Raising Giant Dewlap Toulouse Geese and Heritage Narragansett Turkeys
On a lark I was asked by my great friend Erin to take a ride with her and help her pick out a pair of Giant Dewlap Toulouse geese from a local and well-respected breeder, Pete Dempsey here in southern Wisconsin. When we got to the Dempsey farm, we were overwhelmed with the goslings and of course, we caved in and we too came home with a pair.
I am a sucker for the “fluffy”! As they grew quickly and started to become the “farm greeters,” we knew we were hooked! Everyone here at the farm fell in love with them and the hunt was then on for information on this breed and where the best birds could be found to further this new part of the farm!
Weeks ran into months and many trips were taken to see some of the best giant dewlap Toulouse in the Midwest, and before you knew it, we had acquired about a dozen from different breeders to add to our gaggle. We looked for sound, big, healthy birds that had a great conformation and deep keel while still possessing a great head and kind, bright eye.
Now that our gaggle was in place, we took the time to get to know the birds, research where they all came from and we started to set up our breeding program accordingly making sure we were breeding to improve the breed. Reading the standard on the birds, matching up males and females so that unrelated pairs/trios could best achieve what we wanted in the next generation and our program was off and running, and we have never looked back!
Today we keep around 24 adult birds from now five distinct “pedigrees” from some of the best breeders that this breed has ever had from here in the US and France. The goslings we are producing are proof that good records, attention to detail and always following the breed standard will give you the best stock to move forward with in the future, and the future of our clients who absolutely adore their new additions to their farms and family! I always tell everyone that takes these precious babies home with them, “These birds will probably outlive any dog you may own and will become great members of your family! So feed them good, nutritious food, treat them well and you will have then for many, many years!”
So knowing how much work we have put into the Exhibition Giant Dewlap Toulouse geese, and keeping the same attention to detail we have also added Heritage Narragansett turkeys as well. These are strong BIG birds that mature quickly but still slower than any “market variety” turkey. We again went local and purchase our first Narragansetts from two wonderful breeders here in Wisconsin and then branched out and brought some new stock came from New Hampshire and others from Indiana, making sure that our stock would be unrelated to keep vigor high and quality at its maximum.
West Bend, Wisconsin
Larry shares his journey on Facebook. Search: Chapel View Exhibition Giant Dewlap Toulouse Geese