What is the breed of turkey that Mike Rowe worked with on Dirty Jobs?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 28, 2008
Kane, Illinois
I was wondering what breed of turkey Mike Rowe worked with when he was learning to inseminate turkeys on the show Dirty Jobs. They mentioned the toms were about 65lbs! I have standard bronze poults and I expect them to near 40lbs, but I don't think even the broad breasted bronzes got that big. The turkeys he worked with were primarily white. Anybody able to put my question to bed?
I didnt see the show, but the Broad Breasted White(which is what most comercial turkeys are) and Broad Breasted Bronze are too big to Naturally reproduce, so it was most likely a Broad Breasted White.
I googled up a pic of a broad breasted white and that certainly looks like the same breed from the show. None of the descriptions stated they got as big as 65lbs, but maybe they mis spoke or they have really exceptional stock. Thanks for the help. I think I might pick up a couple in the spring and see how I do with them. I always wanted to have a turkey that wouldn't fit in the pan.
Just make sure your oven can take it. I cooked up a 30lb turkey and the oven rack it was sitting on bowed a little in the middle.

The turkeys on Dirty Jobs are Broad Breasted Whites and can get up to 65lbs if allowed. Usually the turkey is still gaining a ton of weight when it is finally processed.

These turkeys do _not_ breed naturally due to their double breast and size. You either have to order some from the hatchery as poults or you get to learn how to artificially inseminate turkeys
I'm sure if you let a broad breasted bird reach sexual maturity as they would on a breeding farm, they'd get to 65 lbs no problem. I butchered my two broad breasted bronze at 5 months old, at a live weight of about 40 lbs. At 5 months old, they weren't yet adults per se and were putting on 1-2 lbs a week near the end. However, it wouldn't be economical to raise a bird to 65 lbs before you butchered it as it would eat it's weight in feed every month or two just to sustain life.
But if one wanted to make the family think you flopped a dinosaur on the Thanksgiving day table, it might be worth the money for extra feed;)

I guess a bird like that you should start cooking now so it will be ready for Thanksgiving! Seriously, I bet that takes over 24 hours to cook low and slow. Has anybody ever cooked a bird that big before. I have never done one over 20, but this is my first year growing my own turkeys! I usually brine mine in a secret recipe, but I don't think I could find a container big enough to marinate him in or a fridge he could rest in for two days.

As far as inseminating myself..I think I'll pass and by the poults. They were using suction creating by sucking on a straw to collect the semen on the Dirty Jobs show....not even on a triple dog dare Ralphie!

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