Day old poults or full grown, processed birds for Thanksgiving Day Dinner!
Our small flock consists of Narragansett Turkeys. We have 4 hens and one tom (Jake) seen strutting in the photo below. We are working to increase the market weight of our birds by selecting the largest hens for future breedstock. We have found the hens to become broody in the spring. Last summer our hens sat nests outdoors under the eaves of the barn. Despite some pretty severe storms eggs still hatched. Last year year we collected over 150 eggs from the birds and incubated several dozen poults. We sold approximately 75 through a craigslist ad...As of May 23, 2015 we have 8 with one hen sitting on about 25 eggs. There are at least 50 in our incubator --
While the flavor of a Narragansett Turkey is FANTASTIC, they do not get very big. Their breasts are extremely small when compared to the domestic turkeys consumers typically want. So this year we purchased 15 broad breasted bronze turkeys. We are raising them on pasture and are taking orders! If you're interested in a free-range broad breasted or heritage breed turkey, send us an email to reserve yours now!
Narragansett Turkeys are a heritage breed. According to The Livestock Conservancy, "heritage is an umbrella term that embraces pure breeds of livestock and poultry with deep histories in the United States." They go on to say, "these are animals that were bred over time to develop traits that made them suited to specific local environments." The Livestock Conservancy believes that "because these breeds have been developed and selected over time, they tend to have better disease resistance, are well-adapted to their environments, and thrive in pasture-based settings" than those animals used in commercial agriculture today.
Choosing this breed over the broad breasted bronze or white however has some drawbacks. We will not have a bird with a big, broad breast at our Thanksgiving dinner. Our bird will be smaller (12-15 lbs for a hen and 18 - 20 lbs for a tom) and the breast will not be as full. What we give up on size, however, these birds make up in flavor. They take somewhat longer to grow to maturity, but they are excellent foragers. In fact, day last year our young birds flew up to the peak of the barn - mobile weathervanes. Another day they joined us on our deck - friendly and curious.
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