Heritage breeds - how long to mature?


In the Brooder
May 13, 2015
SE Wisconsin
Hey everybody,
New to BYC. Been browsing the forums and reading. Seems like maybe you can help me out. My oldest daughter (13) and son (11) are in 4-H and the poultry project. They have some heritage breed poults coming today, but we don't know if they will be ready for showing at our county fair over Labor Day weekend. They purchased Narragansett, Slate, Royal Palm & I think Black. Can anyone tell us if the birds will be mature by early September??

We've raised BB white & bronze for the past several years. My husband built movable pens for them and drags the pens to fresh pasture every day; those turkeys grew well & were very healthy and we enjoyed the meat for Thanksgiving and we had some ground up, too. We love raising our turkeys on pasture.

Thanks in advance for any help!!
Hi! I am not sure what the 4-H definition for mature is, but if it is market ready, the heritage turkeys take at least 26 weeks to reach their prime with feathers grown in and a bit of subcutanaceous fat. My Black last year was the last to mature, Slates and Royal Palms were earliest.

At 16 weeks, your birds will still be juveniles, but they will have good height to them, they just won't have filled out at all. Either way they will be beautiful and delicious birds for Thanksgiving!
Thanks, Walnut Hill!
We may end up having some of the only breed turkeys for the fair, so it might work out okay. I told my kids just pick one or two of the best looking ones and see what happens. We're going to be cutting it very close. But yes, for Thanksgiving we should be all set. Looking forward to trying these for meat!

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