Bringing Home Heritage Turkeys

Narragansett tom turkey with his tail fanned out.

Narragansett tom turkey

For more information, check out my post ‘How to Raise Turkeys.’

Raising Heritage Turkeys

I’ve wanted to raise heritage turkeys since we move to our little homestead. Part of the reason is to increase our self sufficiency. In addition, I don’t like buying a bird that was raised in a factory farm and processed in a commercial slaughterhouse. The cost of buying a processed turkey from a local farmer is quite high, although I understand why they have to charge that amount. Raising food for people isn’t easy. According to our local Health Department rules, farmers can’t process their own birds so they have to be trucked three hours away to the closest poultry processing facility. (Have I mentioned that I’m not a fan of commercial slaughterhouses?)

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flock of broad breasted white turkeys

Broad Breasted Turkeys

Two years ago I raised Broad Breasted White and Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys. I processed them myself so I know it was done as humanely as possible. The problem with raising broad breasted turkeys is that they aren’t able to mate naturally. The males grow so heavy, with so much meat on their breast, that they are unable to breed. The commercial hatcheries use artificial insemination, and that ain’t happening on my homestead. So, although they were tasty and the poults cost less, I’ve been hoping to find some heritage turkeys for my homestead.

Are you interested in a comparison between Broad Breasted and Heritage turkeys? Check out my article…

Narragansett Tom and Hen in my coop.

Narragansett Tom and Hen in my coop.

Heritage Turkeys

I had a hard time committing to an order of heritage turkeys through a hatchery.Β Most hatcheries require that you order 15 turkeys to fulfill the minimum for shipping. Heritage breeds start at $11+ per poult and there are shipping fees on top of that. So I was looking at an investment of close to $200. Not to mention the cost of feed to raise that many turkeys…that’s a big commitment.
This page contains affiliate links. You will not pay any extra when you purchase products through these links, but I will receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting The Self Sufficient HomeAcre!

Turkeys on Craigslist

When I saw a breeding trio of Narragansett turkeys for sale on Craigslist, I was very interested. The gentleman was charging $75 for the trio, not a bad price considering the feed it takes to raise them. The birds are 10 months old, so the hens should start laying this spring. The biggest issue was the drive…over an hour each way. But I sucked it up, made the drive, and brought home my new turkeys on Sunday afternoon.

The new birds are in their own room in the coop while I watch their health and let them grow accustomed to their new digs. They were in a small cage at their former residence, so I think they’ll like our big pasture this summer. Hopefully the hens will lay enough eggs for me to hatch and raise enough turkeys for our table this year. I’m looking forward to watching my little turkey flock grow.

Do you raise heritage turkeys? Leave a comment!


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