About Your Thanksgiving Bird


We’re quickly approaching every eater’s favorite holiday—Thanksgiving. While we’re sure you’ve got that sumptuous stuffing or classic cranberry dish down, we wanted to wax poetic regarding the esteemed main entrée: The Bird.

Americans serve up some 45 million turkeys every Thanksgiving. Perhaps even more shocking: the Broad-Breasted White Turkey makes up 99 percent of birds offered at grocery stores. This mainstream breed was developed via massive turkey farms, mid-20th century, with the purpose of maximizing profit (least amount of inputs, quickest time to grow, maximum amount of meat).

These conventional birds are fast-tracked through development, susceptible to disease, and unable to fly, walk, or procreate via anything but artificial insemination. As you might expect, flavor, taste, meat moisture etc, is lower quality compared to other breeds.

“Heritage Birds” are Vetted for Quality

According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), there are several, strict requirements for a breed to be officially deemed “heritage.” Heritage birds must be able to reproduce naturally—and feed on their own—outdoors. Currently, the ALBC has designated 13 heritage turkey breeds. This is certainly some food for thought as far as our purchasing decisions go.

If you have the opportunity to buy, taste and cook a different breed, we highly recommend it. Whether your Bird is pastured or officially “heritage,” take the time to ask your Farmer(s) about the quality and traits of their birds. There are countless turkey breeds, and we want you to have access to them. This is a major component of the work we do here at Barn2Door. We want everyone to know how to access the most high quality, local food. Additionally, we want to make sure all those hardworking Farmers with ethical farming practices have the capabilities to sell it directly to you.

Organic quality, pastured birds are more expensive than their factory-raised counterparts, but the quality of their life directly mirrors the quality of their flavor. Not to mention, you and your guests can proudly pass the gravy over shopping local—and specifically supporting farmers whose practices prioritize the land and quality of your Bird's life!


Please consider a Heritage bird for your next Thanksgiving. Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on our latest developments in helping Farmers deliver the highest quality food directly to you.