They often come in tops of taste tests. I've never seen them listed lower than second place and even then, only when they get beaten out by Midget Whites.
The breast will be smaller and they take longer to grow than the broadbreasted commercial varieties.
Not really worried about how long it takes em to grow out as long as they are worth butchering at the end. More importantly is I do want something that can reproduce by themselves. Looks like a short trip is in order.
__________________ " Do or do not, there is no try. " - Yoda
uh, Yeah! I'd already be in the car and racing down the road!
I have one Bourbon Red Hen that I've had for about 5 years. She is still my best setter and mother and hatches more eggs than all my other hens combined. When bred to my bronze, she puts out about 40/60 bourbon/bronze poults. She is only about 15 lbs while the gobbler is around 30, but her young have always been in the 20+ lb range.
We do our own turkeys every other year or so. I have raised only one Bourbon Red hen. Got her as a week-old poult in, ohhhhhh, mid-April I guess. Really pushed the feed to her. She started laying an egg a day in late October. Butchered out to a six pound carcass (with legs, neck and cleaned feet) on November 20th. Cooked very different and tasted very different from all the mutant frankenturkeys we've done over the years. Next time I do a Bourbon Red I'll let it grow longer. I would like to try again.
We thought they were the best tasting turkey we've ever had. They are slow growing and must be cooked low and slow, otherwise they'll be too tough to be edible.
They also have very sweet temperaments. Yup, I would grab some
I sell Bourbon Red poults every year.
That is a good price.
I never sell them any younger than that and try to sell them even older.
I want the poults to have the best chance possible. I hear so many horror stories of people buying wee ones adn having them croak before they even get them home. (shudders)
And they grow out fine.
The reason we raise them is because they taste so good.
They are my favorite eating turkey.
We tried Midget Whites and I didn't like the meat at all.
I was too.. pale and soft and flavorless. It reminded me of store bought turkey. Blech.
They lay well, are easy keepers and all around a great bird.
To give you an idea, I believe 9 or 10 mos is the optimal process age on bourbon reds for roasting size.
This was my first year owning turkeys so I got some BBWs (I figured a bird with an expiration date was a safe gamble just in case I didn't like keeping turkeys.) In your shoes I'd be all over the bourbon reds... probably the prettiest heritage breed out there imo.
Karissa, Kaitlyn and myself just got back with the 8 oldest she had.
She had 4 more that were just a few days old. Funny story, she told me that she knew the hen was laying but didnt know where. She kept spying and when she finally found her, it was a big community nest, one turkey hen and 2 guinea hens with a tub full of eggs.
The poults ages vary by a few days because of this.
For those of you that have them, are they heavy enuf they don't roost up on stuff? If no preditors do you need to lock them up at night? I like fowl meat and if these guys brood and taste good, I've found some half grown ones 2 hrs away for $20 I may go look at. We would pasture them.
Does it work to skin them vs. plucking? I'm a city girl gone country and love animals but the plucking of fowl just isn't my forte'. And DH says no way. Or we do have a processor 40 minutes away where we take our broilers.
ADGA Nigerian Dwarf and MDGA Mini Mancha goats for show, home use and pets www.dbarjacres.webs.com Located in North central Wisconsin
all heritage breeds will fly up and roost on stuff, even some of your BB birds will try to roost on SOMETHING,
all your heritage breeds will mate and brood their own naturally, they do great on pasture and are some of the best tasting birds you can have, you can skin pretty much anything but that changes the cooking and tast i think,
I have 2 bourbon reds and I love them. They are CONSTANTLY getting out of their little cage but I just take a scoop of feed in and they come running back in. I'm borderline roosterphobic (MULTIPLE bad experiences with Orpington roosters) so I'm generally freaked out by large birds running at me... but these guys don't even phase me.
If I manage to kill them to eat them I will deffinitely be getting more. I'd love to just let them roam all over so I'd maybe have a little luck turkey hunting in a few years. lol
Hoping they taste as good or better than home grown chickens.
i think of all the heritage breeds these guys are the top dog as far as the "homestead" goes, we used to raise bronze and although they grow larger and faster they are not nearly as succulent, if i was raising for sale id go with a differant breed but if i were raising for myself bourbons would be them again