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Bourbon Red Turkey Using PECk-O-MATIC Automatic Turkey Feeder

Bourbon Red Turkey Using Automatic Turkey feeder

The Tuscarora, or Tuscawara, was created in Pennsylvania by crossing Buff, Standard Bronze, and White Holland Turkeys for darker colors. They were then taken to Kentucky where they continued to develop until the deep reddish-brown color of the Bourbon Red was attained. They were once known as Kentucky Reds and Bourbon Butternuts. It was first recognized as a turkey variety by the American Poultry Association in 1909.

The PECk-O-MATIC Automatic Turkey Feeder works on a 'feed on demand' basis, which releases small quantities of grain/pellets at a time. Studies have proven that it relieves boredom and stops feather plucking. The 1/2 inch regulator disc from the PECk-O-MATIC Automatic Turkey Feeder can be used for feeds such as crumble, pellet, wheat and peas. Pellets and cracked corn can also be fed by using the 5/8-inch regulator disc.

The Bourbon Reds have a dark red plumage with white in the flight and tail feathers, crossed by a soft red bar near the end. Body feathers on the toms may be edged in black. The neck and breast feathers are mahogany or chestnut. For females, there is a narrow edging of white present on the breast feathers. The under feathers are light red or light salmon. The beak is a light horn color at the tip and dark at base and the eyes are dark brown. The beard is black and the shanks and toes are reddish pink. The toms weigh up to 33lbs and the hens weigh up to 18lbs.

Like many turkey breeds, the popularity of the Bourbon reds declined after the commercial adoption of the Broad Breasted White. It regained popularity in the early 21st century, and today it is one of the most popular heritage turkey breeds in the U.S. Though a heritage breed, it is still listed as "watch" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, meaning that there are fewer than 5000 breeding birds in the U.S. The Bourbon Red is also included in Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, a catalog of heritage American foods in danger of extinction.