Heritage Turkey Project

The mission of the Slow Food WiSE Heritage Turkey Project is to promote the restoration of heritage breed turkeys within our region by connecting consumers to farmers and local butchers. The first step we have taken is compiling a list of farmers and retailers selling heritage breeds (below).

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy defines true heritage turkeys with the following criteria: 1) Naturally mating; 2) Long productive outdoor lifespan; 3) Slow growth rate. The following are heritage breeds: Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Slate, Black Spanish, White Holland, Royal Palm, White Midget, and Beltsville Small White.

Although harder to find these days, there’s no better-tasting bird than a heritage breed. Unfortunately, 99 percent of turkeys raised in the U.S. are Broad-Breasted Whites (not heritage)—which were specifically developed to have a meaty breast. Because of their disproportionate bodies, if these turkeys are not raised humanely, they’re at risk for a host of complications, such as trouble walking and mating on their own.

Each Year, Slow Food WiSE compiles a list of local farms offering heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving—please let us know if you, or someone you know is raising heritage breeds (info@slowfoodwise.org).

As these turkeys tend to be highly enjoyed around Thanksgiving tables, they tend to sell out rather quickly. Heritage producers change year to year.  Please contact the farms directly for ordering and pricing information.

If you are unable to find a heritage breed, look for a turkey that has been pastured-raised and treated humanely.

Dominion Valley Farm, Allenton, WI—SOLD OUT 2016

Farmer Nick’s LLCWalworth, WI
Must reserve first via email or phone 815-451-5084
$3.50/lb; Pick up Nov 23th at Grayslake Farmers Market, 10-2
Nick Janovski
W4766 State Line Rd
Walworth, WI 53184

Jeff Leen Farm, Random Lake, WI
Nature’s Niche Farm, Burlington, WI
33347 Washington Ave.
Burlington, WI
Ruegsegger FarmsBelleville, WI
Pick up locations: Paoli (Greater Madison Area), Lake Mills, Waukesha, Wauwatosa, Milwaukee, St Francis
Ken Ruegsegger
6895 Paoli Road
Belleville, WI 53508

Wandering Peacock Farm, Reeseville, WI
Call or email to reserve. They are free range and supplemented with local, organic grain mix. Price is $7 a pound (processed weight). Orders picked up from farm only. Fresh on processing day (after 4pm), frozen after processing day.
Josh & Mandy Whitlock
N2637 Maiden Lane Road
Reeseville, WI 53579
(920) 626-6365

Whole Foods, various locations, Greater Milwaukee
Outpost, various locations, Greater Milwaukee
Braise On the Go, Home Delivery
Kettle Range Meats, Milwaukee, WI
Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market, Milwaukee, WI