These birds, destined for the plate, taught us that turkeys are wonderful, inquisitive and fun pets. My son, especially, enjoyed their personalities and we decided that one day we would get Heritage turkeys for him to raise and keep, as the Broad Breasted Whites have very short natural lifespans because of their rapid growth rate.
Heritage livestock are traditional livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers. They have not been greatly modified through strict genetic breeding to build higher carcass values and faster growth rates and are highly suited to sustainable living.
We were advised that one of the best places to get Heritage turkey poults was from Porter's Rare Heritage Turkeys. We looked at all of the varieties of turkeys Porter's has and started to decide which breeds we would like the best.
Along the way we discovered that there is a market for turkey feathers for arts and crafts and Native American decorations, so this has been included in my son's Heritage turkey business plan.
We wanted to wait until we got settled in our own place, so finally this year we were able to place an order and got these adorable little turkey poults.
Heritage turkeys are not the gluttons or as hardy as meat turkeys and we had to make some adjustments to rearing them (more heat and more light so they could eat more frequently).