Breeds of Livestock - Turkeys Breeds
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Turkey Breeds

Turkey Breeds / Varieties

Turkeys are large birds (the eighth largest living bird species in terms of maximum mass) native originally to the Americas, but after European colonization turkeys were transported to Europe and today they are a common livestock in Europe, America, and many other part of the world . They are raised for their meat all year round but are closely associated in America as the star of the yearly Thanksgiving Dinner.

Female domesticated turkeys are referred to as hens, and the chicks may be called poults or turkeylings. In the United States, the males are referred to as toms, while in Europe, males are stags. Male Turkeys are more colorful than female turkeys and have a distinctive fleshy wattle or protuberance that hangs from the top of the beak (called a snood).

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Breeds/ Varieties of Turkeys

There are the following breeds of Turkeys:

Auburn - Breeds of TurkeyAuburn

One of the rarest variety of turkey is the Auburn. Also known as theLight Brown, the Auburn is a heritage breed. (A heritage animal or plant is one of a variety of strains ofwhich retains historic characteristics that are no longer present in the majority of domestic varieties.) The earliest known references to this breed is from the northeastern part of the United States in the late 1700’s. There is also a variant of the Auburn known as the Silver Auburn.

Auburn Breeds of Livestock

Beltsville Small White - Breeds of TurkeyBeltsville Small White

The Beltsville Small White turkey is named after the USDA research center in Beltsville Maryland where it was developed in the late 1930’s. At the time consumers wanted a bird between 8 and 15 pounds that had a larger proportion of breast meat than what had been available.After crossing many breeds an acceptable turkey was developed. The variety was very popular with home cooks, but as refrigerators became larger and the demand for even more white meat became greater, this turkey was gradually replaced with other hybrids such as the Broa ...

Beltsville Small White Breeds of Livestock

Black - Breeds of TurkeyBlack

Black Turkeys, sometimes referred to as Black Spanish Turkeys or Norfolk Black Turkeys, were developed in Europe from a group of Aztec turkeys brought from Mexico in the 1500's. Today they are found throughout Europe and are considered the oldest turkey breed in the UK.

Black Turkeys have a lustrous greenish-black plumage.

Black Turkeys were sent in the holds of ships on the transatlantic crossing from Europe to the New World, and were raised by early colonists. Ironically, it is likely that the turkey consumed at ...

Black Breeds of Livestock

Bourbon Red - Breeds of TurkeyBourbon Red

Bourbon Red Turkeys, also known as Kentucky Red and Bourbon Butternut Turkeys, were developed in Bourbon County Kentucky, US in the late 1800's. They were developed by J. F. Barbee who crossbred Buff, Bronze, and White Holland Turkeys.

Bourbon Red Turkeys have a light-gray beak, red to blueish wattles, a black beard, and pink legs and toes. Toms weigh around 23 lbs and hens weigh around14 lbs. They lay large potted cream and brown eggs.

The Bourbon Red Turkey breed was recognized by the APA in 1909. They became popu ...

Bourbon Red Breeds of Livestock

Bronze - Breeds of TurkeyBronze

Bronze Turkeys, also known as Cambridge Bronze Turkeys, are domestic turkey whose plumage has an iridescent bronze-like sheen.

Bronze turkeys were developed by crossing domestic turkeys brought from England, with wild turkeys. These matings produced a bird that was larger and more robust than the European turkeys, and tamer than wild turkeys. Although Bronze turkeys were created in the 18th century, the actual name was not used until the 1830s, when a strain developed in the U.S. was named the Point Judith Bronze. The name lat ...

Bronze Breeds of Livestock

Buff - Breeds of TurkeyBuff

Buff Turkeys are named for their buff-colored plumage, unsurprisingly.

Buff Turkeys were accepted into the Standard of Perfection by the American Poultry Association in 1874, but had died out entirely by the early 20th century. This was partly due to the difficulty in selectively breeding the proper color pattern, and also to the rise of new commercial breeds on the market.

In the 1940s, interest in a buff turkey was revived, and a new strain of the breed, named the New Jersey Buff Turkey was created. However, the n ...

Buff Breeds of Livestock

Castano d'Italia - Breeds of TurkeyCastano d'Italia

Tacchino Castano d'Italia Turkeys are very rare brown Italian turkeys. They were selected by Prof. Raffaello Quilici at the Experimental Poultry Observatory of Rovigo in 1960. They are almost extinct, but are being reconstituted by Veneto Agriculture.

Their eggshell is slightly rosy and the eggs weigh 70-85 g. They mature at seven year old. They are medium-large (males weight 12-14 kg, females weight 5-7 kg). They have a dark brown coat, light tarsus, and white skin.

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Castano d'Italia Breeds of Livestock

Dindon de Ronquieres - Breeds of TurkeyDindon de Ronquieres

Looks very much like the Sologne Black although it is more elegant. It is a vigorous turkey which carries itself proudly. It is lively and fiery. Its plumage is deep black with a metallic but not bronze highlight (very light bronze is tolerated in the tail cover feathers). Its black tarsus becomes clear even pink with age. The male weighs 10 to 12 kg, the female 7 to 9 kg.

Dindon de Ronquieres Breeds of Livestock

Dindon de Sologne - Breeds of TurkeyDindon de Sologne

Dindon de Sologne Turkeys (also known as the Black Turkey of Sologne, Black Sologne,turkey Sologne,orsolognot)are a medium-sized variety of French Turkey with black plumage and blue-black legs.

