1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

First Homegrown Thanksgiving Turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by rubyrogue, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. rubyrogue

    rubyrogue Chillin' With My Peeps

    438
    0
    129
    Mar 8, 2010
    Wow...thats about all I can think of to say. I did not get him processed as soon as he should have been so ended up with a 34lb bird after cleaning and everything. That is the first WOW. Second WOW was how different the feel of the bird was... the skin and texture just felt different. once cooked the skin was thick and crispy and reminded me of a potato skin... Third WOW was the flavor... I fed an 18% all flock but they free-ranged most of the time. Including destroying my garden...... The white meat was almost as dark as most store bought dark meat and the dark meat was so rich and flavorful... As one of my friends put it " it has a really clean flavor" I was very impressed with a homegrown bird and took pride in knowing that I raised that bird and knew exactly how it was cared for and that it lived a great life before providing for me and my family. My parents did not think that it would be worth it, but I now have permission to raise turkeys again next year.... as long as I process them before they hit 42lbs live weight lol.
    Hope everyone had a blessed and awesome Thanksgiving.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,943
    3,102
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I also had my first homegrown turkey. I can't argue with anything you say. Instead of up on a rack, I had a recipe where it was down in the pan with the apple juice and wine. Talk about moist and delicious!!!

    I raised a Midget White instead of one of the large breeds. With it mainly feeding itself free ranging, it weighed somewhere around 12 pounds at six months, a very manageable size for us. Depending on how many people you are feeding, you might want to look at Midget Whites, Beltsville Whites, or Royal Palms.
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,359
    148
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I don't have room for turkeys. Wish I did. I just put a small 11 pounder in the oven for Sunday dinner. We had Turkey Day at my brothers and I didn't want to miss out on that wonderful smell coming from the kitchen to evoke all of the memories of Turkey days past.

    Maybe someday I'll have a farm.... where it's not cold in the winter and not hotter than hades in the summer....
    Wish I could move to Quito to live
     
  4. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    742
    0
    119
    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    We also enjoyed two home grown turkeys that I was proud to share. Tasty!
     
  5. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    If you liked your BB turkey the get a heritage bird for next year and you will be really impressed! Jet it as early as possible because they need 8-9 months to reach a good butcher weight. You also won't worry about it getting too big.
     
  6. NevadaRon

    NevadaRon Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,628
    76
    171
    May 28, 2010
    Dayton
    That's what I'm thinking I need to do for next year. I also raised a BBB tom and dressed weight was 36 lbs.! It sure tasted (well, tastes - I still have lots of leftovers [​IMG]) great, but was way more meat than I needed. What heritage breed would you recommend ColbyNTX?
     
  7. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm PA ETL#195

    5,682
    53
    278
    Jan 25, 2010
    Collins, Arkansas
    Quote:Here are the ones the American Poultry Association currently recognizes and the ALBC considers heritage:

    Black

    Bourbon Red

    Slate

    Narragansett

    White Holland

    Bronze

    Beltsville White

    The Royal Palm was developed as show bird and has less breast meat, but is still a heritage variety.

    You really can't go wrong with any of them.
     
  8. rubyrogue

    rubyrogue Chillin' With My Peeps

    438
    0
    129
    Mar 8, 2010
    I know there is someone in a nearby town that has the midget whites.... One of the reasons he got so big was I had planned on processing myself.....well when the turkey started coming to the front door and "knocking" so that I would come out I started having issues...after putting it off for too long I found someone to do it for me. This turkey weighed more than my son and I know that my son rode it at least once before I told him it would hurt the turkey. My dad suggested just keeping it as a pet but I told him the breed was designed to grow rapidly and sooner or later his body would not be able to handle it... [​IMG] I have been looking into heritage breeds a lot and may just have to bite the bullet and order some. I now know quite a few people that want a homegrown turkey...
     
  9. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    As Jim said, any of the heritage breeds will be fine but the palms do have a smaller breast.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by