7 Turkey Breeds for Farms
The plumage of this variety is a lustrous, metallic black with a greenish sheen on top and a dull black undercolor. It is undesirable to have a brownish or bronze cast or any white. Poults will often have white or bronze in their feathers but molt into mature plumage. The beak is black, the wattle is red, changeable to bluish-white, and the shanks and toes are pink in adults. Eye color is dark brown. Skin of the Black turkey is usually white.
2. Bourbon Reds
Bourbon Reds have brownish to dark red plumage with white flight and tail feathers. Tail feathers have soft red bars crossing them near the end. Body feathers on the toms may be edged in black. Neck and breast feathers are mahogany, and the undercolor feathers are light buff. The Bourbon Red’s beak is light at the tip and dark at the base. The throat wattle is red, changeable to bluish white, the beard is black, and shanks and toes are pink.
The Bronze variety is stately and imposing in appearance. The standard weight for young toms is 25 pounds and for young hens is 16 pounds. Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys are also in need of conservation. Only a few hatcheries maintain breeding flocks, and many of these are reducing their number.
4. Jersey Buff
The Jersey Buff has rich reddish-buff colored body feathers. Tail feathers are white with a light buff bar across them near the end. Primary and secondary wing feathers are white with buff shading. It is difficult to have the Jersey Buff males and females match in color since the females tend to lighten with age, especially after a molt. For both toms and hens, the shanks and toes are bluish-white or flesh colored, the beard is black and the eyes are hazel.
The Narragansett color pattern contains black, gray, tan, and white. Its pattern is similar to that of the Bronze, with steel gray or dull black replacing the coppery bronze. White wing bars are the result of a genetic mutation, which removes the bronze coloration and is not known outside the United States. The Narragansett’s beak is horn colored, its head is red to bluish white and its beard is black. The shanks and feet are salmon colored.
The Slate or Blue Slate variety is named for its color, which is solid to ashy blue over the entire body, with or without a few black flecks. It is also called the Blue or Lavender turkey. Hens are lighter in hue than the toms. The head, throat, and wattles are red to bluish white. The beak is horn in color; the eyes are brown; and the beard is black. The shanks and toes are pink.
7. White Holland
The White Holland turkey is showy in appearance, with snow white feathers and a red to bluish head. The beard is black, the beak is pink to horn colored and the throat and wattles are pinkish-white. Shanks and toes are pinkish-white, and eyes must be brown. The Standard weight for a young tom is 25 pounds and 16 pounds for a young hen.
Here are 7 top turkey breeds for farms, including Black, Bourbon Reds, Bronze, and Jersey Buff.