet –

    People invariably will make pets out of them, and give them cute names like Tom, or Mabel, or Jermaine, or Mustaffa, or IP727.

    What if you give them names like Barack, Moochelle, Slo Joe, Piglosi, Dingy Harry, McPain, Miss Lucy, Chuckie S, Jesse Jay? Problem solved!

  29. 2013 January 15 1:55 pm
    bc3b permalink

    mulletover –

    WTF is it with all the Lance Armstrong hype?

    Does anyone care?

    I don’t.

    In a former life I worked for a marketing services agency and was director for the Saturn account. Part of my responsibility was the Saturn Cycling Team. The only exciting thing about a cycling race is the last 1,000 yards, and sometimes that isn’t exciting.

  30. 2013 January 15 2:12 pm
    drdog09 permalink

  31. 2013 January 15 2:25 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    I think I have a premise for a new sci-fi novel. Reality to politicians — http://hackaday.com/2013/01/15/print-your-own-30-round-ar15-magazine/ — 3D print is going to make y0ur stupid gun laws irrelevant.

    When a perp can download the .stl file and print it off just before he trips off to the theater for his date with destiny for suicide by cop there will be no stopping them. Period. Tech is and has been moving faster than lawyers for years. I suspect it always will.

  32. 2013 January 15 2:52 pm
    mulletover permalink

    The only exciting thing about a cycling race is the last 1,000 yards, and sometimes that isn’t exciting.

    I am in a constant feud with cyclists in my town. The would-be Lances ride along the main road in a pack even though they have a bike lane, and it pisses me off. One day, my bride horned them pretty good getting around them, and it must have set one of them off. He followed us into my neighborhood, and down my driveway, and got in my wife’s window cursing her. That set me off, and he had to use his bike to fend me off. He left with bent spokes and his tail between his legs.

    The Hatfields and the Mullets. The feud lives on.

  33. 2013 January 15 3:58 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    The only exciting thing about a cycling race is the last 1,000 yards, and sometimes that isn’t exciting. — BC

    Actually a cycling race is won in the first 30 seconds of a race. Something like Tour de France is a team race. The battle at the beginning to take poll positions in each leg are done by team members who are not anticipated to finish at the end. Just like in track. In a velodrome race, singles, it is even crazier. The gun sounds and nobody moves, literally. The first guy that is forced to move loses. That rider is drafted by all the other racers to the point they have no way of winning.

    By the way Mullet, I have that same problem over at the new homestead. We have riders who will ride 4 across. Then the idiots motion people pass them when the road is marked double yellow. Their ignorance just wants me to do this —

  34. 2013 January 15 6:25 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Watching the Indiana – Wisconsin game. The last time I saw that many honkys on the court was a Catholic League high school basketball game.

  35. 2013 January 15 6:36 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Cantor and McCarthy were two of the 49 GOP reps who voted for the Hurricane Sandy bill that was full of pork.


  36. 2013 January 15 7:16 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “My (liberal) friend continually referenced the availability of “automatic weapons with high-capacity clips.” I responded that those do sound awfully intimidating, and it’s a good thing they’ve been illegal in this country — excepting a tiny number of special permit-holders — for decades. He looked stunned, more so when I explained that “high-capacity clips” don’t really exist.

    That’s the understanding gap that plagues the United States regarding gun politics; it isn’t a simple lack of communication between “pro-“ and “anti-.” The anti-liberty leadership has been lying to and frightening their supporters so effectively and for so long that the “anti-“ group has no idea what it’s actually protesting against. President Barack Obama and his accomplices are not trying to ban automatic weapons; those are already tightly controlled.

    For those of you who dismiss my argument as focusing on minutiae, I would respond by pointing out that focusing on minutiae and disseminating erroneous information are the essence of the liberal position on gun control.”


  37. 2013 January 15 7:25 pm


    This cartoon was in the Chicago Tribune in 1934.
    Look carefully at Trotsky’s plan of action in the lower left corner.

  38. 2013 January 15 7:48 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    This dude has no hair but has alot of BALLS!

    We need more REAL patriots like this guy:


    “I would be ashamed if a founding father were in this room now; You are never going to pull a gun from Jackson County”

  39. 2013 January 15 7:51 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    The “evil” private company Wal-Mart doing much more to HELP Americans in need then all the gun n liberty n cash sucking socialist politicans ever did:


    “Wal-Mart to Hire Vets, Buy American

    Wal-Mart pledges to hire thousands of veterans and buy more US products over the next decade”

  40. 2013 January 15 8:11 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    The following comes from AR15.com. In the thread I was reading, many of the posters were talking about what is happening with gun & ammo sales. How ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is flying off the shelves. How it is by average Americans who are scared by what they are seeing. The posters also mention what average Americans are saying and it is not pretty.

    Here is the link to the thread. If you have the time it is an eye opener as to what these people are seeing and saying.


