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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by OSUman, Oct 1, 2009.
When is the best time to get your thanksgiving turkey and what is the best heritage breed to get?
I am raising 25 Bronze Breasted Turkeys for Thanksgiving. I got them from Cackle Hatchery in late May. They are about 20-25lbs. right now.I expect them to be 35 lbs when they are culled. I let them free range most of their lives. I locked them down about 3 weeks ago and have been feeding them a heavy diet of corn.
I plan to to advertise them on craigslist for $75 a piece. I am not processing them, they will be a live when they leave. I have documented what they have been fed and that will be a part of my craigslist post, along with photos of their pen to show the humane and clean enviroment they have been raised in.
Even at $75 a piece I losing money. They eat 50 lbs of food a day, and the pen was a huge investment.
I hope this wasn't too much info. Once you have eaten a home raised turkey, you'll never eat another butterball.
I LOVE the taste of my own home raised cornishx .... what is the taste of turkey like? I guess I am used to store bought turkeys. What is your favorite breed? Thanks I have never raised turkeys before......
It all depends when you want to butcher them if you want raise live turkeys.
Double breast one like the Great whites and BB Bronze take about 20 weeks before butcher, the rest take around 30 weeks plus or minus a few weeks.
You should butcher no less the about 3 to 4 days before you cook the turkey because you really need to let the meat rest for a period.
Also the weather is a factor if you plan on butchering your self, since most people don't have an indoors facility. So they are subject to the weather of the day. In November it's gets a bit cold some days.
So you may want to plan on butchering early and put in the freezer until needed.
If you plan on ordering from a hatchery by mail then order a few months before your planned starting date. This year bookings hard to get in April Through June. The same may be true next year.
I agree with already has been reccomended in this thread. With regards to what heritage variety to grow the Midget White and Bourbon Red have come out tops in most recent taste tests. The MW true to it's name is a small turkey with a 30 week tom about 13# dressed and hen about 10#. Figure 20 and 15 for fat healthy BR at 30 weeks.
The Midget White is our favorite. I agree 100% with lorrir - I would walk over 100 butterballs to get one bite of a heritage turkey!
Steve in NC
Quote:The taste difference probably comes partly from forage, and turkeys are much better foragers than chickens. I've read that chickens can get up to 20% of their food foraging, while turkeys it is 50-70% depending on the source. So, even one of the commercial BB types is going to taste better home raised. Add to that heritage turkeys are bred more for taste than gigantic size...
My family like turkeys more then the chicken we raise but the time and feed makes them more "expensive" and take up so much room in the freezer compared to the chickens
We gave turkeys to all the extended family thanksgivings that we weren't at so they could enjoy the goodness
store bought vs home grown is like sawdust vs steak no comparison
we did commercial whites last year and they were great but the Royal Palms we raised this year just got killed by me neighbors dogs yesterday so i dont get to try them unless the 2 that are missing show back up
but every thing ive heard and read is that heritage taste much better then commercial birds