Here at Hedgerow Farm, we raise turkeys for meat, and for the pleasure of their company! Our first year with turkeys, we raised Bourbon Reds, harvesting all of them for the Thanksgiving tables of family and friends. Mistake. We missed them roaming the farm, their conversation, the strut of the toms, and their beauty. We now raise Narrangansett and Norfolk/Spanish Black turkeys and have kept a breeding group of each to enrich farm life throughout the year.

“The Narragansett turkey is named for Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. Descending from wild turkeys and the domestic turkeys (probably Norfolk Blacks) brought to America by English and European colonists beginning in the 1600’s. According to an 1872 account, it was not uncommon to find flocks of one to two hundred birds. Little supplemental feed was given to the turkeys; instead they ranged for grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects.”

“Narragansett turkeys have traditionally been known for their calm disposition, good maternal abilities, early maturation, egg production, and excellent meat quality. This historic variety, unique to North America, merits evaluation for production in sustainable agriculture systems. The Narragansett turkey would make a useful and beautiful addition to the family farm.”

From The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Homesteading with Turkeys

Consider buying your Thanksgiving Turkey from a local farmer. Deposits are usually taken in the spring when the farmer is either ordering poults (baby turkeys) from a hatchery or hatching eggs on the farm. Pick up is the week of Thanksgiving either at a farmer’s market nearby or on the farm itself. Raising a heritage breed turkey for the table can take up to 7months so the price reflects the care and feed over such a long period of time.