12 Best Turkey Breeds for Meat

Turkey breeds for meat
Photo by Ashim D’Silva

Not all turkeys are created equal, so you must know the best turkey breeds for meat production. While there are wide varieties of wild turkeys, not all are suitable for producing tasty meat

If you’re looking to raise a flock of turkeys that will multiply and provide your family with lots of delicious turkey meat, you’ll need to choose from one of these three choices: Bronze Turkeys, Black Jersey Giants, or Royal Palm Turkeys.

Read on to learn more about these turkey breeds for meat and why they’re considered some of the best for raising and eating!

1. Blue Slate Turkey

The Blue Slate turkey is a heritage breed that is known for its excellent flavor. The birds are relatively small, but they pack a lot of flavor into their dark meat. If you’re looking for delicious and juicy turkey breeds for meat, the Blue Slate is a great option.

2. Standard Bronze

Standard Bronze turkeys are the most common type of turkey breed for meat. They have dark feathers and can weigh up to 30 pounds. 

3. Broad-breasted White Turkey

They are the most popular type of turkey breed for meat. They have white feathers and can weigh up to 30 pounds. Heritage turkeys are a less common type of turkey raised for meat.

They come in a variety of colors and can weigh up to 30 pounds. This breed is known for its large breast and mild flavor. 

4. Black Spanish Turkey

The Black Spanish is a heritage breed of turkey that was developed in the 18th century. These great turkey breeds for meat are all black with some white on their feathers and have a beautiful iridescent sheen. They are known for being excellent foragers and having good mothering instincts.

Black Spanish turkeys typically weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, making them a good choice for those looking for a smaller bird. The meat of a Black Spanish turkey is dark and flavorful with a slightly gamey taste.

5. Bourbon Red

Bourbon Red turkeys are a heritage breed that was developed in the United States in the late 1800s. These birds are known for their excellent flavor and lean, dark meat. If you’re looking for a turkey that will provide plenty of delicious, healthy meat, then the Bourbon Red is a great choice.

6. Standard White Holland Turkey

This is the most common type of turkey found in supermarkets. They have all-white feathers and can grow quite large, making them a good choice for those who want a lot of meat. White Holland turkeys are also relatively docile and easy to handle.

7. King Bronze Turkey

The King Bronze Turkey is a heritage breed that was developed in the early 1900s. This bird is known for its dark bronze feathers and excellent flavor. 

The King Bronze is also a good choice for those looking for a more sustainable option, as these turkey breeds for meat are raised on pasture and allowed to roam freely. When it comes to harvest, the King Bronze yields some of the best-tasting meat you’ll ever try.

8. Narragansett Turkey

The Narragansett turkey is an excellent bird for those looking to raise their turkeys for meat. This heritage breed is known for its superb flavor and tenderness, making it a popular choice among chefs and home cooks alike. 

In addition, the Narragansett turkey is also relatively easy to care for and can be raised on various diets. If you’re thinking about expanding your turkey breeds for meat, the Narragansett is a great breed to consider.

9. Royal Palm Turkey

The white meat of the Royal Palm is very tender and juicy. It has a mild flavor with a hint of sweetness. The breast meat is firm, and the legs are thick and meaty. This turkey is best suited for roasting or grilling.

10. Chocolate Turkey

Look no further than chocolate turkey if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy option for your next holiday meal.

This is one of the unique turkey breeds for meat. It is leaner than traditional turkeys, making it a healthier choice for your family.

Plus, the dark meat of the chocolate turkey is more flavorful and juicy than white meat, making it a perfect choice for your holiday feast.

Here are three reasons why you should consider chocolate turkey for your next holiday meal: 

  1. Chocolate turkeys are leaner than traditional turkeys, making them a healthier option for your family. 
  2. The dark meat of chocolate turkeys is more flavorful and juicy than white meat. 
  3. Chocolate turkeys are perfect for large gatherings or intimate family dinners.

11. Midget White Turkey

Midget White turkeys are famous for their small size and delicious, lean meat. They’re also known to be one of the friendliest turkey breeds, making them a great option if you want to raise turkeys as pets.

In addition, Midget White turkeys typically weigh between 8 and 12 pounds, making them perfect for smaller families or those who don’t want leftovers.

If you’re looking for a delicious, lean turkey breed for meat that’s also good for the environment, look no further than the Midget White.

12. Broad Breasted Bronze

The Broad Breasted Bronze is the most common turkey breed in grocery stores. They are large birds, with males typically weighing around 30 pounds.

The Broad Breasted Bronze is a heritage breed, meaning they are not as efficient at converting feed to meat as some of the more modern breeds

However, they make up for it in flavor. If you’re looking for a traditional Thanksgiving turkey, the Broad Breasted Bronze is the way to go.

Conclusion

Broad Breasted White turkeys are the most common type of turkey raised for meat in the United States. These turkeys have been bred to have large breasts and long bodies, which results in more meat.

Other popular turkey breeds for meat include Bronze, Narragansett, and Beltsville Small White turkeys. When choosing turkey breeds for meat, it is essential to consider the size of the bird and the amount of meat you want to produce.

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