A heritage bird of larger size can certainly be obtained, but you’ve got to grow that bird usually into the next year. Which is OK, because they are beautiful birds. It’s often more difficult to cull that beauty for a meal, so a heritage bird may squeak by another year of growth. Heritage birds don’t eat as voraciously as the commercial breeds. You’ll still spend money on feed over the long run though. I haven’t calculated the difference between the two, but it certainly seems that they eat less than their commercial counterparts.
Our choice after trial and error is the BB White, abundant at feed stores in July and August. A July tom will yield 30+ pounds by November. We opt for a later start in the beginning weeks of August, which yield smaller birds overall, with toms averaging 20-22 pounds. The BB Whites are voracious eaters. Just like their commercial cousins the Cornish X meat bird, they eat and they poo. Lots and lots of feed. Lots and lots of poo. The BB whites are much lazier than the heritage breeds, while they will eat grass, they prefer the trough. You have to range them strategically in order to have enough green grass for them because they poo so much, they soil their soil much too quickly. It’s best to raise them on commercial grain. They drink enormous amounts of water so make sure you can supply it even when the fall weather turns cold enough to make turn it into ice!
Both varieties of turkeys have personality. Which can often be a determinant to the home processor! I was just on the verge of falling for my BB Whites about a week before D-Day. I was careful to appreciate their humor without getting overly attached. Turkeys seem very loyal and will follow you around like a little puppy—beware!