Historically, the American Bronze Turkey has been the most popular turkey variety in the US. Its exact origin is obscure though it does include a cross between the eastern species of North American wild turkey and the domestic turkeys brought by colonists from Europe.
The Bronze variety is stately in appearance. Bronze turkeys stand four feet tall, with a fifteen to eighteen inch tail and a six foot wing span. The color is copper bronze, with a background of brown and black, and white bars on the tail. The Bronze has straight, strong legs set well apart. Its back is broad, sloping from the neck and flat between the wings. The wings are carried well up on the sides, the tail is long with broad feathers and the head is long, deep, and broad with prominent eyes. Both toms and hens have a large wattle pendant and gracefully curved necks. Toms weigh up to 36 pounds and hens up to twenty pounds.
The Broad-breasted Bronze was replaced by the Large White (or Broad-breasted White) turkey beginning in the 1960s. Processors favored the white feathered variety because it produced a cleaner-looking carcass. Today, the Broad-breasted Bronze is no longer used by the turkey industry, but it is promoted for seasonal, small-scale production.
For more information
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
P.O. Box 477
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities
Dr. Charles R.H. Everett, Secretary-Treasurer
1057 Nick Watts Road
Lugoff, SC 29078
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