Question about Bourbon Red Turkeys

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by BobbyB, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. BobbyB

    BobbyB Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a person about 45 minutes away that has some Bourbon Red poults that are 5 weeks old for $10 a head. I cant buy fresh hatched for that price.

    My question is, how do they grow out for butcher? Ive seen them here and there and in pics, but never had my hands on any .

    Thanks
     
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  2. oregon woodsmok

    oregon woodsmok Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's a good price.

    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.
     

  3. BobbyB

    BobbyB Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  4. Copperhead

    Copperhead Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  5. nobrabbit

    nobrabbit Transplanted Tarheel

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    I would love to get some at that price and I'm in KY where they originated! They are expensive here and very popular with the heritage turkey producers.
     
  6. jennigrey

    jennigrey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  7. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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 :)
     
  8. chickenista

    chickenista Original recipe! Supporter

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    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.
     
  9. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty I got it on farm status. Supporter

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  10. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

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    Are there any growers in the nw Arkansas westen side of Oklahoma that have any for sale? I sure would like to raise me some.
     
  11. BobbyB

    BobbyB Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Karissa, Kaitlyn and myself just got back with the 8 oldest she had.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
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  12. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bourbon Red turkey breeding flock bourbon lovers, here ya go! lol

    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.

    thanks!
     
  13. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    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,
     
  14. irregardless

    irregardless Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  15. Fetherhd

    Fetherhd Well-Known Member

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    We had bourbon reds, BBB and choclates. The bourbons came in second to the chocolates for taste... but were still excellent eating.
     
  16. salmonslayer91

    salmonslayer91 Well-Known Member

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    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 :)