The Gift of the New World
The humble turkey has been one of the few animals that has impacted humanity immensely. The history of the turkey is also quite fascinating. Upon initial arrival, colonials were in awe of the wild turkey, specifically, the Eastern Wild Turkey strain which is found ranging east of the Mississippi today. Rather than constantly hunting for wild turkey, some Spanish settlers captured some wild turkey and brought them back to Spain in the 17th century. From there, a domesticated version of the wild turkey was created, known today as the Spanish or Black Spanish Turkey, where the black feather coloring was a result of a melanistic mutation. When the settlers returned to the New World, they returned with Black Turkeys and then crossed those turkeys with some Eastern Wild Turkey. That, more or less, was how the Bronze Turkey came to be.
All turkeys have genetic roots from the wild turkeys found in North or South America. Yet, the story of the Bronze Turkey doesn't stop there. Around the 1960s and 1970s, a new version of the Bronze Turkey was created, which doubled the amount of breast meat, now known today as the Double-breasted Bronze Turkey, also known as the Broad-breasted Bronze Turkey. With the increase of commercial turkey farming and the use of genetically modified double-breasted turkeys, the various turkeys, including the original Bronze, declined in consumer popularity. Fast forward to today...and these various heritage turkeys are threatened to extinction. Some may argue that this is not the case — but look at how commercial turkeys have completely changed the turkey farming industry! If it weren't for a few hatcheries and breeders, all of the heritage turkeys would have already disappeared from the face of the Earth.
Whether you want to take care of this heritage turkey as a hobby or for a Thanksgiving dinner, the Bronze Turkey has historically been the popular choice, with the male reaching over 30 lbs. and the female usually weighing over 20 lbs. It is ironic to say that consuming the Bronze Turkeys and other hertiage breeds actually assists in their existence. Although the double-breasted turkeys produce more breast meat, sadly, these turkeys become top-heavy and get to a point where they can no longer walk or move. These genetically modified turkeys are mass-produced to the extent that the birds are now sickly and need to be artificially inseminated in order to produce more meat so that profits continue to increase annually. We do not share this way of life and are glad to partake in the proper husbandry of this breed. Afterall, it is the least we could do, considering billions of people all over the world have been fed by the more natural propagation of this noble bird.
Pasteured / Grass-fed Turkeys
Our grass-fed turkeys are also fed organic grains and seeds. We also process turkeys for Thanksgiving for our local customers. Contact us to place your order!
Recently listed "Threatened," the Bronze Turkey is now under "Watch" and has not yet recovered.
For the Beginner Aviculturist
If raised appropriately, Bronze Turkey don't show any fear towards humans and tend to be very laid back, which makes for great companions on the 'Ranch.