We began our heritage turkey business rather humbly in 2008 with 21 heritage breed turkeys. During that winter, Cheryl had learned of a very rare breed of heritage turkey, the Regal Red, and became completely enamoured of that breed. In mid-May, out of Texas from Dr. Tom Walker, arrived 12 Regal Reds and 9 other heritage breeds from his flock. We sold to a couple of customers, kept for our own Thanksgiving dinner and freezer and kept breeders. In early 2009, we purchased 7 breeding stock of Bourbon Red turkeys, and then purchased an incubator. And, we then embarked upon our heritage turkey raising journey full speed ahead!
Heritage turkeys are sustainable since they are able to reproduce naturally. The commercial breed of turkey that is raised for consumer consumption cannot reproduce naturally - they must be artificially inseminated. Our turkeys breed naturally on the farm and we incubate the eggs right here on the farm. You can't get more local than that!
We raise our heritage turkeys on grass supplemented with natural, locally grown grains. Heritage turkeys take 24-28 weeks to reach a marketable size which allows the turkey to develop an enhanced flavor. Our turkey comes to you hormone and antibiotic free.
We have had only rave reviews about our turkeys in the past 2 years . . . and, we challenge you to take the turkey taste test to determine which turkey has a better flavor!
GOBBLE . . . GOBBLE . . . Heritage Breeds oust the Butterball!
In February, 2008, 70 food professionals, chefs, food writers and food connoisseurs gathered in Upperville, VA to participate in a blind taste testing of eight heritage varieties and one industrial variety of turkey. The purpose of this event was to provide an objective comparison of the nine varieties of turkey to determine if any stood out in flavor.
Each turkey was cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces and placed in covered dishes at numbered stations; scorecards and numbered toothpicks were provided. Whole roasted turkeys with corresponding numbers were also presented to evaluate appearance. Taste-testers were then asked to vote for their favorite turkey.
Each turkey had its fans but all eight of the heritage-breed varieties bested the industrial variety, which was a Butterball!
The overall winner was a Midget White, with the Bourbon Red in Second place. These top 2 breeds received nearly twice as many votes as the other turkeys. Hobby Farm Magazine, Fall 2008
What turkey will you purchase in 2012?
The commercial breed or a heritage breed?