History of Frank Reese Jr. and his Turkeys
Some one once asked me why I love turkeys. In fair truth I don't know. It seems this feeling has always been there. At the age of five I remember going to the Trow Farm and seeing 5,000 Bronze Turkeys. It was then I fell in love with turkeys.
Raising turkeys is a lot of work but it is my labor of love. When I was eleven I entered my Jersey Black Giant Chickens and won at our county fair and I got to take them to the Kansas State Fair. At the fair I saw my first Standard Bronze, Black Spanish, Royal Palm, Narragansett, White Holland and Bourbon Red Turkeys. I also met "Norman Kardosh “The Turkey Man” of the poultry world, who became a good friend and teacher. He shared his vast knowledge with me and I realized I wanted to start my own flock. I bought my first trio of birds from Norman in the 50's and have maintained and improved the flock for over the years. This strain is the oldest continuous strain of standard bred turkeys in North America. I have really learned the importance of selection for soundness in my flock. Today I raise Bronze, Bourbon Red, Buff, Narragansett and the Beltsville Small Whites. My birds breed on their own, lay well, and are good mothers. As I grow older my main concern is what is going to happen to these beautiful and magnificent Heritage birds.
The bronze turkeys raised at Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch have a long history. Most of the bloodline comes from Norman Kardosh. Norman got his genetics from his Mother. Mrs. Kardosh first developed her bloodline from Birds Brothers. In 1917, she purchased just 10 eggs from Birds Brothers (their ad is seen here, on the right). The eggs were $5.00 each, a lot of money in 1917. Five poults hatched from those eggs and that was the beginning. Other blood lines were added to this, but all Good Shepherd Bronze Heritage Turkeys can be traced to this start.