The domestic turkey is a popular type of poultry raised throughout temperate parts of the world. Thanks to industrialized farming, it has become very cheap for the amount of meat it produces.

Turkey Image

Turkey Eggs

In Canada and the United States, males are called toms; in the United Kingdom and Ireland, they are stags. Female domestic turkeys are called hens, and the chicks are poults or turkeylings.

Types of Turkey Breeds

There are several domestic turkey breeds worldwide. Here is a list of some of the best domestic turkey breeds.

Types of Turkey Breeds

  • Beltsville Small White
  • Black Turkey
  • Blue Slate
  • Bourbon Red
  • Bronze Turkey
  • Broad Breasted White Turkey
  • White Holland Turkey
  • Midget White
  • Narragansett
  • Standard Bronze
  • Norfolk Black
  • Royal Palm
  • White Holland
  • Dindon rouge des Ardennes
  • Dindon Noir de Sologne
  • Dindon de Ronquières
  • Broad Breasted Bronze
  • Blue Turkey
  • Cröllwitzer Turkey
  • Dinde de Bresse
  • Dindon noir de Normandie
  • Dindon du Gers
  • Bourbonnais Black Turkey
  • Beltsville Small White Turkey

History and Development

Female Turkey

Male Turkey

Turkeys were first domesticated from their wild cousins in Mexico’s eastern and southwestern parts. The Mayans of southern Mexico likely were the first to domesticate them, maybe 2000 years ago. Early Spanish explorers in the Americas took these domestic birds back to Europe. Soon, turkeys spread over much of the world. And then European colonists migrating to America’s Atlantic seaboard brought domestic turkeys along with them, completing the circle.

Turkey Picture

Baby Turkey

Before the late 19th century, turkey was a luxury in the UK, with goose or beef being more common among the working classes. Intensive farming of the birds from the late 1940s onwards dramatically lowered the price, making it more affordable for the working classes. Once refrigeration became more widespread, whole turkeys were shipped frozen to distant markets. Further advances in shipping, consumer preferences, and the proliferation of commercial poultry plants have made fresh turkey inexpensive and readily available.

Quick Information

  • Largest Turkey Breeds
  • Bronze Broad Breasted Turkey
  • Blue Slate Turkey
  • White Holland Turkey
  • Best Meat-producing Turkeys
  • Standard Bronze Turkey
  • Bronze Broad Breasted Turkey
  • Norfolk Black Turkey
  • Best Turkey Breeds for Eggs
  • Bourbon Red Turkey
  • Royal Palm Turkey
  • Beltsville White Turkey

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