These young toms are always eager to parade.
Luck was on the side of these Royal Palm turkeys.
They may have been destined for Thanksgiving dinner, but then they found a home on Jacob King’s Donaldsonville farm. Jacob has a menagerie that includes goats, sheep, some pigs, chickens and even a pair of peacocks. He felt some Royal Palms would make an excellent addition.
Small in stature but large in attitude, Royal Palms are a heritage breed–kept for their beauty and generally considered as too small to be commercially profitable on a large scale. They weigh in at 10 pounds for hens and up to 16 pounds for toms. According to the Livestock Conservancy, the Palm was first seen in Florida in the 1930’s. They were recognized as a distinct breed in 1971.
Out turkey hens proved to be great mothers. Here at Big Branch Apiary we let our girls raise the chicks we hatched along with the poults. If you are incubating keep in mind that turkeys hatch after 28 days and chickens after only 21. Make sure to coordinate the hatch if you want to raise them together.
Although the hens lay regularly, unlike many chickens they quit laying in the fall. We have to wait but still, we are excited for next spring and the new batch of chicks!