These Bourbon Red Turkey get their name from Bourbon County Kentucky and their red plumage. The beautiful red plumage is one asset what sets this bird apart from others. This breed has in the past been known as, Kentucky Reds and Bourbon Butternuts. These beautiful Turkeys originated in Kentucky and Pennsylvania! They are a cross between the Buff Standard Bronze and the White Holland Turkeys.
These Bourbon Red Turkey was bred to be a meat bird. These turkeys like their counterparts declined after the “White Broad Breasted Turkey” was introduced. They were no longer the primary meat bird in the turkey breed. This breed has recovered some and has become one of the most popular Heritage Breeds of Turkeys in the USA. No matter what your desire for this bird, it will make a great yard or exhibition bird. These are truly beautiful birds with their rich dark bourbon coate and white feathers.
I do not have any information on the growth of this bird. The egg production, feed growth rate, etc. If you have any information at all please give us your feedback! I do know they lay large eggs, they are a cream with spotting shell. The temperament depends on the breeding of the bird. Some are bred for aggressive and others docile. Always ask before you buy if you need a docile bird.
This breed is listed in the “Slow Food USA’s” “Ark of Taste “ as an American food in danger of extinction. At present there are reported less than 10,000 breeding birds in the USA. The adult birds weight approx 23 pounds for a Tom and 12 – 14 pounds for a hen.
The Heritage Bourbon Red Turkey is no different than any other when it comes to feeding and free range. These turkeys are great free range birds and can survive. they are very formidable birds. Bourbon Reds are curious turkeys. Anything in their area is subject to close examination by them. They are calm and often will be found under your feet during feeding time. They make good sitters and mothers. They can also go broody early.
When Free Ranging they eat all kinds of insects, bugs, worms, etc.
They love whole grain feeds They need Calcium and this can be found in Oyster Shell.
They love Kitchen Scraps and this is full of nutrients
Free Range Turkeys need a little extra feed along and shelter for protection just like the Free Range Chickens. Be good to them and they will be good to you.
Bourbon Red Turkey are considered one of the tastier turkeys for table meat. Raised and bred for this purpose they still make a wonderful bird when dressed for the table!
Our article on “Heritage Breed Turkeys” cover the other types of these wonderful birds also. We have lots of articles on Chickens and guineas and are in the process of adding Turkeys. If you have articles, stories or information you would like to share with us please feel free to comment below.
I have listed a couple of books you might enjoy reading on raising these wonderful birds from our affiliate below.
Thank you for stopping by and reading our article on the Bourbon Red Turkey. If you have any other information on these beautiful birds please comment below.