I'm sorry I don't know what type are the best for eating but I think I read there were some bronze breasted or something like that which is bred to be large meated turkeys. Try feathersite to see if you can find any info.
There are basicly two types of turkeys the Broad Breasted type and the Heritage type. The difference is size and the ability to self reproduce. The Broad Breasted were developed from the heritage.
The Broad Breasted get bigger faster but can't self reproduce. The toms can get to the 50 pound range. They are the Broad Breasted White and the Broad Breasted Bronze
The Heritage turkeys vary in size from a little less than 20 pounds to about 40.
We raise Midget White (20 pounds), Beltsville White (20 pounds), Royal Palm (20 pounds- not really a meat bird more ornamental), Bourbon Red (30 pounds), White Holland (35+ pounds) and Standard Bronze (35+ pounds)
We have raised Broad Breasted in the past and we weren't impressed by the taste, it was better than store bought but not by that much.
The Heritage turkeys are much much better tasting, the Americian Livestock Breeds Conservancy did a blind taste test and the Midget White came out on top, with a"butter ball" coming in last.
well,I just butcherd my 5 month old blue slates..and for a family of two they are perfect size,one good large meal and enough for sandwiches the next day,I dont want to be eating turkey for a week at a time so went with earlier processing..let me tell you they are TASTY !!! you could feed a family of 3-4 one this size if you have potatoes and veggie and bread with the meal.they dressed out about 5-6 lbs without gibblets and back,I cut them up to save room in the freezer.They run a little more on taste like a wild bird than the stuff you are used to in the store,but thats what we like..
You're welcome. You can also go to feathersite.com and the ALBC website (It's ALBC-usa.org or something like that, do a search on the Americian Livestock Breeds Conservancy) they have info on each of the breeds.
Thanks for all the good info. I am new to turkeys this year. I have hatched different breeds. How big should we expect the Pencilled Palms to get? We have a blue slate, 2 auburns and 4 bourben reds. I'll have to decide on who to keep and who to cull. Opinions would be welcome.
The Pencilled Palms should be about the same size as Royal Palms, toms about 20 pounds. The only thing we have noted about the palms is they don't have as much breast meat as the other breeds. the palms are more ornamental than meat birds.
The Bourbons will get bigger in the upper 20's to 30 pound range.
We had some Blue Slates last year but we sold them off about 4 months old.
For our table we like them 10 months to a year old, that seems to give them extra time to fill out. We have a few turkeys (LOL) so we are always growing out new breeders and it's not always possible to decide which we want to keep at a young age. We breed for size and conformation so that's why we keep them longer.