Pastured Turkeys

Turkeys: first off, turkeys are cool. I used to think turkeys were really dumb, they have a pretty bad reputation in the wisdom department. But turkeys are amazingly curious and personable creatures, and they’re highly intelligent, they just really lack in the Street Smarts department. I’ve gotten the crap beat out of me because I was out in a middle of the night thunderstorm downpour trying to get the turkeys into their turkey house- to be fair, the turkey probably thought I was a predator, it was dark and I just grabbed it to carry it to the coop. I had scratches all up my arms and bruises on my face, while “the other guy” didn’t carry a mark and snoozed away in a dry turkey house. 

These guys are trying to impress the only female turkey in the flock

Turkeys have been forced into commodities by our current agricultural industry setup. Your standard turkey, the Broadbreasted Bronze or White, has been so modified that they can’t even breed naturally. Most broad breasted birds couldn’t even live through the winter if they wanted to, their bodies growing too heavy for their legs to carry and their muscles too large for their hearts to maintain. Heritage turkey breeds, the ones which haven’t been genetically messed with to satisfy capitalism are highly intelligent birds. To quote Barbara Kingsolver again in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, “In addition to broader genetic diversity and disease resistance, heritage (turkey) breeds tend to retain more of their ancestors’ sense about foraging, predator avoidance, and reproduction- traits that suit them for life in the pasture and barnyard rather than a crowded windowless metal house.” 

In past years we, too, have raised broad breasted whites and bronzes, you can’t just go pick up a few heritage breed turkeys at the feed store, and we didn’t have the space to ethically raise enough birds to meet the minimum order from a hatchery. That changes with the Sand Hill Farm and we’re excited to be able to add heritage breeds to our turkey lineup!

We pre-sell our turkeys each spring, with delivery in the fall. Sign up for our email list if you want to know when turkeys go on sale- see sidebar

The best place to keep up with the turkey antics is our instagram page: @tsix_farm Go check it out!

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