Detailed Facts About Bourbon Red Turkey

Is it Thanksgiving Day or Turkey Day? Do you know any methods of raising bourbon red turkey? The going seems to be tough but stick your eyes on the screen for a moment.

A twisted question to taste your love for bourbon red breed. The fowl is incredible as a table fowl feast for the family and friends. The potted fowl will make you have a memorable Thanksgiving feast like no other.

Have you ever heard about the breed of turkey? Another great mind-blowing question to toss your mind on the ocean.

   Further useful post:     American Game Chicken Breed Information  

I know you have heard or read more information about Thanksgiving Day and you are able to provide tons of information around the day but not about the turkey breed.

Worry no more…

The post provides detailed information about the history and origin of the breed, physical characteristics and some of the common health problems associated with the breed.

Note: You will also be able to find bourbon red turkey for sale and learn various ways on how to raise the breed of the turkey on your small farm.

Let’s start the chase here…

History and Origin of Bourbon Red Turkey

The breed of turkey originated from Bourbon County in Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region and this happens to be the source of its name. The breed of turkey was developed in 1800 by J. F. Barbee.

The domestic turkey was previously known as Bourbon Butternuts and Kentucky reds. The heritage fowl came into existence after crossing buff, bronze and the white Holland breeds of turkey.

In 1909, the breed of turkey was accepted and admitted to the American Poultry Association as a different type of turkey. The domestic fowls from then began being popular across the world.

The heritage birds were generally bred for meat production and this is the reason behind their popularity in the turkey industry especially between the 1930s and 1940s.

The introduction of broad-breasted white turkeys in the market triggered the decline of the breed since these are birds of superior quality.

The circumstance has led to a total reduction of the breed of turkeys in the United States to about 5000 or less.

These fowls have been listed on the American Livestock Conservancy as endangered species and very few private hobbyists in Kentucky still have them in their farms.

Bourbon Red Turkey Characteristics

They include:

Size and Weight

Bourbon Red breeds are large in size and quite adorable. The average weight of an adult tom is about 15kgs while the hen is around 8.2kg.

General Appearance

The breed of turkeys is very handsome. The plumage coloring of dark red or brownish feathers blended with white feathers makes the fowl stunning when compared to others.

The soft red bars of the tail feathers crossing near the end highlight prettiness of the breed to another level that you can never imagine.

The under colors of the breed are white to light buff while the breast and neck feathers are chestnut mahogany. They have red throat wattle that is changeable to bluish. The beak of the fowl is a light horn with dark bases.

Climate Tolerance

The heritage breed of turkeys is robust and hardy. They have body systems that are dynamic and they can easily adapt to different weather climates with ease.

Behavior and Temperament

These birds are very active and tend to fly around the yard. However, they are docile but toms tend to be aggressive in case they are bullied.

Purpose of the Breed

The breed is typically meant for meat production but can also be used for exhibition or attraction sight for the backyard.

Common Health Problems

The bourbon red breed is strong and hardy. The wild game genes make them be less susceptible to common poultry diseases. But it is recommended to bring onboard specialists to vaccinate them so that they can become stronger.

Always develop a habit of checking their dense plumage to check any symptom of parasite infestations. This will help to keep them out of control and inhibit them from spreading to other flocks in the yard.


These attractive breeds of turkeys are typically raised for meat production and are highly dependent on selection by the breeder. They tend to have high maturity and fertility rate as compared to other heritage birds.

Do you have Bourbon red turkeys in your homestead? We would love to hear their stories. Feel free to share with us through the comment form below and we will appreciate. Thanks.

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