We raise Turkeys for our table and to preserve their type. By the time we get to January, only the birds suitable for breeding the following season are left. The birds who's company we enjoy and who best fit their breed standard are retained. We look for the temperament that is docile and non aggressive, birds who can be handled with minimal fuss. I'll admit it, I talk to them. The current standing Bourbon Red tom has earned a lifetime reprieve, he's a very good bird inside and out from his rich coloring, his solid body type and his charming personality.
Straight out of Bourbon County, Kentucky by way of Pennsylvania way back in the early 1800's. Refined and developed further in the late 1800's by J. F. Barbee in the Bourbon region. He originally called them "Bourbon Butternuts" but that didn't catch on too well, leading to their current name. Toms tend to mature around 33 pounds and dress out between 18-22 pounds. Usually they have an even disposition and calm nature, naturally inquisitive. They have a range of vocalizations and both genders may be deemed as "noisy". The hens lay 90+ eggs a year over the course of their season, ranging from February through July. They may or may not go broody. In our experience they have been easy to hatch and to raise, just a pleasure to have on the farm.
3rd year Tom
A hen in display
We are on our 5th generation from our original Bourbons. We've seen good vigor and health from them and their consistency is more established. Generation 6 we'll refresh the genetics with an outside group of the same or better quality as we work towards developing our own line.