The first thing that may come to a person’s mind is “What is a Heritage Turkey?” A Heritage turkey is a domestic bird that is bred from genetically different varieties for its color and stock. It’s raised in an outdoor environment like the wild turkey where it roams freely on pasture, has the ability to run, fly and mate naturally, is smaller in size, grows and matures more slowly, and its diet consists of berries, grasses and insects. In contrast, the industrial turkey (called the Large White) is a domestic bird,bred solely for its breast meat, is raised in a crowded indoor environment where illnesses are more likely to spread. Also, it is unable to run, fly, or mate due to its large size resulting from saline solution and vegetable oil injections to improve taste; cannot reproduce without artificial insemination.
Heritage turkeys are more expensive in costs because of market demands, labor and value. A Heritage turkey may cost $3.50 to $4.00 per pound (depending on size) versus the supermarket turkey costing $0.69 to $1.29 per pound. For example, a 20-pound Heritage turkey may costs $70 to $80; others may cost up to $200.
Some people have contended that the Heritage Turkey has a more richer and better taste than your grocery store turkey; once you try it, you will never go back. Best time to order and purchase these turkey is the beginning of the year such as February or March.
Here are some varieties of turkey breeds classified as Heritage turkeys include:
Bourbon Red– prized for its reddish plumage and its richly flavored meat. Got its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky. Narragansett– prized for a more superior flavored meat than other turkeys. Got its name from Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.
Others are called Royal Palm, Standard Bronze, Midget White and many more.