Top 10 Biggest Turkey Breeds in the World

Biggest Turkey Breeds
Image Credit: backyardpoultry.iamcountryside.com

How can you choose the giant turkey breeds if there are so many? There are various breeds of turkeys out there, but most of them were bred for their meat-laying potential, so not all produce giant birds.

These are the world’s top 10 biggest turkey breeds if you want big turkey birds.

1. American Standard

The American Standard is a heritage breed developed in the early 1900s. It is a large bird, with some males weighing over 30 pounds. The breast meat is white, and the skin is dark. 

This turkey is suitable for both meat and eggs. Their only fault is their size; they have very little to no space left after their breasts have been removed. They are also susceptible to frostbite if not given proper shelter during cold weather. 

These turkeys are bred in North America. Weighing up to 40 pounds and having an 8-foot wingspan, this turkey is most commonly used as a show bird due to its unusual features. 

Wild predators like wolves and coyotes threatened native birds until the development of these domesticated birds, which can grow up to 12 inches taller than other breeds because of their long legs.

Their high leg placement makes it difficult for them to walk on snow or dirt roads due to how much ground it takes up.

2. Bronze

The Bronze turkey is one of the biggest Turkey breeds, and it’s not hard to see why. These birds can get quite large, with some males reaching up to 30 pounds. They’re also very good at foraging, so they don’t require a lot of supplemental feed. 

And since they’re not as popular as some other biggest Turkey breeds, they’re often less expensive. However, these birds are known to be aggressive, so be careful when selecting them if you have small children or other pets around your home. 

They are best suited for experienced farmers who know how to deal with their personality quirks. Their personalities tend to range from chill to violent.

Just like with any animal, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but we wanted to warn people who might wish chickens near their homes that bronze turkeys are pretty much going to attack anything that moves.

3. Bourbon Red

Bourbon Red turkeys are one of the most popular heritage turkey breeds. They were developed in the United States in the 1800s and are named for their distinctive red plumage. Bourbon Reds typically weigh between 16 and 22 pounds, making them one of the biggest turkey breeds. 

These birds have white feathers on their breast and dark feathers on their back and wings. Bourbon Reds are known for being excellent foragers and good mothers. If you’re looking for a large bird with beautiful plumage, the Bourbon Red is a great choice. 

They make lovely pets, but be aware that they can be aggressive when interacting with humans. The average weight of these birds is 16-22 pounds, so keep this in mind if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd.

4. Broad-Breasted White

The Broad Breasted White is the most popular turkey breed in the United States. It is a large bird with white plumage and a broad breast.

The Broad Breasted White was developed in the early 20th century and is a cross between the American Standard Bronze and the Beltsville Small White turkey. 

These biggest Turkey breeds can reach up to 34 pounds, making it one of the giant turkey breeds in the world. A mature Broad Breasted White turkey can produce around 25-35 eggs annually.

Usually, males weigh 16 lbs or more at 12 months old, and females weigh 12 lbs or more at 12 months old. 

Females grow faster than males, but males will grow faster after fully grown. They both have brownish feathers that turn white when they get older. They also have red wattles on their neck, two feet facing forward, and two feet facing backward.

5. Jersey Buff

The Jersey Buff is a heritage turkey breed developed in New Jersey in the early 1900s. This breed is known for its large size, with adult males weighing up to 30 pounds. The Jersey Buff is also known for its docile temperament and good mothering instincts. 

This breed is considered endangered, with only a few hundred birds remaining. In 1999, it became the official state bird of New Jersey. In 2004, President George W. Bush gave the last surviving female of this breed to Drumthwacket – his residence in Princeton, NJ.

This bird species has become home to three breeding pairs. In 2010, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell also gave one breeding pair of these turkeys to Drumthwacket as part of an effort to rebuild the population by introducing new bloodlines into their family tree.

6. Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant is a heritage breed of turkey. They were initially bred in New Jersey in the late 1800s. The goal was to create a bird that could be used for meat and egg production. 

Today, they are still prized for their large size and dark meat. Jersey Giants can weigh up to 30 pounds and have a wingspan of up to six feet! An average dressed weight is about 20 pounds. 

But an average live weight is around 40 pounds because these birds are so heavy and oversized. Turkeys raised by small farmers often exceed 45 pounds when dressed, with some males weighing as much as 60-70 pounds! Their deep red skin color makes them especially desirable for roasting.

7. Narragansett

The Narragansett turkey is a heritage breed once common in New England, and it’s named after the Native American tribe that lived in the area. The Narragansett is a large bird, with males weighing up to 30 pounds and females up to 24 pounds. 

These biggest Turkey breeds are known for their excellent flavor and meat quality. Due to its origins, it prefers cooler climates. The Narragansett has been on the Livestock Conservancy watch list since 1991 and is considered critical. 

In 2013, there were only 188 registered breeding birds left in North America, according to the Livestock Conservancy. Unfortunately, this tough heritage breed is at risk of becoming extinct.

In 2016, the Department of Agriculture approved a research project at Pennsylvania State University to investigate ways of increasing breeding success rates among Narragansetts.

8. Royal PalmTurken Section

The Royal Palm is a hybrid turkey breed developed in the 1970s, and it is a cross between the White Holland and the Bourbon Red.

The Royal Palm is one of the largest turkey breeds, with males weighing up to 30 pounds and females up to 22 pounds. 

The breed has a long body and a large breast. The feathers are iridescent and can range in color from black to green to purple.

The Royal Palm is an excellent choice for meat production. However, they cannot fly, so keeping them on your property is essential.

Additionally, they have a strong pecking instinct, so they will need plenty of toys and other things to do when you’re not around or trying to sleep at night.

They don’t handle cold weather well either, so make sure your housing is well insulated and heated during the winter months if you live in a colder area.

9. White Holland

The White Holland is a large breed of turkey developed in the United States, and it is a popular choice for many commercial turkey growers due to its rapid growth rate and large size. Adult White Holland turkeys can weigh up to 40 pounds (18 kg), making them one of the biggest turkey breeds. 

They have yellowish-white feathers, black beaks, and brown eyes. They are also five inches taller than other breeds at maturity. White Hollands produce an excellent meat quality with plenty of white and dark meat. 

Their typical weight range is 30–40 lbs; their height when mature ranges from 37–42 inches. They take about 16 weeks to reach full maturity.

10. SlateTurkey

Slate turkeys are a large breed of domesticated turkey, and they were developed in the early 1900s and are now one of the most popular turkey breeds.

Slate turkeys are known for their dark plumage, which is why they are sometimes called blue slate turkeys. These birds can weigh up to 30 pounds, making them one of the biggest turkey breeds.

They come from southeastern Pennsylvania, and about 1 million of these birds live on farms in North America. They have deep red feathers with darker brown markings, but this varies from one bird to another because each bird has its unique genetic makeup. 

The head is round with white feathers around the eyes, while the rest of the body is covered with medium brown feathers. They are excellent for people who like raising turkeys at home or as livestock on farms.

Conclusion

The biggest turkey breeds are typically bred for commercial purposes. The top three biggest turkey breeds are the Broad-Breasted White, the Standard Bronze, and the Beltsville Small White. These breeds can weigh up to 40 pounds or more. 

Other popular biggest turkey breeds include the Jersey Buff, the Narragansett, and the Royal Palm. The average weight of these three breeds is around 20 pounds.

For smaller turkeys weighing under 20 pounds, some examples of the smallest turkey breed are the Black Spanish and Slate Blue Ragged Tailed varieties.

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