Buff

buff turkey

Key Characteristics

Although an alert and active bird it is easy to manage. Buff females lay around 60 eggs per year and like other turkey varieties will make good mothers. The Buff is a very handsome bird but there are few good examples to be seen. Over the years bloodlines have become mixed with the Bourbon Red and Buff with black markings and white in the tail abound. Much work is needed to bring this variety of turkey up to the standard it deserves. 

History

  • The Buff turkey is named after the colour of its plumage.
  • The breed originated in America and was recognised by the American Poultry Association in 1874 but numbers declined after it was used in the development of the Bourbon Red which then became more popular.
  • With few people then keeping the breed in America the Buff was removed from the Standard in 1915.
  • The Buff remained more popular in Britain before numbers fell with the development of commercial birds. 

Appearance

  • The feathers should be a rich cinnamon throughout. The primary and secondary wing feathers should be almost white and the tail should be buff edged with a paler band at the tip.
  • The beak is a light horn colour and the legs a flesh pink.
  • A mature Buff male can weigh up to 12.7kgs (28lbs) and a mature female up to 8.1kgs (18lbs).

Uses

Meat

Buff turkeys make good meat birds. They are relatively quick maturing but ideally require around 5-6 months to mature. 

Did you know?

The Buff was extremely popular in Britain at the turn of the last century, having its own Buff Turkey Club in the early 1900s.  

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