Heritage turkey breeds for Midwest / USDA Zone 3 and 4?

CrealCritter

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Wild turkeys looooove our property. Wild flock on our property was about 40 this past fall. I'm in turkey raising country here - I live in the area where all the Jennie-O turkey is grown. I should ask around to see what the big turkey farms do for temperature in winter.
The reason I asked about wild turkeys is:
1) If you have wild turkeys then domesticated turkeys should have a good chance of success.

2) if you plan on free-range domesticated turkeys, just beware the domesticated "may" join a flock of wilds. I had to put netting overtop of my turkey runs because I had a wild Tom jump the 6' tall fence to mate my hens. It's was quite a battle between my domesticated burbon red Tom and the wild Tom. Luckily I seen the wild Tom in the run before to much damage was done. Needless to say we eat wild turkey Tom shortly thereafter :)
 

flowerbug

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there are plenty of wild turkeys in our area. i don't hunt them. i've seen one up close and personal when it got hit by a car and i had to pick it up off the road - heavy big bird! what a mess. made good worm food and squash the following years. :)
 

CrealCritter

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there are plenty of wild turkeys in our area. i don't hunt them. i've seen one up close and personal when it got hit by a car and i had to pick it up off the road - heavy big bird! what a mess. made good worm food and squash the following years. :)
I don't either, but I do take the nusance law pretty seriously. If it's name is Turkey and qualifies as is a nusance, it WILL be dinner. Only because I am a turkey-a-holic.
 

CrealCritter

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I've never tasted wild turkey. I need to review our nuisance laws!
Smoke it low and slow... It's not very much like your typical butter ball (BBW). Expect a taste that's closer to pheasant but still turkey. The dark meat is really dark and the white meat is more closer to dark meat on a butter ball. It's also a lot more lean and richer tasting than a butter ball. Don't expect a large breasts and you won't be disappointed.

I call my burbon reds 1/2 wild because they are not completely wild tasting but not completely butter ball tasting either, their taste falls somewhere in the middle of the two breeds. And they are an exceptable leap of faith for those who have never eaten wild to still enjoy, without to much surprise in taste.

The typical going price is around $150.00 for a dressed out, 8lb ready to cook burbon red. I dress mine out way bigger than 8lbs and they are still tender and delicious.


Food for thought :)
 
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NH Homesteader

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We have had chocolates, black spanish and a slate. The black Spanish were insane, they acted like wild turkeys (in fact one ran off during transport and went wild with a nearby flock!), the chocolates were pretty calm, and the slate was very calm. We never let ours roam though, a tom that gets in a mood can kill a little kid, never wanted to risk it...
 

frustratedearthmother

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I'd definitely like to raise 'em and sell 'em for that....but I'd never pay that much for one myself!
 
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