Copas producing a special anniversary flock of rare turkeys

Copas Traditional Turkeys is celebrating its 50th year of rearing Christmas turkeys by producing a special anniversary flock of rare and heritage turkeys.

Tanya Copas said: “2007 is our Golden Anniversary of rearing Christmas turkeys with real old-fashioned qualities. To mark the occasion, we have partnered with Heritage Bred Poultry to raise a special ‘Copas Gold’ flock of rare & heritage breed free range turkeys.”

The ‘Copas Gold’ flock includes Buff and Bourbon Red turkeys, which are both rare breeds, as well as heritage breeds; Slate, Narragansett, Auburn and Heritage Bronze turkeys. All the breeds have been selected for their free range suitability, natural shape, weight and special eating qualities.

The free range Gold Flock will roam in grass meadows and is being fed on a natural cereal diet rich in oats.

With the addition of the new rare and heritage breeds they will be rearing over 30 breeds and strains of turkey for this Christmas.

The breeds explained:

  • Buffs are named after their rich cinnamon feather colour and were extremely popular at the turn of the last century when a ‘Buff Turkey Club’ was set up in the 1900’s
  • Bourbon Reds have intense rich chestnut/mahogany red colour and pattern.  They originated in the 1800’s in Bourbon County in Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region
  • Slates are an ashy-blue colour, sometimes called ‘Blues’ or ‘Splash’. They were very popular at the big London shows in the early part of the 20th century
  • Narragansett was the turkey of New England, named after the Narragansett Bay area. They have a similar pattern to the Bronze but are steel grey and a lighter tan in the tail
  • Auburns are one of the oldest varieties. They are a variant of the Bronze colouring with a similar pattern but the black is replaced by reddish brown and bronze by light tan
  • Heritage Bronze & Grey Downs are specialist breeds of Heritage Bred Poultry