Turkey Breeds Information: Ultimate Guide

There are so many turkey breeds available across the world. However, they are not as much as duck breeds and chicken breeds.

The good thing is that there are various types of turkeys to choose from. Turkey breeds in the US are raised for meat production, decoration, pets, and even for egg production.

Are you planning to domestic turkey breeds? Well, you need to know different kinds of turkeys before venturing into the farming activity.

The article provides information about domesticated turkeys and kind of turkeys available throughout the world. Let’s get informed here.

Different Turkey Breeds

It is good to learn about various breeds of turkeys so that it can be easy for selecting turkey types for breeding at home. Here are some of the most popular and common turkeys in the world.

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White Holland Turkey

As the name suggests, the turkeys originated from Holland, and they are highly recognized by the American Poultry Association. They were brought to the US by the early settlers.

The white turkey breeds are primarily bred for meat production. The birds are calm and friendly. The female turkeys are excellent setters and mothers.

Note: You can also read my article about the history, origin, characteristics, and pictures of white Holland turkey breed.

Royal Palm Turkey

These are adorable and attractive turkeys with striking colors. Majority of turkey breeders prefer them mainly for decoration of their homes.

The birds are smaller in size as compared to other turkey breeds heritage. They are typically not suitable for commercial farming.

The breed of turkey is known for exhibition purpose and also the production of the best tasting turkey breed meat. They are active and excellent foragers.

Note: Get more insightful information about the history, origin, characteristics, and purpose of royal palm turkey breed.

Standard Bronze

The breed is also known as American Standard Bronze. It is among the most extensive domestic turkey in American history.

The birds were developed by crossing between the native wild turkey breeds in America and those that were brought by European colonies.

The Broad-Breasted Bronze turkey is the most common, and it is mainly bred for artificial insemination since 1960. Today, they are the rare turkey breeds in the world.

Narragansett Turkey

These breeds of domesticated turkeys originated from Rhode Island in England. These birds are widespread in England, and they are the primary source of meat turkeys.

However, the population of the turkey breed is quite low, and they are even listed in the American Livestock Conservancy as endangered species.

Note: Read more information and facts about Narragansett Turkeys in one of my articles.

Midget White Turkeys

These are grouped as the newest birds in the turkey breeding industry. They were developed at the University of Massachusetts by cross-breeding between Broad-Breasted whites and Royal Palm.

Although the turkey’s breeds are small, their meat tends to be delicious with mouth-warming flavors. They are calm and great to be raised with other animals in the backyard farm.

Note: Read my other article to get an insight into Midget White Turkey’s characteristics and general breed information.

Broad Breasted Whites

These are some of the most popular turkeys in the world, and they are found almost in all commercial farms in the United States.

They are known to grow and mature fast hence making them suitable for starting a profitable commercial turkey farming.

Unfortunately, these birds are highly prone to diseases, and also they can’t walk or fly. Majority of heritage turkey breeders do not prefer them since the meat is not tasty like other turkey breeds.

Note: For further detailed information about Broad Breasted Whites turkeys, read one of my articles to get a deeper understanding of these birds.

Bourbon Reds Turkeys

The birds have adorable and stunning red plumage. They are grouped among the most beautiful turkeys in the world.

The meat from the turkey is quite delicious, have natural flavors and taste that cannot be compared to other breeds of turkey.

The breed originated from Bourbon County, Kentucky and they started to develop their popularity in the 1800s. The turkey breeds with pictures will give an overview of how they look like from a distance.

Note: Read my post about Bourbon Reds Turkeys to learn more on characteristics, history, and origin in finer details.

Blue Slate Turkey

Blue turkeys are domestic turkey breeds. They are also known as Lavender turkeys, and they tend to have a badass slate gray color plumage.

However, the turkey occurs in quite several shades like white and black. They are among the few beautiful heritage turkeys in the world.

Black Turkey

These are domestic turkeys, and they are believed to be brought in the United States by a Spanish explorer.

The birds were developed by cross-breeding Mexican wild turkeys with the turkeys brought by the European colonies.

The turkeys have been in existence since 1500, and they are now available to other European nations for meat production.

Note: Read the post about Black Turkey Characteristics and Breed Information for deeper understanding.

Beltsville Small White Turkey

According to research, these birds were developed in the 1930s. The turkeys have similar body appearance as that of midget turkeys though they have a more comprehensive breast.

The female turkeys are prolific egg producers and also sweet table birds as compared to other heritage turkey breeds. Unfortunately, these breeds are not social like other turkeys.

Note: Read the article about Beltsville Small White Turkey characteristics and breed information for deeper understanding.

The Giant Bonze Turkey

These birds are huge as the name suggests. A mature adult turkey tends to weigh around 44 pounds.

They also have a unique double breast with a big fan-like tail that is brown. They are also great for meat production and decoration of homes.

Largest Turkey Breed in the World

Broad-breasted turkey is the largest breed of turkey in the United States. It is mainly bred for meat production due to their large bodies.

These breeds of turkey do not breed naturally, and it is the reason why they are artificially inseminated. They are also highly susceptible to diseases and less intelligent as compared to heritage turkey breeds.

However, they tend to grow abnormally fast if they are taken good care, and within 12 weeks, they are ready. They are suitable for starting a profitable turkey farming business.

If you want to start commercial turkey farming, then it is advisable to include standard bronze turkey in your backyard farm. They are also the giant breeds of turkeys.

Turkey Breeds for Meat

Selecting turkey breed for meat depends on personal choice. There are so many breeds of turkeys that are suitable for the pot.

I recommend you pick a turkey that has a tasty, delicious, and natural flavor. These types of turkeys are usually on demand during Thanksgiving Day in America.

Bronze turkey is the most preferred since they are large and readily available across the world. It is an excellent choice for a large family.

Turkey Breeds for Eggs

Beltsville white turkeys are known to be excellent producers of eggs. These small birds tend to have trouble with fertility in case of insufficient daylight hours.

You can also opt for Bronze and Buff Jersey turkeys for egg production. They are functional layers apart from producing tasty meat.

Turkey Breeds as Pets

All breeds of turkeys can be kept as pets. The more you stay with them as pouts, the more they become friendly and loving.

I recommend you pick a turkey that has beautiful plumage and breed it as a pet. Ugly ones tend to be scary and sometimes aggressive.

Heritage Breed Turkeys

These are breeds of birds that have been kept for over a long period and they are well adapted to the natural conditions.

The birds have the capability of resisting common diseases, and they can withstand harsh weather climate. Unfortunately, there are few heritage birds to pick from, but they are most common for commercial turkey farming.

According to the records, there are about thirteen turkey breeds in the world, and you can choose them depending on the purpose of the kind.

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