Raising Heritage Turkeys is very rewarding. If you are looking for a fast-growing breed, broad-breasted turkeys are the way to go. But if you have more time and are wanting a sustainable breed to raise, heritage turkeys are an excellent choice.
Heritage turkeys do not grow as large as broad-breasted turkeys and can reproduce naturally, allowing you to hatch your own poults each year using a broody hen or incubator. Heritage toms remain fertile for 3-5 years and hens will produce eggs for up to 5 years. For more information on hatching heritage turkeys visit our blog.
Because heritage turkeys do not grow as quickly or as large as the broad-breasted, they are less likely to develop leg issues from being too heavy or growing too fast.
Heritage turkeys are more active and are capable of flying to roost in tall trees or on top of outbuildings. This is a great quality to have if you choose to free range them as it allows them to easily escape ground predators. They are excellent free rangers and are very helpful with bug control.
Flavor and Size
Because the heritage breeds take longer to mature to butcher weight, the meat tends to be more flavorful and nutrient-rich. Many who prefer dark meat will choose heritage breeds over broad-breasted because they provide more dark meat than white meat. Not everyone prefers a giant bird for their table so heritage turkeys are a great option.
A Bond Like No Other
Turkeys are very curious and it is common for heritage turkeys to form strong bonds with their humans. Especially when socialized. They are easy to tame and are much like canine buddies who will follow you around the homestead.
Visit our Blog for more information on Raising Heritage Turkeys as well as a Coop Tour!
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