Their temprement is highly dependent on selection by breeder. Some select for aggressive whilst others choose docile.
- The white turkey has been present throughout the documented history of the turkey and the mutation of the white colour, or lack of colour, is an ancient one.
- It is believed to be a sport of other varieties, where the white gene has appeared dominant.
- The British White, Austrian White, White Holland and, to a lesser degree, the Beltsville Small White have all been bred in the UK in the past.
- However, today, standard versions of these varieties are exceedingly rare and mainly only the commercially hybridised varieties of these turkeys exist.
- The plumage is pure white in both sexes, free from cream and any other off-colours.
- The eyes are a dark blue-black. The beak is white to horn coloured , the throat and wattles are pink and the legs and feet a flesh pink.
- A mature male weighs up to 12.7kgs (28lbs) and a mature female 9kgs (20lbs).
- Day old poults are pure white.
Did you know?
Pure white turkeys are documented by the Aztecs.
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.