Meet the Heritage Turkey

(Streaming video)

Curator's note: The video linked to this page is from a piece by the curator (a/k/a Rich Samuels) that aired on the "Chicago Tonight" program on WTTW on November 13th, 2006. The piece was shot on October 20th, 2006 on the farm of John Caveny near Monticello, Illinois. Cameraman Tim Boyd shot the video.

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Bourbon Red turkey
Above: A Bourbon Red turkey, one of the more popular of the so-called "heritage" breeds.

Broad-breasted White turkey and George W. Bush

The Broad-breasted White turkey (the creature with the feathers on the left) has dominated the domestic market since the 1960's, nearly driving the older so-called "heritage" breeds into extinction. But for the past five years or so, heritage turkeys have been making a comeback, even though they take longer to reach market weight and are considerably more expensive than the supermarket variety bird.

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Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to