Breeding Turkey

Joined May 14, 2001
Especially for Kimmie, who requested this topic...

I realize that I am a bit of a Jonny One-Note around here, but since Kimmie asked about Turkeys in her "It's been a year" post, I thought I'd share one more bit about what Slow Food does. Kimmie, perhaps this will get you started.

A major portion of our activities is dedicated to something called the Ark Project. In it, we rescue foods that are in danger of extinction, whether it is an artisinal product, like the fabulous Creole Cream Cheese of New Orleans, or a particular breed, such as the Delaware Bay Oyster. Slow Food works to promote the consumption of these "Ark" products, and via this consumption, rescues them from extinction.

The newest addition to the American Ark is the turkey. Well, 4 particular breeds of turkey, to be specific. Those breeds are the Bourbon Red, the Naragansett, The American Bronze, and the Jersey Buff. The Bourbon is bred in Kentucky, the Naragansett in R.I., the Bronze in Oregon, and contrary to its name, the Jersey Buff is bred only right here in Iowa. Here's a paragraph about it from the Slow Food website

"A historic variety of the mid-Atlantic region, named for its beautiful feathers and region of origin. Considered a small to medium-sized bird, the Jersey Buff Turkey was also used to develop the Bourbon Red. Reddish buff in color, it has white tail feathers, white wing feathers with buff shading, hazel eyes and bluish white or flesh colored shanks and toes. It is difficult to breed to standard color, though white pin feathers are considered an advantage in the market. Slow to mature, this bird has good reproduction qualities and mates naturally. It is capable of flying and roosts at night. Its old-fashioned flavor and texture come from a healthy environment and a diet that includes foraging. Its standard weight at the market is: 15 pounds (hens) and 25 pounds (toms). It is produced exclusively at Sand Hill Preservation Center, Calamus, Iowa. Fewer than 500 breeding Jersey Buffs still survive, so the bird’s status is now critical. The bird ‘boarded’ the American Ark in April, 2001. "

Want one of these birds for your Thanksgiving table next fall? Stay tuned, I'll be posting all the info on how you can get one this April.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
2000 conference of Missouri Organic Association I attended a farmer in charge of "seedsavers" gave a compeling presentation. Chickens and Turkeys were under discussion. The prominent attendees were farmers....actually I think I was the only non-farmer present. The ark is a wonderful program, when you start figuring out that the market place has all but evaporated for small farmers it starts sinking in that if the local heirloom products aren't purchased small farmers go out of business.....then hey the wonderful tomatoes that won't ship or that organic corn doesn't exist, or the phenominal green mix isn't there.....when it's gone it's harder to recoup.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Thank you so much Devotay, for taking me so literally!

My next project will consist in the building my own chicken coop! Martha here I come...:D
Joined Aug 11, 2000
There are chickens going in to St. Louis.....chicken houses that are moveable and bottomless to provide fertilizer,eggs, eat bugs etc. for Habitat for humanity don't have to be Martha you could be low-income and apart of this grant.

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