The Bourbon Red and Other Forgotten Birds For Thanksgiving

Try these heritage turkeys at your table this year

Willow Ridge Farm's turkeys
Heritage birds roam freely, far from a feedlot, and have higher levels of omega-3s than your typical grocery store brands. (Photo Credit: Willow Ridge Farm)

Updated Nov 16, 2017 @ 9:37 am

“Jersey Buff.” “American Bronze.” “Bourbon Red.”  No, these aren’t Jersey Shore cast members, they’re names for heritage turkeys—a great option for your Thanksgiving table. Heritage birds roam freely, far from a feedlot, and have higher levels of omega-3s than your typical grocery store brands (as well as less saturated fat and cholesterol). Here are two trusted suppliers:

  • Heritage Foods USA is a major supplier for heritage everything – pork, poultry, goat, bison and all those turkey breeds mentioned above. You can feel good about ordering from them because all of the animals they sell are raised humanely, outdoors, with natural feed and no antibiotics. The heritage turkeys, in particular, come from Good Shepherd Ranch in Kansas. Order here.
  • Willow Ridge Farm is home to pasture-raised Bourbon Red turkeys (pictured above), a fun name for a bird with a red-brown coat and a bit darker meat than your standard Broad-Breasted White (the kind you most often see in grocery stores), since they’re free to roam and brought to market size much more slowly, as nature intended. The farm is located about an hour outside of Manhattan in Putnam Valley, and turkeys are available for pick up on the Sunday or Monday before Thanksgiving; if your schedule allows it, it’s a beautiful drive.

A word to the wise: these turkeys tend to sell out fast, so if you’re interested in ordering one, don’t delay!