Ark of Taste
Jersey Buff Turkey
The Buff, or Jersey Buff, is an historic variety of the mid-Atlantic region named for the beautiful color of its feathers. It was accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1874 but was never widespread. So unfortunately, by the early 20th century, the Buff turkey was already rare. One obstacle to the breed’s success was the difficulty of breeding birds to fit the color standard, which called for even buff throughout with light flight feathers. The breed’s color was advantageous for processing because of the nearly white pinfeathers, though the Buff was not extensively selected for other performance qualities. Buff turkeys were used in the development of the Bourbon Red variety early in the 1900s. As the Bourbon Red gained prominence, the Buff declined. Today there are very few Buff turkeys kept at the seasonal hatcheries in the US and a small number are being raised by exhibition breeders.