Stone Barns raises heritage Bourbon Red turkeys from May through November. Our turkeys arrive at the farm as young poults, and they are pastured as soon as they are big enough that aerial predators are not a risk. Once pastured, they are able to forage and roost to their hearts’ content. As the turkeys get bigger, they are incorporated into the farm’s livestock rotation so that they have fresh areas to roam. The birds are active foragers, seeking fresh grass, insects, seeds and acorns. Our turkeys also help fertilize the farm’s pastures, helping the grass grow for our sheep.
Here's more about our Bourbon Reds:
• Bourbon Red Turkeys are a heritage breed - the livestock equivalent of an "heirloom" vegetable. They are old strains that modern agriculture has left behind but are still prized for their flavor.
• The birds are named for Bourbon County, Kentucky, where they were originally bred.
• Bourbon Reds are on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy “watch list.”
• The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy currently lists Bourbon Reds on their "watch list," meaning that there are ten or fewer primary breeding flocks, and an estimated global population of less than 10,000 birds. Since domesticated livestock breeds don't exist in the wild, they will go extinct unless customers eat and increase demand for the farmers to raise them.
• Bourbon Reds grow more slowly, ultimately requiring more time, effort and feed.
• Harvested at about 26 weeks old, Bourbon Reds are expected to weigh 9 to 14 lbs.
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