which heritage turkey breed for meat?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mommy9994, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I would like to get heritage breed turkeys. Which is the best for meat production? I would like for them to be nice and large.
  2. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    The best one I have seen is a Giant white turkey. The toms will tip the scales at 45 pounds.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Like cornish x for meat chickens, for heavy meat meat types like you see on tables will be bb bronze or whites... who need to be artificially inseminated. Don't know about what heritage type will be best though.
  4. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I've thought about the bb turks. I might get them this year. I want to get something that will breed though. I was thinking about bourbon reds, but not sure.
  5. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    I don't think the broad breasted bronze or white count as Heritage breeds, do they?

    I recommend going with a single-breasted variety that can breed naturally. Turkeys are giant enough for me to not worry about not having double breasted birds.

    Most of your Heritage turkeys get to be around the same size except for the Royal Palm, which is a little smaller (and the Midget White). I don't know whether the Beltsville is considered a Heritage or not. If it is then that one is "tiny" with a nice large breast, but is _extremely_ rare.

    Honestly, your best bet is to probably go with whichever Heritage looks the best to you. The Standard Bronze seem to get the largest, but I've heard mixed things about their personality. The Red Bourbon comes in second - a breed I have that I have no complaints about at all.

    If you've never raised turkeys before then you're in for a treat. Once you get through the hassle of learning the tricks they're great to have around.
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Songster 10 Years

    Mar 30, 2008
    Giant whites are broad breasted, not heritage. The palms are the smallest, some larger types are the bourbon reds, narrigansett, jersey buff, standard bronze... Bourbons have a nice temperament, as do the lilacs.
  7. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    no, the bb bronze and giant whites are not heritage. they are enormous though! I knew palms were the smallest-- so pretty though. I'll prob. go with the bourbons. Can anyone tell me how they compare in size to wild eastern turkeys? That's all I'm familiar with other than the bbs.
  8. hazelton farms

    hazelton farms Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    Don't go with the royal palms, they don't have much breast meat. Try the Bourbon reds or even the blue slates. Narragansettes are nice too.

  9. warcard

    warcard Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    SE Indiana
    The first and hopefully last [​IMG] time we weighed our Blue Slate Tom he was 25lbs. Our eastern wild was about 17lbs, but he was only a year old, and Thumper was at least 2 years at that time. Our girls run 15-17 lbs.
  10. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Our blue slates have wonderful temperments, are not jumpy, and are quite heavy. I have not eaten one so I don't know what the dressed weight of one is, but I know when I have to handle them for anything they weigh more than my child and she will be 3 next month.

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