Heritage Turkey dinner price?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 24, 2012
I am going to butcher a few of my Heritage birds this Thanksgiving, one for us and two for neighbors. Without trying to figure the cost of raising them and making a profit (not gonna happen) I just wonder what you folks think is a fair price to charge? I have one large Tom and one hen looking at the chopping block and someone elses table. Anyone care to share what they are getting?

On another note; We have had great success letting our prized silky cross bantam hen rear our turkeys for us. She hatched 6 out of 6 recently. One fell from the nest on day one before we moved them to a secure loctaion. They are about a week old and she already has trouble covering them all at night.
I don't know if it would be worth trying to put a price on what a Heritage Turkey would have to sell for at the price of feed today even when your free ranging.
At first off the top of my head I thought $50 a bird might re coop my cost not my time.
But I don't even think that would cover my cost of feed and the cost of the Poults.
Hoping next year the crops are better and the feed price drops.
I am of the mind that all 17 Red Bourbons will be family consumed holding back a few for breeding.
I would like to hear from people that have raised red Bourbons as well as Narragansets and what is the different between the two breeds as well as the taste of the meat.
I am still wanting to get some Narragansets.
I've got so much money in my turkeys right now, I can't imagine anyone paying that to buy one.

For me, I do it because I know what I am putting on the table and I know my birds have been well treated. But cost? I don't even want to know. Depending upon what their dressed weight is, I've spend somewhere between $3 and $5 a pound to raise them. I have to go Monday and buy another $100 worth of feed.

I suggest that you look up what the stores are charging for fresh never frozen turkeys and charge at least that much. Those were slightly over $2 a pound last year.

Like I said, I'm not trying to figure how much they cost me and basing a price on that, I was just curious as to what you folks with experience selling heritage birds for dinner have gotten or plan to get for them. $2 a pound is a hard number that I can factor in. Thank you.
I don't know for sure as I haven't sold any myself but I read an article the other day about someone who was selling homeraised chickens and getting $4 a pound for them. I'd ask probably $2.50 or $3.00 a pound for them. After all they are fresh and home raised ... not commercial. For some reason I have people who buy organic fresh veggies from me and expect to pay less than they pay at Walmart ... uh ... not!
I am selling mine in central Ohio for 4.99 a pound fresh for thanksgiving. Off season I go down a dollar. I have a rough spreadsheet that I estimate I spend about $2.50 a pound in costs. so I think $4.99 is a fine and dandy price- it is a niche market you have to remember and market to those that are interested in keeping the old breeds alive, the better taste, etc. and not those that are just going to buy a Butterball anyway. Just my 0.02 but I am in it to make a few dollars!
At $5.00 a pound, I might start taking orders for next year! I have a breeding flock of 8 males and 22 females and 3 for the family table for the holidays, so by next year..................?
I looked around and it seems the people who are really selling heritage breeds (not BB) are realistically getting $3.00 to $3.50 per pound dressed out and brined in a shrink wrapped bag. Some are advertising a higher price, and hoping to get it. Hens are selling for around $59. and Toms for $69. with the right marketing. Check into the law, if you are not just selling to friends and family and/or processing them yourself. Good luck.
Think of who would pay $5 a pound for a 20+ pound turkey, Or in other words, Spend $100.00 for their Thanksgiving turkey, before the trimmings! Those are the people who will be your customers and you have to convince to buy them. They will not be the people who shop price, they look at the "BIG PICTURE", so to speak. They are concerned with the environmental and social factors in their food purchases. These are the customers that will pay more for one of your turkeys because your farming practices are ecologically sound, the turkeys represent an important link to biodiversity, and all taste tests document that these birds have superior flavor and texture.Your marketing message must speak to these receptive consumers. Your commitment to farming and rare breeds will engage the attention and loyalty of these customers. They respect you as a hands on farmer, with your hands directly involved in raising turkeys. It will be eccentual to develop a direct relationship with these customers. Once you have convinced people to purchase your Turkeys, you must include as part of your marketing strategy the education of your consumers about the preparation of the birds, as they cook quicker and are handled differently, I am told than, grocery store BB turkeys and your customers will be looking to you to advise them on how to cook the birds for the best eating experience. Maybe explaining the brine process and furnishing a recipe or two. A professional chef can help you with this. In other words, if you really want to sell turkeys, You have to MAKE IT HAPPEN ! Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

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