Narragansetts are a heritage breed that can trace their roots back to the pilgrims. Once commonly seen free-ranging on homesteads and small farms, they've become somewhat of a rarity with the rise of commercial agriculture. As they've been replaced by breeds more suitable to close confinement and rapid growth at an early age, Narragansetts have become so uncommon that they are now on the Livestock Conservancy's watch list.
A favorite on our farm, we consider this breed perfect for small-scale agriculture and homesteaders. Independent enough to keep the feed bill down through free-ranging, yet friendly enough to let you pick them up and eat out of your hand. They are by far the prettiest turkeys you can find in our opinion, with dramatic dark-on-light feathering that hearkens back to the first Thanksgiving. Being a heritage breed, they are remarkably disease tolerant and require very little care relative to most modern breeds. We give ours free-choice access to feed and shelter, but true to their heritage roots they typically choose to forage for insects and greens in the pasture during the day and roost in the tree next to their coop at night.
Hens typically lay about 90 eggs per year, most between March and May, and yearling toms ready for harvest usually weigh in at about 25lbs. Being a heritage breed apt for free-ranging, it takes a relatively small amount of feed to support this productivity. This lends well to our philosophy of low-input/high-output husbandry, which we consider a vital tenant of sustainable agriculture.
We hope you'll help us conserve this beautiful heritage breed, and are proud to offer poults and hatching eggs for sale each spring. While we offer shipping for hatching eggs, poults must be picked up in person on the farm. Check out our 'For Sale' page to find out what we have available right now.
For more information on this heritage breed, or to learn how you can help conserve it and other heritage livestock, visit the Livestock Conservancy's website by clicking the link below.
Our first breeding tom Moses, who loved nothing more than to follow us around and try to figure out what we were up to. I happened to leave the door open while bringing groceries inside, and when I turned around Moses had followed me in the house!
Some of our Narragansetts chipping in to help clear the winter clover cover crop from our garden before spring planting. Please excuse Zeke's tail feathers, he didn't have time to clean himself up before filming.
Narragansetts love being the center of attention, so don't be surprised if they find their way into your shot, even if you're trying to film something else.
Moses loved being with his people. Closed doors were no problem, as he could usually find an open window to climb inside.
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