Cathy Isom finishes out the week on raising turkeys for meat or profit by giving you a bit of information about an older and showier turkey variety that’s perfect for the homestead. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Narragansett Turkeys are a beautiful meat producer that would make a good pick for a sustainable homesteader. Such a lovely and well-rounded variety has significant potential but got pushed aside by commercialized meat production birds.
You won’t find a much prettier turkey than the Narragansett. These colorful birds are raised primarily for meat production, making an especially good pick for farmers that appreciate heritage meat. Narragansett turkeys were developed near Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.
The Narragansett is a mid-sized turkey, not nearly as small as the Midget White and not quite as large as the Broad Breasted White. A young tom turkey in his prime meat production days will weigh in at 22-28 pounds. Hens weigh in around 12-16 pounds. If left to grow, Narragansetts will reach a higher weight, but the meat quality is best when they are younger.
If you would like a turkey with a good temperament, look no further than the Narragansett. This variety combines a calm and docile personality with wonderful maternal qualities.
One reason Narragansett turkeys didn’t make the cut for commercial meat production is their feather color. The darker pin feathers will leave a dressed out bird that doesn’t look as perfect as a bird with white pin feathers. However, this is still a pretty bird when dressed out, without the commercial appearance of a store-bought turkey.
I’m Cathy Isom…