Day Old Bourbon Red Turkey Poults
Hatching March through July. Turkey Poults are straight run only.
Bourbon Reds might be considered an American Classic. They are beautiful, and make an excellent table bird.
History: Unlike some of the older breeds of turkey, the development of the Bourbon Red was well documented. A man named J.F. Barbee began his work in developing the Bourbon Red in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, using Buff, Standard Bronze and White Holland birds.
Eventually, Mr. Barbee headed west to his home in the bluegrass region of Kentucky, specifically Bourbon county. His efforts resulted in a bird that is a beautiful, rich red color, with bright white tail and flight feathers.
Mr. Barbee originally called his birds Bourbon Butternuts, but that name did not seem to appeal to the public. After he renamed them Bourbon Reds, their popularity increased. They are, still today, the most popular variety of heritage turkey, making up 33% of the heritage turkeys being bred and raised in the United States.
The Bourbon Red was first included in the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1909. It was an important breed for commercial production in the 1930s and 1940s, rivaling the Broad Breasted Bronze, in part because it produced a cleaner-looking carcass, as its pin feathers are white.
Bourbon Reds are popular with both fanciers who raise them for exhibition and with small flock keepers and farmers. They are good foragers, and do well when provided pasture. When raised for meat, they are ready to process in about 28 weeks.
Colors: The Bourbon Red is a deep, rich red color over most of its body, with bright white tail that have a soft, red bar across them. Flight feathers are white; the beak is a horn color and is darker at the base than at the tip; wattles are red; the beard is black; and the shanks and toes are pink.
Status: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Conservation Status: The ALBC lists the Bourbon Red in the Watch category.
Body Type: Description of body without weights
Standard Weights: Old Tom 33 lbs, Old Hen 18 lbs, Young Tom 23 lbs, Young Hen 14 lbs
Classification: American Poultry Association Class: Turkey