Your Turkey is a Virgin

Photo by Pbrundel

You heard me, your turkey has never mated with another turkey. There was no deep enjoyment of life, just a life of forced celibacy.

This may not be an important trait you seek in turkeys, but aren’t you curious as to why your turkey is so deprived? It’s because he’s probably a Broad-breasted White, the standard commercial turkey. Bred to have big, meaty breasts and no rich turkey flavor. To make up for flavor they inject them with a solution of broth and water. So not only are turkeys artificially inseminated, they are also injected with broth to make up for the dry meat due to fast maturity. There isn’t time for them to build up a nice layer of fat that gives them that juicy meat.

Wait? Artificially inseminated? Did I say that?

You see, because the turkeys are so buxom, they cannot um…reach to mate. So there is no consummation of turkey marriages. They are instead inseminated to produce more turkeys that will be born as Franken-birds. Though they reach their commercial weight by around 3 1/2 months, so despite their weight they are still premature.

“The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy says that of the 10 species of domestic farm animals that are the focus of their work,  ‘none is more genetically eroded than the turkey.” And that includes the chicken.

That is why your bird is a virgin.

I’m not against eating these birds, I’ll be eating one. This is more just amusing to me if anything. I do recommend you buy a heritage turkey or at least an organic turkey if you can afford either. But if you are like me, you can’t spend that kind of dough on a turkey. I’m more of a .79/lb. kind of girl, not a $7/lb type for turkey. The flavor difference is phenomenal, and if you can afford it than by all means you must get a heritage turkey. If not for anything else than to know it enjoyed some of life’s greater pleasures. Poultry has little else.

Oh by the by, commercial birds are white. Not the majestic bird you used to draw in elementary school. Shhh, don’t tell the children. It’s better they not know that their color-by-number turkeys should be white.


Photo by Clevergrrl

The generic brown turkey you would describe is called a standard bronze, but that is more commonly found as a heritage turkey. And there is nothing wrong with a white-feathered fowl, there are heritage turkeys that are white. But it blew my mind when I found out they were white. Ok it didn’t blow my mind…but it was an “oh” moment.

To learn more about heritage turkeys, visit these sites!

Local Harvest

Slow Food USA

The Heritage Turkey Foundation




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