We raise “Heritage” turkeys. These are not the industrial type of birds bred only for quick fattening. We have two types – a Spanish Black/Rio Grande cross and Royal Palm. Here’s a good article on the differences between standard “supermarket” turkeys and heritage breeds.
This year our turkeys hatched May 3. They should be just the right size for Thanksgiving next month. To check progress, we butchered one last week along with a couple meat chickens. We smoked and roasted the turkey for a taste check. It was wonderful – honestly the best turkey I have ever eaten. Here’s a look at several steps in the process:
This turkey weighed just over 11 pounds after cleaning. The others will gain another pound or two before processing in November for an average size of 12-13 pounds. The turkey was wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for a day before we started the preparation process. Here are the details on our preparation – smoking, roasting.