Talking Turkey

Cuddle time! I am so enjoying having these little turkeys around. They have so much personality! This one here sits on my lap, likes to be cuddled, and even cuddles up and naps with the pup. Too cute. The whole flock of them follow me around on the farm any time I’m out there. They also perch on everything — the deck, piles of wood, the forecart — anything waist high or higher and they are on it, especially if it is white, like if I left an electronet fence draping over the deck railing? They love that.

The front page of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy newsletter talks about a taste test where the White Midget turkeys came out in first place, too.

“Heritage Turkeys Prove Superior in Flavor”

“On February 25, 2008, approximately 70 food professionals, chefs, food writers, and food connoisseurs gathered at Ayrshire Farms in Upperville, VA to participate in a blind tasting comparing one industrial and eight heritage varieties of turkey”

“The clear winner in this historical tasting was the Midget White Turkey, with second place going to the Bourbon Red. The top two favorites each received nearly twice as many votes as any of the other turkey varieties.”

Varieties tasted were Royal Palm, Chocolate, Slate, Narragansett, Bronze, Bourbon Red, Midget White, and Black. The industrial turkey was a Butterball. They say all eight heritage varieties came out ahead of the Butterball.

My plan is to keep probably ten hens and two toms and try to establish a breeding flock. They are so fragile as poults, but I’ve heard that mama hens do a much better job at raising them than we humans do.

If anyone in the local area wants to get on the list for a turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, please let me know quickly. I won’t have many for sale at all this year because of the whole trying to establish a breeding flock thing, as well as stocking my own freezer!

(More information about the taste test here.)

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