Heritage Turkeys

TheFlockFather

Chirping
Oct 31, 2021
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As someone who is not a huge fan of Turkey I was amazed by how delicious our heritage Turkey was this year, and we are thinking of getting some Bourbon Red and Narragansett turkeys to see which we like the best.

- Which do you prefer (Bourbon Red or Narragansett)?
- Why? We are looking for flavor (do not like bland, are fine with venison (guinea fowl, pheasant etc)
- Any advantages/ disadvantages between the breeds?

These are going to be strictly eating birds. So we do not plan on keeping them around for a long time. Any advice on raising them with our chickens (Rhode Island Red & Australop)

Thanks!
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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As someone who is not a huge fan of Turkey I was amazed by how delicious our heritage Turkey was this year, and we are thinking of getting some Bourbon Red and Narragansett turkeys to see which we like the best.

- Which do you prefer (Bourbon Red or Narragansett)?
- Why? We are looking for flavor (do not like bland, are fine with venison (guinea fowl, pheasant etc)
- Any advantages/ disadvantages between the breeds?

These are going to be strictly eating birds. So we do not plan on keeping them around for a long time. Any advice on raising them with our chickens (Rhode Island Red & Australop)

Thanks!
They are both the same breed - Turkey.

If you feed them the same they should taste the same.

The best advice about keeping turkeys with chickens is - don't do it. You will not have a lot of meat on heritage turkey carcasses if you don't keep them at least 9 months to a year. They need a high protein turkey or game bird starter for the first 6 to 8 weeks followed by a quality turkey or game bird grower for the next 6 weeks. After that they can be on an adult feed. If you want to get them to processing size a little quicker you can keep them on the starter feed the whole time.
 

Deep Roots

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2020
29
22
39
We use a 20% all flock and all our birds get the same feed. Poults get 28% for the first 8 weeks. After that everyone is on the same feed.
As to breeds. We raise Heritage Bronze, Royal Palm, our own hybrids, and a few others. The Narragansett are a little smaller than royal palm. We prefer the royal palm as they seem to mate well across the other breeds no problem. The Narragansett did not. We raised a specific hybrid of the Royal Palm and Heritage Bronze on purpose. We are now in our 3rd generation and they are big healthy turkeys that produce tons of eggs, mate a really long season, and are actually bigger than the traditional Bronze. You might consider doing the same if you are going to keep them for your own meat birds. We shoot for 16lbs-20lbs for our large hens we select for breeding. The small ones don't do well with the larger toms, although we had a 5lb hen hatch 13 poults on her own last year! lol... She could barely cover the eggs and just kept rotating them constantly to keep them all warm. As for flavor, we do pastured raised and supplement about 8000lbs of feed for 100 birds. We are looking at going soy free next year and have a test pen for birds who will be raised on spent distillers grain instead of soy. We are curious how the taste will change.
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
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Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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The Narragansett are a little smaller than royal palm.
This statement is contrary to known facts.

Narragansett - maximum live weight hens -18 lbs. toms - 33 lbs.

Royal Palm - maximum live weight hens -12 lbs. toms - 22 lbs.

If your Narragansett are smaller than your Royal Palms, you do not have normal Narragansetts.
 

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