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The 8 Most Desired Turkey Breeds

3 minutes
The turkey was brought to Europe after the discovery of the Americas, where it originates. Domesticated over 2,000 years ago by natives of what is now Mexico, there are a lot more species than just the peacock (a type of turkey) and the domestic turkey.
The 8 Most Desired Turkey Breeds
Last update: 07 September, 2018

Turkeys are a bird that’s known worldwide. Some people find their meat to be simple but it’s one of the highly sold products during the holiday season. Due to this fact, many people are breeding this animal all over the world, but do you know how many different kinds exist? Continue reading to find out more about them!

The different kinds of turkey

There are two you probably already know about, the domestic turkey and the peacock. However, these aren’t the only two, there are many more. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

The American Bronze

This kind (the image at the top) looks a lot like a wild turkeyexcept it’s much bigger. These turkeys can weigh up to 33 pounds, which is so big they probably wouldn’t fit into any oven.

They have white wings, black tail feathers, and some reddish tones on their head and wattle (the part under their chin). It’s a rainbow of colors!

The White Holland

As you might guess, these turkeys are mostly white, except for a few spots here and there. Their heads also seem joined to their wattles because these parts have an intense red color. 

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The Black

This one is like the opposite of the White Holland because it’s almost completely black. It has a bright, metallic coat, and a kind of greenish shine. This breed is probably the most similar to the domestic turkey, which is the most well-known.

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The Bourbon Red

This breed also has a wild mix of colors. Its body is chocolate brown with shiny, white feathers that draw your attention to its wings and tail.

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They have a small head and a large beak. Their neck and wattle are also have a deep red color. These body parts are out of proportion with the rest of their body which is big and puffy.

The Beltsville Small White

These turkeys can grow to weigh 17 pounds. They’re generally very healthy and have a strong immune system. This is what makes them one of the most common turkeys for consumption.

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They’re also great at reproducing–they can lay up to 158 eggs in a season, and 70% of those will be born. That’s absolutely incredible!

The Giant Bronze

This turkey breed can weigh up to 44 pounds. They have a unique double-breast, and as you can imagine, these birds are huge. Their big, fan-like tails have the same brown color as most of their feathers.

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The edges of their feathers have a grayish tone, and the upper part of their neck is purple, which really stands out against the rest of their red body.

The Broad Breasted White

These can also weigh between 33-44 pounds, and their feathers can have any tone between golden and pure white. The white ones were more accepted and the browner ones were left to the side, which eventually caused this breed to become completely white.

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This happened because the white feathers mean they’ll have fewer skin blemishes, which people prefer when eating them.

The Royal Palm

These usually have grey feathers, with a mixture of black and white touches. They have a red wattle and a bluish head.

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There’s a vertical line clearly separating the white and grey, as if it had been drawn by someone.

The strange about all of these turkey breeds is that people usually eat the ones that come from breeds, which are all man-made hybrids. Most of those hybrids come from the White Holland turkey.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Camacho-Escobar, M. A., Jiménez-Hidalgo, E., Arroyo-Ledezma, J., Sánchez-Bernal, E. I., & Pérez-Lara, E. (2011). Historia natural, domesticación y distribución del guajolote (Meleagris gallopavo) en México. Universidad y ciencia, 27(3), 351-360.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.