About Mini Turkeys
Bred for the dinner table
Our turkeys are ‘minis’ in the turkey world, and that’s a good thing!
The turkeys you can buy at the supermarket are usually Nicolas Large Whites or Broad Breasted Bronze - fast growing giant breeds that are bred for industrial food production but are harvested as babies for the ‘table trade’. The trouble with this is that baby giants grow large bones before they beef up, so their meat-to-bone ratio is poor. Lots of the weight you pay for is heavy bones that go to waste. Genetically smaller turkeys have better proportions when they are ‘table size. But most small heritage turkeys are slower growing and lack the broad breast trait.
Beltsville Small White turkeys were bred to provide the perfect compromise: fast efficient growth to a nice table size, fine bone and broad breast. They became the most popular turkeys of North America in the early 50's. But commercial growers switched to the Nicolas Large Whites when they became available, and the Beltsvilles nearly went extinct! True North is currently working with a farmer who is using conservation genetics to bring the Beltsvilles back to genetic health so that we can sell hearty, fast growing Beltsvilles in the future.... But in the meantime we are selling Minis - a new product from Hendrix that has many of the same characteristics.
Small, stocky and robust, the Minis thrive in free-range conditions. At 15 weeks old the males average 21 lbs (live weight) and the females 15 lbs (dress out weights 14.7 and 10.5 respectively) with average feed conversion ratio of 2.25 - that’s better than any 12 week grown chicken! You can harvest sooner if you want smaller birds. They deliver a high quality, succulent taste with appealing table presentation - and no honkin’ bones hanging over the side of your plate!
Another bonus: Minis are agile adults that can breed naturally, and they breed true!
True North Heritage Hatchery has four scheduled turkey hatch dates in 2021.
April 26, May 17, June 14 (fresh Thanksgiving) and August 23 (fresh Christmas).