Turkeys -- Heritage Standard Bronze -- Upcoming

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The Heritage Standard Bronze is a heritage turkey breed that is prized for it's meat, egg laying ability and as an exhibition bird, because it is so pretty.  At one time, before commercial turkey, it was the main turkey consumed.  Many people like to raise this bird, instead of the Broad Breasted Bronze, because it can breed naturally, and is very good at foraging.  The toms weigh about 23-25 pounds and the hens about 16 pounds.  

Turkeys are so fun to have in the backyard, and sometimes become the favorite of the entire household.  They are gorgeous, friendly and such beautiful birds, especially the males.  

If you are considering adding turkeys to a mixed flock of birds, you will want to research 'blackhead disease', especially if you also have chickens.  This disease can be easily transmitted to turkeys, with fatal consequences.  Many people keep both in their backyard flock successfully, but you will want to make sure you are doing everything possible to minimize turkeys contracting this disease.

Before people started keeping backyard chickies, many of the breeds were almost extinct.  Turkeys are still at that point.  Many of the heritage breeds are in danger of going extinct. What is a heritage turkey?  A heritage turkey exhibits 3 specific criteria:  It can mate naturally without humans and the hens lay fertile eggs that they brood to hatch, they have a long productive lifespan (hens 5-7 years, toms 3-5 years), and a slow growth rate (about 28 weeks before fully developed).  

Many chefs and people involved in the slow food movement, prize heritage turkeys for the flavor and nutritional qualities of their meat.  

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