A small flock of exclusive birds, called "Heritage Turkeys,'' is making an impact on Thanksgiving for serious foodies.
These birds are not just free range, drug free and organically grown. These birds have papers, going all the way back to Christopher Columbus. They are farm-raised, naturally inseminated and have their own reality TV show on the Internet.
Heritage Foods USA, the mail-order business founded by Martins and Todd Wickstrom in 2001 say that people willing to spend $200 for a fully-traceable turkey.
What is a heritage turkey?
To be classified as a heritage turkey, the bird must meet the following criteria:
• Reproduced and genetically maintained through natural mating. Expected fertility rates should be between 70 percent and 80 percent.
• A long productive lifespan. Breeding hens are typically productive from five to seven years, breeding toms from three to five years.
• A slow to moderate rate of growth, reaching marketable weight in 26 to 28 weeks. This gives the birds time to develop strong skeletal systems and healthy organs before building muscle mass.
For information about Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch or heritage turkeys, visit the farm's Web site at www.reeseturkeys.com.