It’s that time of year where the seasons are changing, kids are back in school, and Halloween is right around the corner. Another holiday is coming up too, Thanksgiving. One of my favorite holidays as all that’s really expected of it is to give thanks for the past year, and eat well (maybe some football if you manage to stay awake after the meal).
Our typical Thanksgiving sees us cooking turkey in some fashion or another. We’ve roasted or smoked the turkey for the past couple of years, and have settled on a dry brine if we’re roasting. We’ll share that recipe in a future post.
Most of the turkeys produced by Perdue, Tyson, etc are of the broad breasted white variety. These birds are similar to the Cornish cross chicken that the majority of chicken consumers enjoy in America. They have a double breast, giving you the large amount of white meat most of us want, they grow relatively quickly. From hatching to on your table you can have a 12-16 lb turkey in 16 weeks. To get larger birds you just feed them longer. The mainstream turkeys are also raised in a similar fashion to chickens. Large barns full of birds, feeders and waterers. Little access to fresh air, grass, bugs, and dirt.
Broad Breasted White Turkeys in their Tractor.
At Wild Child Farms we do raise some broad breasted white turkeys as that is what the market demands, however we pasture them so they can get the greens, bugs, and fresh air that they really need.They are fed our standard non-GMO, organic feed Frank Organic Feed in Jefferson, and even though they have access to forage, they aren’t the best at foraging. They still taste amazing and are hands down some of the best tasting turkeys out there.
This year after months of research we decided to try our hand at some heritage breed turkeys. These turkeys are closer to their wild cousins, but they do have the pedigree of being the birds your great grandparents or grandparents are used to. These birds are amazing foragers but they do grow much slower. We tried the Bourbon Red variety and we started them six weeks before the other turkeys and the white turkeys are already the same size. The birds also have a smaller amount of breast meat, but according to our research they have a richer flavor. The birds are beautiful as you can see from the photos and we are excited to bring everyone this new offering this year.
Bourbon Red Hen
The rest of the crew.