Thanks, Kuntrygirl, for starting this thread. I was thinking about this, too, lately. I have only raised BBW(when I foolishly didn't know they had to be AI) and White Holland. I chose White Hollands because I wanted more bang for my buck, so to say and It is the largest White turkey heritage breed in the US. With the BBW, in 2010, I just harvested them as I needed them and with them being soooo large, had turkey breast cutlets, turkey roasts, ground turkey plus sausage to put into the freezer, from each bird. The last one we harvested was over 80 pounds on foot! I don't remember what the dressed weight was, but I remember the breast meat alone was 35 pounds. It was still very tender, and tasted a lot better than store bought. Sort of like comparing a rooster to a store bought fryer, but not tough or stringy like a rooster. A couple of years ago, I bought my first White Hollands, 15 from a hatchery, again, out of ignorance, because I did not know how much more delicate the poults are compared to chicks, I lost about half. I later bought some others from a different hatchery so the gene pool would be more diversified. I do not have the housing for a lot of separation to pen each bloodline separately to prohibit mating brother and sister( which I understand is a no-no) otherwise. I kept all male from one source and all female from the other. Unfortunately, I was only left with 2 breeder hens this past spring. Darn predators! I have selected the turkeys that have developed the largest amount of breast meat to breed this coming year. This leaves me a dozen hens and 5 to 7 Toms, I am looking at, trying to decide which to keep and which to send to freezer camp, along with the ones I do not want to breed. For Thanksgiving we processed 2 toms from last year's (2011) hatching that dressed out at 34 and 35 pounds. When neither of these would fit into the new smoker DH just bought, they went to freezer camp and we processed a tom hatched early this year that dressed out at 20 pounds, and had about equal breast to leg meat. Last year, I sold most of the eggs from the 2 hens as hatching eggs or young poults. Any that did not sell, became my staggered hatched turkeys for the coming year, so some are still too young to decide what their potential is, yet. The 20 pounder DH smoked was delicious with no seasoning at all. DH doesn't do the cooking around here, obviously! I hope to start a selective breeding program to breed the fattest to the fattest, to increase the breasts of my heritage turkeys, but not to the extent that they need AI. It is an experiment, and I am not into showing birds, I just want good meat. I feed them the highest protein pellets, I can get for a decent price, usually 18%, plus oats(which they love), plus all the grasshoppers and bugs they can catch! LOL We plant winter rye over our Bahaya and Bermuda grasses in the two pastures, where all of our birds free range. They are housed in a 30x50 barn, but unless it is bad weather, the turkeys prefer to perch high under the stars. We have outside and inside perches for them that keeps them out of the trees! LOL My hens are not laying yet, but look like they are presenting themselves, so courtship is probably underway and the males have been strutting and displaying for months. If yours are laying, it gives me hopes that mine will be starting soon. I have a few dozen eggs pre-sold, already and have orders for poults, too. I have 2 Sportsmen 1502 incubators, so my hatching capacity is about 360 eggs a month. How I wound up buying another large incubator is another long story. Since I have never raised, or eaten any other breed, I do not know how they would taste, but maybe we can get together and do a turkey egg swap, so everyone can sample at least some of the different breeds. In all fairness, I think they would have to be raised together on the same feed and pasture to do a good comparison. What do you guys think? Who likes the idea of a turkey egg swap? If I can get the right size bags, I might take orders this year for turkeys dressed for the 2013 Holidays. I ordered 150 "plucking fingers" on Amazon today, cause DH says he's gonna make a plucker out of an old clothes dryer he has in his shop. I know, people do them with washers, and we have a spare one of those, too, but he has to be different! I tried to find a processing plant in my area, but haven't yet, so without the services of a processor, I am limited to how many DH and I can get done in 2 days for Thanksgiving and 2 days at Christmas. Do you or anyone else reading this process turkeys for other people? How many do you sell and do you process them yourself? If so do you have a plucker or do you process by hand? That's another reason, I chose a white feathered bird, no dark pinfeathers!