Press Release – Heritage Breed Ducks and Turkeys for the Holidays

Heritage Breed Ducks and Turkeys Raised on Wellesley Island

Wild turkeys are commonly seen in the fields and woods of the Thousand Islands Region. What are not as common are heritage breed poultry raised for food. This holiday season Wellesley Island’s Cross Island Farms is raising certified organic heritage breed turkeys and ducks for its customers’ holiday meals.

Heritage breed poultry are closer to wild birds genetically than those commonly sold in supermarkets. Descendants of the traditional breeds raised on family farms until American agriculture became industrialized in the middle of the twentieth century, heritage breed poultry have a different taste and texture than “modern” birds. Their flesh is darker, denser, leaner, and significantly richer in flavor than supermarket fare, while lacking the “gamey” taste of some wild fowl.

Rather than being confined in small indoor spaces, Cross Island Farms’ turkeys and ducks are raised the traditional way as well, freely ranging outdoors on green pasture where they reap additional health and nutritional benefits from the fresh air and live forage. To supplement their foraged food, the birds are fed organic grain certified free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers.

Cross Island Farms is open year round and welcomes visitors who wish to learn more about raising heritage breeds. For more information or to arrange a tour, contact the farm at or 315-482-3663.

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