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Turkeys

 
mick mclaughlin
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Location: Augusta,Ks
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I looked, and didn't see.

What's ya'lls favorite heritage turkey for eating?

I wanta order a few. One of the landowners I run chickens on and do work for is requesting some.

What say ye?
 
Cj Sloane
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I'm going to guess that most heritage breeds are good for eating, why else would you keep 'em around? So you may want to consider more criteria.

I raise Royal Palms:


Why? Because they are tasty, good at foraging, hardy, and can rear their own young. And they're striking.

There are a good size for a family of 4 about 8-10 lbs dressed which is all I need for Thanksgiving, one day of leftovers, and soup. Also, they're light enough for me to handle slaughtering myself (whimpy lady?).
 
April Swift
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Location: Texas
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CJ,

I have always loved how they looked and we are interested in getting turkeys but then when I have read about the heritage breeds they are always called "ornamental" turkeys which made me think I shouldn't get them for eating. But after seeing your post, I think these are the ones I cam going to buy. They are so beautiful
 
mick mclaughlin
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Well as ya said, other then eatin, why else would ya have one?

But since ya asked.....

I guess i would prefer a little bigger turkey, in the 12-15lb rsnge. I like calm, not fussy about colorn i know they wont have the double breasts, but is there a heritage bird that grows a little bigger breast then others?

If one could sing like otis redding, that would be cool!
 
mick mclaughlin
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Oh yea, those are some beautimus birds cj!
 
John Polk
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The Livestock Conservancy puts out a (free download) 13 chapter manual (pdf) that has a lot of great info, including charts which will help you decide which breed best fits your situation.

 
mick mclaughlin
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Outstanding john! Thanks!
 
Cj Sloane
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John Polk wrote:The Livestock Conservancy puts out a (free download) 13 chapter manual (pdf) that has a lot of great info, including charts which will help you decide which breed best fits your situation.


I picked all my breeds through them. I would now suggest multiple sources for your info. "Good forager" turns out to be a euphemism for "escape artist."
 
Cj Sloane
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A few things about heritage turkeys. They are slower growing than the commercial breeds. Not nearly as much breast meat. And you should know that they don't have that plump Norman Rockwell turkey look to them, and though they taste great, that boney look bothers some people:
 
April Swift
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Thanks,John....that was great information.

CJ, it looks delicious to me. Is that a roasted royal palm?
 
Cj Sloane
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Yes, it is a royal palm. I do want to emphasize that they are small. We ate one a few weeks before Thanksgiving that dressed out to 6 lbs. Not sure what happened but I came home and found a turkey had strangled itself on the electro-netting which was odd because it had been up for months. It wasn't as good as normal because I didn't have time to brine it - recipe to follow...
 
Cj Sloane
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One of my favorite cookbooks, the Silverspoon, and Italian book, has several recipes that call for 6 1/2 pound turkeys. So I think small turkeys used to be fairly common.
 
Cj Sloane
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Yield 1 to 6 to 10 lb Turkey
Takes about 2 hours including resting

Dissolve:
 1 cup salt 
in 2 gallons cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket.
Add turkey and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
Remove turkey from brine and rinse under cool running water.
Pat dry inside and out with paper towels.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 400 degrees.
DO NOT USE V-RACK !!! The wings get stuck when trying to turn the bird!!
Tuck wings behind back and tie ends of drumsticks together with twine.
Set turkey breast-side down on veggies.
Brush with: Melted butter
Sprinkle with: Kosher salt
Put in roasting pan:
1 medium onion, chopped coarse
1 small carrot, chopped coarse
1 celery rib, chopped coarse
2 cups white wine
1 cup water
Roast 30 minutes.
Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven; using thick wads of paper towels or potholders, rotate turkey leg/ wing-side up.
Roast 10 minutes longer.
Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven; using thick wads of paper towels or potholders, rotate turkey second leg/wing-side up. Roast 10 minutes longer.
Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven; using thick wads of paper towels or potholders, rotate turkey breast-side up.
Add a cup of water if needed.
Roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 10 to 20 minutes longer.
Transfer turkey to carving board.
Let rest 20 to 30 minutes. Carve and serve.
 
Bev Huth
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Location: AR, USA
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I had a eastern wild/ Black Spanish cross that got up to 35 Lbs live weight ( 21 dressed) at 1 year old. Still the boney look and narrow breast of a turkey actually capable of breeding but a lot of meat.

I have his descendants now, though they are a mixed flock of eastern, Spanish, royal palm and, bourbon red and, most don't get that big, 8 to 12 lbs dressed on average. I prefer the mixed mutts over any one breed and, being 14the year and all born here, they are well adapted to life here so, that is a plus as well.
 
mick mclaughlin
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Location: Augusta,Ks
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I really like the looks of the Black spanish and in a different way the sweetgrass turkeys
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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