HERITAGE TURKEYS from the Associated Press Dan Nephlin Pittsburgh:

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Glenda L Heywood, May 3, 2009.

  1. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    I found this very informative
    HERITAGE TURKEYS from the Associated Press Dan Nephlin Pittsburgh:

    Breeds such as the Narragansett, Bourbon Red, & Jersey Buff were once among common breeds being raised. As large scale farming evolved, interest in those breds failed and the Broad Breasted White became popular.
    Interest in the heritage breeds is increasing for several reason, including preserving biodeversity & supporting family farmers.

    Bill Yockey Linesville Pa 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, has become a heritage breeder. He raises about 500 turkeys a yr. He began raising Broad Breasted White. He found out about heritage breeds and found they required less work. He started in 1997 with midget Whites, having the 2nd largest flock in USA.

    Marjorie Bender of ALBC researching heritage turkeys, said the number of heritage turkeys has been doubling & tripling. Rare animal breeds are also important genetically.
    Yockeys turkeys sell for about $2.75 a lb in 1999.

    Slow Food is working to steer more business to the small farmers. Linking heritage growers with consumers. Many folks found it too late to buy a heritage turkey for dinner. Preserving a food that may disappear and raising rare varieties is ideal for small famers.

    A diet of grass & insects & access to exercise means the meat of such birds has more texture & flavor.Heritage turkeys have greater biological fitness than their factory farm raised cousins. As the name implys Broad Breasted Whites are raised to develop the most breast meat possible in the shortest time, leading to skeletal & ligament problems.

    While supermarket turkeys grow to average of 32 lbs over 18 weeks, Yockeys birds need 6 months to reach 18 to 20 lbs.

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