    Posted on AR15.com by Tango7.

    That fire is the yearning for liberty, the same ember that burned within the souls of our ancestors, and has been alive among those who love freedom more than themselves ever since.

    The fire has been there, in most of us, save a few poor souls who question the very concepts of freedom and liberty, dislike the independence and distrust that was a core of our country’s formation and fear their ability to survive without an omnipresent force controlling every aspect of their existence.

    Sadly, given our relative safety and security, in many of us the fire has smouldered down to an ember, hidden safely within a crust of ash, nearly cool to the touch, while those of us for whom the fire still burns it cannot be extinguished even by our deaths, as we have passed the flame to our loved ones, our children, and everyone with whom we have shared our passion either directly or indirectly.

    The difference has been the winds of change.

    The winds have started to blow cold, and harsh, and strong enough to shake us to our core, where that ember lay hidden and sleeping.

    But the gusts disturbed it, and fanned it, and the light it gave illuminated what the winds were bringing with them, for those that chose to see.

    There are those who saw the change on the horizon like an approaching dust storm, and had already shuttered their windows, gathered their families and stowed their provisions, as they would for any gale.

    There are others that simply pull their blankets around them, focus on the light from the television and hope nothing happens, ignorant of history and ambilvalent to the future.

    But the ones we see as newly lit, they are the ones who are realizing, at whatever point they are now in their lives, that those “dead white male slaveowners” of 200 years ago might have seen something in their own time that would cause them to give us that Amendment amongst all the others… an aspect of human nature that would remain as much a constant as the yearning for liberty, the desire for power.

    That is why the Founders included those 27 words, and phrased them the way they did.

    “being necessary to the security of a free State”

    With laws being passed before being read, mandates being called “taxes” and the proclaimed heroes of many in office having ideologies anathema to our Country, that the winds shooks as many as they did should not be surprising, nor should the response.

    They wanted change, but may have been unaware of how we would take that change, or the security they offered in lieu of our liberty.

    It would seem that they misunderstood how many still had their own fire inside of them, and would not be willing to extinguish it within themselves.

    Now we wait to see what the next move is.

    Ever kick a smouldering bonfire on a windy day? It bursts into flame, and scatters burning embers everywhere.

  41. 2013 January 15 8:41 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #42 Excellent post – you are right on the $$$$ IMHO

    hopefully, this gun grab has really exposed the brazen and violent intent of the ruling cabal of Statists…..lets hope people answer the bell for really on this latest wake up call for liberty (and Lord knows we have plenty of warning bells going off lately….)

  42. 2013 January 15 9:54 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “In doing so, we should keep in mind that in the past 100 years Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, China, and other governments have turned on their people at various times and, in doing so, restricted freedoms starting often with gun ownership. You may think a 30 round magazine is too big. Under the real purpose of the second amendment, a 30 round magazine might be too small.

    Regardless, as the President announces how he will curtail the freedoms of the second amendment, we should remember Justice Robert Jackson’s opinion in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

    The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”


  43. 2013 January 15 10:10 pm

    ” buy more US products over the next decade”
    That assumes anyone here is making any. 😉

  44. 2013 January 15 10:11 pm

    39 – file not found (404)

  45. 2013 January 16 12:03 am
    drdog09 permalink

    2nd Amendment is under attack by the political poobas. A local channel I catch from time to time on telly has been playing The Patriot 4 nights in a row. Coincidence??

  46. 2013 January 16 2:27 am

    If you can’t trust your own security detail….

    Guy charges self identified liberals a surcharge for his smoothies.

  47. 2013 January 16 2:39 am

    Ansar al Sharia Tunisia doing a little spiking of the football, not that anyone cares about that little incident in Benghazi.

  48. 2013 January 16 6:23 am
    justrand permalink

    gnqanq, that post in #42 (and associated comments at the link) was excellent. If enough Americans were to stand up for ALL their rights, then Obama and his Flying Monkeys wouldn’t be able to “fundamentally transform” America.

    BUT…over 51% of Americans either don’t give a damn, can be bought off for an “entitlement”, or actually WANT the government to control ever aspect of their lives.

    You actually can stack tinder, old newspapers and gasoline next to your furnace…and you may never have a fire. Then again, it’s not the ideal storage for those items, eh? And yet the Democrats are doing exactly that with our Republic…and the GOP is (mostly) sitting idly by (or profiting from it). I pray we don’t have that “fire”…but I’m increasingly seeing no other way out.

  49. 2013 January 16 7:10 am

  50. 2013 January 16 7:48 am
    justrand permalink

    IP, that clip was AWESOME! Humor used to actually be FUNNY!!

  51. 2013 January 16 10:31 am
    JustMary permalink

    #42 Excellent link, and it led me to another excellent link because I was intrigued by the Lincoln comment:


    Read the entire thing. I could not agree more with what he said.

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