All our heritage turkeys start their lives on Bill and Nicolette Niman’s ranch in Bolinas, California. This parent flock includes five different heritage turkey breeds: White Holland, Narragansett, Standard Bronze, Spanish Black, and Bourbon Red. Under the watchful eyes of two guardian dog companions, the flock roams the pastures of the Nimans’ Bolinas ranch, where they engage in grazing, foraging, sunning themselves, roosting in the trees, and making short exploratory flights. Natural mating (never artificial insemination) from these animals produces the eggs that are hatched to produce the next generation of BN RANCH heritage turkeys.
After the eggs from these turkeys are gathered they are taken to a small, specialty hatchery where they are hatched to become poults, the term used for a day old turkey. From the hatchery they are transported a short distance to BN RANCH’s turkey farm, where the birds will be cared for by a true, individual stockman. Once the turkeys reach six weeks of age they are allowed unrestricted outdoor access. They are always fed only an antibiotic-free, vegetarian diet that contains no growth promotants. In the specially formulated BN RANCH turkey ration, corn is replaced by wheat and the inclusion of soybeans is minimized through the use of safflower or sunflower meal. We are proud to only feed grain that is GMO-free.
These heritage breeds are always richly flavored, with exceptional dark meat and less breast meat than conventional turkeys.
“Nothing beats the heritage turkey cooked on the rotisserie outside over a mesquite fire. I can’t tell you how succulent and flavorful it was – even the legs. The broad breasted white turkey was delicious too – most notably the legs were lovely, a rarity in a roasted turkey. But if I had to choose, that heritage bird on the rotisserie is the ultimate.”
- Patricia Unterman, Hayes Street Grill, San Fransisco
“I prefer these heritage breeds for their flavor, and the tendency for this meat to stay moist longer is a big reason for it.”
- Chef Dan Barber of Stone Barns and Blue Hill, NY