Like any family heirloom passed down from generation to generation, we cherish those things that remind us of our heritage. For the Diestel family, our American Heirloom Collection of turkeys is no different. These bronze- and black-feathered turkeys date back to the early nineteenth century and are like the birds our great-grandmother raised. In fact, “When I see these turkeys, I think of my childhood,” Jack Diestel, founder of Diestel Turkey Ranch, said. “The meat to bone ratio & the depth of flavor are unsurpassed. A perfect example of why my brother and I decided to take on the challenge and privilege of being the 4th generation to raise Diestel turkeys in California,” says Heidi Diestel.
Today, we have continued this family tradition and use a collection of older breeds to give you the best of both worlds: old world history, flavor, and beauty in combination with a wonderful yield of meat and that great classic turkey flavor. The American Bronze Heirloom turkey is a descendant of the original wild North American turkey, which was domesticated both in the American colonies and in Europe. American Bronze Heirloom birds are known for their traditional appearance and delicious meat, while the Auburn turkey—also known as the Mexican Black turkey—originally came from Mexico. We raise these old-fashioned breeds slowly on 100% certified organic vegetarian diet without ever administering antibiotics or using chemicals on our farms. These turkeys attained Global Animal Partnership (GAP) rating and are Non-GMO Project Verified.
Born in late spring and delivered to the ranch at one day old, these birds are raised for the first six weeks inside a warm and cozy barn. Our farmers work day and night to ensure the turkeys are warm, have fresh water and plentiful feed. It is during this time that the turkeys are gaining strength and independence—learning where their food, water, and friends are.
When these turkeys become teenagers, the barn doors open and the birds are free to roam where they please. Most birds enjoy the sunshine in the cool morning and move back indoors during the warmer times of day and in the evening. We give them consistent feed, clean water, and the most natural environment possible to help ensure they become the best turkeys possible.
Through spring showers, the summer heat, and into the cool of fall, these turkeys live indoors or outdoors as they please. As the birds reach maturity, they develop the flavor and tenderness that Diestel turkey is known for. After a healthy and happy life, these birds are harvested in our USDA-inspected facility and chilled quickly using an old-fashioned, ice-chilling method. We like to keep the process simple and never add or pump our turkeys with any sort of salt solution. Once bagged, we ship these birds out to your local market… just in time for the holiday.
Thank you for purchasing a Diestel Organic American Heirloom Turkey. We hope you have enjoyed learning about these birds’ unique lives and sincerely appreciate your support of our fourth generation family farm!
From our Family to Yours,
Fourth Generation Family Farmers