Heritage Pork     ○   Heritage Beef   ○   Heritage Lamb    ○    Heritage Chicken     ○    Heritage Turkey    ○    Heritage Duck   ○    Heritage Goose

An interesting fact, the Turkeys we eat today originally came from Central America, were brought to Europe, domesticated there, then reimported back to the United States where they were crossed with wild turkeys. These are the turkeys certified by the American Poultry Association.

 


 

American Bronze Turkey

 

American Bronze TurkeyOrigin : North America
Status : Watch, Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the US

American Bronze Turkey :Bronze turkeys were long present in the colonies, although they were not officially called bronze until the 1830s. Historically the American Bronze had a reputation as the most reliable in production, leading it to become the most popular variety in the US through the early 20th century.

Its exact origin is obscure, but its markings resemble those of the wild Eastern turkeys native to the US, while certain traits like the white coloring at the tip of the tail are believed to have come from breeding with domesticated European turkeys.

 

Bourbon Red Turkey

 

Bourbon Red TurkeyOrigin : Kentucky, US
Status : Watch, Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the US

Bourbon Red Turkey : Also known as the Bourbon Butternut or Kentucky Red, this breed was named for Bourbon County, Kentucky, where it originated. The Bourbon Red is known for its striking appearance with rich dark mahogany feathers and white primary, secondary, and main tail feathers. Its attractiveness most likely contributed to its past popularity. The American Poultry Association recognized the Bourbon Red variety in 1909.

 

Black Turkey

 

Black TurkeyOrigin : Spain
Status : Watch, Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the US

Black Turkey : Developed in Europe from descendants of Mexican turkey stock carried home with explorers in the 1500s, the Black Spanish turkey made the voyage back to the Americas with early European colonists where it was crossed with wild turkeys forming the Black turkey variety in America. The American Poultry Association recognized it in 1874. Good Shepherd farmer Danny Williamson is considered the foremost expert on Black Turkeys at poultry shows across America.

 

Jersey Buff Turkey

 

Jersey Buff TurkeyOrigin : Pennsylvania and New Jersey, US
Status : Critical, Fewer than 500 breeding birds in the US

Jersey Buff Turkey : The Buff turkey is a historic variety of the mid-Atlantic region named for the beautiful light reddish color of its feathers. It is a very old variety, admitted to the American Poultry Association in the 1870s. The Buff’s coloring was advantageous for producers because of the nearly white pinfeathers, though the Buff lost popularity as the Bourbon Red became more successful.

In the mid-twentieth century the Buff experienced a considerable revival when breeders in New Jersey took interest in this historic variety. It was renamed the Jersey Buff although it remains very rare today.

 

Narragansett Turkey

 

Narragansett Turkey

Origin : Rhode Island, US
Status : Threatened, Fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the US

Narragansett Turkey : The Narragansett turkey is named for Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. It descends from a cross between native Eastern Wild turkeys and domestic turkeys brought back to North America by English and European colonists. 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.

While the Narragansett was never as popular as the Bronze variety, it was widely known in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic States as well as in New England where it was especially important in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The American Poultry Association recognized the Narragansett in 1874.

 

Slate Turkey

 

Slate Turkey

Origin : North America
Status : Watch, Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the US

Slate Turkey : Also known as the Blue Slate turkey this old variety is named for its color, which is solid to ashy blue over the entire body, sometimes dotted with black flecks. The Slate was accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1874, and regarded as practically extinct until the late twentieth century.

Renewed interest in the biological fitness, survivability, and superior flavor of the Slate has captured consumer interest and created a growing market niche.

 

Royal Palm Turkey

 

Royal Palm Turkey

Origin : Florida, US
Status : Watch, Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the US

Royal Palm Turkey : The Royal Palm turkey is active, thrifty, and an excellent forager. A good flyer, the Royal Palm is a strikingly attractive and small-sized turkey variety. The first birds in America to have the Palm color pattern appeared in a mixed flock of Black, Bronze, Narragansett, and wild turkeys on the farm of Enoch Carson of Lake Worth, Florida in the 1920s. Royal Palm turkeys are white with a sharply contrasting, metallic black edging on the feathers. The saddle is black which provides a sharp contrast against the white base color of body plumage. The tail is pure white, with each feather having a band of black and an edge of white. The Royal Palm was officially recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1971.

 

White Holland Turkey

 

White Holland Turkey

Origin : North America
Status : Threatened, Fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the US

White Holland Turkey :The Aztecs raised white turkeys, and the Spanish took white birds back to Europe where they spread throughout before being re-imported back to North America with later colonists.

In North America, white turkeys were crossed with both wild turkeys and domesticated varieties and the White Holland turkey was admitted to the APA in 1847. Any link to Dutch turkeys is probably remote at best.

 

Heritage Pork     ○   Heritage Beef   ○   Heritage Lamb    ○    Heritage Chicken     ○    Heritage Turkey    ○    Heritage Duck   ○    Heritage Goose