NEAR CHATFIELD, Minn. (KTTC) –
It’s almost Thanksgiving! Steve Berg is raising turkeys that don’t look like the ones you might see at your local grocery store.
“The Bourbon Red turkey is what they call a heritage bird and they were brought over by the European settlers and then they were bred with the native birds of the United States,” said Berg, the owner of Little Bend Heritage Farm. “There’s several different breeds and this one is called a Bourbon Red and it was developed by a gentleman down in Kentucky back in the 1800s.”
Heritage turkeys were enjoyed at Thanksgiving dinner until the 1940s. That’s when they were replaced by broad breasted white turkeys. These types of turkeys are mass produced to be grown quickly, 3 months as opposed to 6 months for their heritage brethren. But the Bourbon Reds are making a comeback.
“The Bourbon Reds and a lot of the other heritage turkeys are on the watch list of endangered turkeys. They were on the critical list, but they’re now getting to the watch list,” said Berg.
Steve and his family do all of the work at Little Bend on their own. All of the turkeys are on a natural diet and live outdoors the way nature intended.
“I think you should know where your food comes from. I think you should know that they were taken care of humanely and that they were raised well and that good things went into them, so that the good food is for you,” said Berg.
Little Bend contracts with companies in the Twin Cities for distribution of their turkeys. They also make them available for purchase locally on their website.