Bjornbee. The heritage turkey are not as big as the commercial double breasted ones, but they are a pretty large critter, regardless. I think that it depends on the breed of the heritage, there are quite a few breeds. The heritage black, bronze and the Bourdon red are the largest of the heritage breed. No clue how big they actually get, but pretty big. The double breasted Bronze heritage are big too, but they have an inability to mate naturally and are usually artificially inseminated. Or I have also heard that with the double breasted bronze, they put a saddle on the hens for mating purposes. I do not have the double breasted bronze, no desire to have that.
John, my Richard can fly up onto a fence, things like that, but cannot fly away. The hens can fly up on things too, like the roof of the chickenbarns, they love to fly up, but they don't fly away. They know they have a good thing happening here. Their yards to ramble in are so big that they probably just don't have any reason to want to fly, they can walk for hours and still find some new grass to graze on or bugs to eat.
I'll show you all a picture of Richard and some hens, he is one magnificent bird and always makes me watch him because he is so interesting. I think the average weight of a bronze is between 15-25 pounds, they take a long time to mature. Approximately 28 weeks, the commercial broad breasted turkey takes only a couple of months (18 weeks). The heritage turkeys are superior in every way to the commercial birds, especially in the ratio of breast to thigh meat, as it is more even. It is a lean turkey, trust me, I know....
I copied this from a website that I visited
"According the Local Harvest website, White Broad Breast turkey is generally cooked/roasted at 325 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 160-180 degrees. The breast is often tented with foil so it doesn't dry out while waiting for the dark meat to finish cooking. Not so with a free-range Heritage turkey, whose breast to thigh meat ratio is closer. If the breast in tented, it should be with buttered or oiled parchment paper so the breast skin does not steam and the cover should be removed 1/2 hour prior to the end of cooking. Butter, olive oil and herbs can be rubbed under the skin of the breast to increase the fat content. Due to the decreased fat and size, this turkey should be cooked at 425-450 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 140- 150 degrees* (the thought being that the turkeys are far healthier to begin with and assumed processed under closer supervision so they don't need to be cooked as high) to retain moistness in the lower fat bird."
This is the site if anyone is interested in reading some cool stuff:http://www.dcfoodies.com/2007/11/lets-talk-turke.html
Learning how to raise turkeys has been quite an ordeal, and it has not been an easy task. The mortality rate, probably mostly through mistakes of my own has been quite high. The first clutch of poults only 4 of 14 ended up surviving past two months old, the second clutch only 3 of 7 managed to get past three months. I realize some mistakes I have made and one has to be very careful with these little dudes when they are young, they are not overly bright.
Have a most wonderful and awesome life and day, love and live life, great health. Cindi