Andes Alpacas

Home of the Berry Valley Herd & Dinky Donks

🦃🦃🦃 Bourbon Red Turkeys 🦃🦃🦃

The Bourbon Red is a rare heritage Turkey & is listed on the RBST (Rare Breeds Survival Trust) watchlist 2020-21 as a priority breed. 

At Andes Alpacas we breed Bourbon Reds primarily to raise awareness of this beautiful bird with the purpose of increasing their numbers to aid their future survival. Since commencing our breeding programme we have had enquiries from all over the world for the purchase of hatching eggs. Our facebook page ‘Bourbon Red Turkeys’ has received numerous messages asking for advice on their management.

We have taken orders for hatching eggs from Russia, Canada, Philippines, Kenya, USA, Croatia,Pakistan, Scotland & Northern Ireland.

Interesting Bourbon Red Facts!

  • Bourbons Reds originated from Bourbon County, Kentucky in the late 1800’s.
  • The average weight of an adult Tom is about 15kgs while the hen is around 8.2kg
  • Turkeys lay approximately 110 eggs a year, are & richer creamier in taste than chicken eggs & similar in taste.
  • The ‘snood’ is the piece of flesh that sits on a young turkeys forehead like a unicorn in resting position
  • As males begin to mature the snood elongates.
  • The snood increases in length with age & shrinks at rest.
  • The snood also changes colours. It gets darker red with long periods of strutting.

  • The lumpy caruncle that wrap the base of the neck are dark red when the turkey is excited.
  • Turkeys have power to control their caruncle colouring by contracting blood vessels in the caruncles.
  • A Bourbon Red has a beard! The beard looks & feels a lot like long black plastic broom bristles. 
  • The beard grows with age & help determine the age of a turkey.
  • Tom Bourbons or gobblers puff up their bodies & spread their tail feathers (just like a peacock).
  • The fancy turkey trot helps the male attract females for mating.

🦃🦃🦃 Nutritional needs of Bourbon Red Turkeys 🦃🦃🦃

Firstly turkeys are not chickens and their nutritional requirements are not the same either. Turkeys require far more protein and supplements than their counterparts.

Young turkeys need to eat approimately 28 percent protein and require high levels of vitamin A & D as well as moderate amounts of calcium. 

What NOT to feed your gobblers! ❌⁉️

  • Uncooked beans contain phytohemagglutinin. This is a naturally occurring insecticide and can be fatal even in small amounts.
  • Avocados can cause myocardial necrosis (destruction of heart cells). This can lead to heart failure and can be fatal.
  • Pits and seeds of many fruits contain small amounts of cyanide, a toxin that can be fatal to turkeys. Do not feed turkeys the pits or seeds of peaches, apples, plums or cherries.
  • Tomato and eggplant (aubergine) leaves are members of the nightshade family and can be toxic to turkeys.
  • Onions contain thiosulphate, a toxin that can kill healthy red blood cells in a  turkey. This can lead to severe illness and possibly death in your flock.
  • Diary foods should not be fed as this will cause digestive issues leading to diarrhoea and dehydration. 
  • Chocolate is toxic to turkeys as it contains both caffeine and theobromine. This can cause heart rate irregularities and even death. 

Avoiding the foods listed above should mean Mr Gobbler & co will continue to live long healthy lives.