Best tasting heritage turkey?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    OK, I have now cooked the two Royal Palm turkeys I raised this past summer. The tom was served as Christmas dinner and everyone agreed it was the most delicious turkey they had ever had. The hen we smoked and served to guests at our New Years Day open house and it was pretty much picked to the bone. Neither of them were very big (12lb tom and 6lb hen) but their deliciousness made me want to raise some turkeys again next summer.

    While the Royal Palm were tasty, I'd prefer something that put on a bit more meat during the same time period.

    I'm thinking Narragansett or maybe Bourben Red but I will tell you that I'd be willing to sacrafice some size for amazing taste.

    What do you folks recommend?
  2. pv74

    pv74 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 1, 2014
    Southern Idaho
    The heritage varieties grow may want to try keeping some longer, say over the winter...they will live for 7 or more years from what I am told.

    I culled one of my sweetgrass toms for xmas and he was at least 16lbs...seemed to be plenty of meat for 6 kids and 4 adults.
    He was very flavorful...I raised the tom from a chick. Purchased in late april.

    Less breast meat, but the meat was of a lot nicer texture and much more flavorful than say a butterball from the supermarket....I poured a quart of apple cider I pressed this fall in the roasting pan....made it even nicer.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  3. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    Almost every other variety will put on more weight than the palms. Bourbon Reds are rumored to be the best but I think they all taste about the same. If the birds are less than 28 weeks, the breasts aren't fully developed, so most growers try to keep them for at least 28-30 weeks. Up north it's a challenge to get them any older because its tough to get a hatch before May 1. But in Colorado you should be able to hatch birds sooner. Some say the older birds taste better, but I have not been impressed when I have butchered birds from 3 to 5 years old. Birds that are 18 months are still pretty good, but then your feeding them for an extra 10 months.

    For the most meat in a heritage breed, go for white Hollands or standard bronze.

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