Dindon de Sologne Turkeys are hardy birds with a strong bright-red head, large, well-stocked wattles, a strong beak, bright eyes, a long neck, and a dense, broad chest. They are good layer (on average 15 eggs).

Dindon de Sologne Breeds of Livestock

Dindon du Bourbonnais - Breeds of TurkeyDindon du Bourbonnais

Looks very much like the Sologne Black although it is more elegant. It is a vigorous turkey which carries itself proudly. It is lively and fiery. Its plumage is deep black with a metallic but not bronze highlight (very light bronze is tolerated in the tail cover feathers). Its black tarsus becomes clear even pink with age. The male weighs 10 to 12 kg, the female 7 to 9 kg.

Dindon du Bourbonnais Breeds of Livestock

Dindon du Gers - Breeds of TurkeyDindon du Gers

Dindon du Gers, or the French Black Turkey, is a large bird with black plumage with beautiful bronzer, green, and brown tones on its back.

The Hens are reliable brooders and are willing to take care of the poults of other hens.

Gers Turkeys are rare and in danger of extinction.

Dindon du Gers Breeds of Livestock

Dindon rouge des Ardennes - Breeds of TurkeyDindon rouge des Ardennes

Dindon rouge des Ardennes Turkeys, or the red Turkey Ardennes, first arrive in the Ardennes to the 16th century.

Dindon rouge des Ardennes Turkeys were popular for a long time in the Ardennes. For example, it was one of the most famous dishes served when Charles IX , celebrated his wedding to Elisabeth of Austria. However, over time it has become less popular and almost became extinct.

In 1985 Jean-Michel Devress decided to revive the variety, and worked with local business to breed and promote them. In 1985, there w ...

Dindon rouge des Ardennes Breeds of Livestock

Ermellinato di Rovigo - Breeds of TurkeyErmellinato di Rovigo

Ermellinato di Rovigo Turkeys are from Veneto, a region of northern Italy. They were derived from a mutation in the offspring of crosses of local birds to American Narraganset Turkeys in 1958. But it was good mutation and they were then selected for increased performance. The Ermellinato di Rovigo is very rustic and well suited to pasture production.

They mature at 7 months and feather early. They produce 70-100 eggs / year. The eggs are white to rose colored and they weight 70-80g. They are medium-sized (males weight 10-12 kg, ...

Ermellinato di Rovigo Breeds of Livestock

Midget White - Breeds of TurkeyMidget White

Midget White Turkeys are massively large black bird. Just kidding, they actually are small and white, of course. They are the smallest standard variety of turkey, toms weight around 13 lbs and hens weight 8-10 lbs. Honestly they are only the size of a chicken!

Midget white turkeys were developed in the 1960s by Dr. J. Robert Smyth at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. But there was not the expected demand for small turkeys and they were not successful. Hey are now classified as Critical by the American Livestock Breeds C ...

Midget White Breeds of Livestock

Narragansett - Breeds of TurkeyNarragansett

Narragansett Turkeys are a cross between eastern American wild turkeys and domestic turkeys. They are unique to North America and are named for Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, US. They are raised for commercial agriculture across the United States.  They are the foundation of the turkey industry in New England, US, and are especially important in Rhode Island and Connecticut. They are also popular in the Mid-Atlantic States and the Midwest.

Narragansett Turkeys have black, gray, tan, and white feathers. Sometimes they hav ...

Narragansett Breeds of Livestock

Nero D'Italia - Breeds of TurkeyNero D'Italia

Nero D'Italia Turkeys were developed by a group of breeders from Lombary Italy. It is believed that they were developed from French Noir de Sologne Turkeys.

Nero D'Italia Turkeys are small turkeys with iridescent black plumage. Males weight4-6 kg, females weight 2,5-3,5 kg.

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Nero D'Italia Breeds of Livestock

Parma e Piacenza - Breeds of TurkeyParma e Piacenza

Parma e Piacenza Turkeys are from the provinces of Parma and Piacenza, Italy. Their coloring is very similar to Narragansett and d'Osca Turkeys.

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Parma e Piacenza Breeds of Livestock

Royal Palm - Breeds of TurkeyRoyal Palm

Royal Palm Turkeys are a breed of Turkey best known as an ornamental bird with a unique appearance, largely white with bands of metallic black.

Royal Palm Turkeys first appeared in the 1920s on a farm in Lake Worth, Florida, apparently as a cross between Black, Bronze, Narragansett, and native turkeys. After years of selective breeding the Royal Palm was finally accepted by the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection in 1971.

The toms are noted for being non-aggressive, and the hens are particularly ...

Royal Palm Breeds of Livestock

Slate - Breeds of TurkeySlate

The Slate Turkey, also known as the American Blue or Lavender Turkey, is variety of turkey that is ashy blue over the entire body, sometimes with a few black flecks.The slate coloring is theresult of a combination of mutation (one dominant and one recessive) .

The Slate variety was accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1874. It has been popular in exhibition circles and is gaining popularity in pastured poultry production. Renewed interest in the biological fitness, survivability, and superior flavor of the Slate has ...

Slate Breeds of Livestock

White Holland - Breeds of TurkeyWhite Holland

White Holland Turkeys are an old variety of domestic white turkey. The White Holland originated from crosses of white European turkeys imported to North America and crossed with native birds.

The White Holland was first recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1874, and today is considered a heritage turkey breed. They are currently listed as threatened by The Livestock Conservancy.

White Holland Breeds of Livestock
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