Turkey facts

Turkey breeds

There are three main breeds of turkey, all of which have a slightly different flavour:


White turkeyWhite turkeys generally have larger wide breasts and short stubby legs and are considered more flighty than their Bronze cousin. Some people prefer White turkeys due to the appearance of their clean-looking skin and subtle flavour.



Black turkeyThe Norfolk Black became the favoured eating bird in Britain and in the 1700s large flocks of birds were driven to London with their feet tarred and clothed to prevent damage on the long walk. Black turkey characteristics include a fuller, gamier flavour, a smaller breast than the White varieties and a fine texture.



Bronze turkeyNamed for its unusual colour, the feathers of this breed are a shimmering green-bronze, often appearing metallic in sunlight. Bronze turkeys tend to be more traditionally reared and are usually free range. Like their Black cousins, they are famed for a distinctive gamey flavour and moist meat, but also have a firm texture.


Turkey facts:

  • A young turkey is called a poult
  • A male turkey is a stag and a female is a hen
  • The domestic turkey originates in Mexico and was brought over by explorers in the 1500s
  • Domesticated turkeys can't fly, but wild turkeys can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour
  • The fleshy growth on a turkey s neck is called a wattle
  • Male turkeys also have a fleshy appendage which hangs down from the nose called a snood. When a stag is feeling amorous, his wattle and snood become bright red
  • Roast turkey was the first meal eaten on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin

    More from UK Turkeys:

    Last edited on: 05:10:2016

    Share this story:

    NFU members: Have your say

    Want to share your views? You must be logged in to comment – please login here. Not a member? Join us here.

    © 2018 - NFU Online