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Eating Heritage Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by aggieterpkatie, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2009
    So I have 5 heritage turkeys this year (Royal Palms and Buffs and Slate) and I'm going to be selling them dressed, ready for Thanksgiving. I'd like to process them this weekend. How bony are they supposed to be? I only have experience with the broad breasteds, so I want to make sure I'm not shocked when I pluck them. [​IMG] The buffs and slate are fully grown I thin (I hatched them in early April) and they don't feel very meaty in teh breast. Is that normal or do they need more time? They're eating too much and I'd just like to go aheadn and process them, but I want happy customers too. Do they put on meat as they grow or do they grow and then "plump up"? I know they're not going to look like the broad breasted, I just want to make sure I don't process them too early. Thanks!
  2. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Yes, you need to wait longer.

    May I suggest waiting until the weekend before Thanksgiving which will give them more time to fill out (heritage birds need about 9 months to mature to butchering size). Ask your customers to bring their ice chest to your home the week before Thanksgiving then on butcher day you butcher the birds and put them right into the customers ice chest, add some ice and have the customer pick them up that day. They can rest in the ice chest (keep adding ice) until Thanksgiving day. This worked great for me. The turkeys were fresh and I didn't have to store them in a freezer.

    PS- My heritage birds were 9 months old and the breasts were very large.
  3. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2009
    Shoot. Ok Renee', thanks!
  4. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Far West Phoenix
    yeah, I'm planning on trying to order next year's thanksgiving birds in February this time so they're big and meaty in time for the big week. Works out well here in AZ, the only trick is finding a hatchery that sells em that early!

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