Bronze

Bronze turkey

Key Characteristics

Although the Bronze turkey does breed true it is the variety most likely to produce off-coloured birds with occasional black and white feathering but, in some cases, poor quality smudge markings.

History

  • The Bronze is possibly the most popular and well-known turkey and is closest in colouration to the wild turkey.
  • The domesticated Bronze was developed in Europe and taken to the Americas where it was crossed with the Eastern wild turkey, the distinctly different bloodlines creating a stronger and more vigoous bird.
  • The standard Bronze has become quite rare over the years following the development of the heavier double-breasted commercial bronze turkeys in the middle of the 20th century. 

Appearance

  • The plumage of both sexes is metallic bronze with some white and black markings.
  • The beak is horn coloured and the eyes have a dark hazel iris and blue-black pupil. The legs are almost black in poults but become a smoky horn in adults.
  • The Bronze is a heavy variety and a mature standard male can weigh up to 18.1kg (40lbs) and a mature female up to 11.8kg (26lbs).  
  • Day-old Bronze poults are light brown with dark brown blotches and streaks. The underneath is a yellowish white on the surface and pale grey underneath. 

Uses

Meat

Bronze turkeys can make good meat birds, known for their flavour. 

Did you know?

Bronze turkeys can be sexed once their adult feathers are grown at around twelve weeks. The breast feathers on the female are edged with white, whereas on the male they are edged in black. 

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