Broad-breasted Bronze. The Bronze is a breed of domestic turkey. The name refers to its plumage, which bears an iridescent bronze-like sheen. The Bronze had been the most popular turkey throughout most of American history, but waned in popularity beginning in the mid-20th century. Later in its history, the breed was divided into two distinct types: the Broad Breasted Bronze and the Standard Bronze. Collectively, the Standard and Broad Breasted varieties are simply called the Bronze turkey. more info Rio Grande (Wild Turkey).  The Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) is native to the central plains states and got its common name from the area in which it is found, the life-giving water supply which borders the brushy scrub, arid country of the southern Great Plains, western Texas and northeastern Mexico. This subspecies was first described by George B. Sennett in 1879 who said it was intermediate in appearance between the eastern and western subspecies, hence its scientific name.  Hens 8-12 lbs, gobblers (males) 20+lbs More info
The Broad Breasted White is commercially the most widely-used breed of domesticated turkey. These birds have shorter breast bones and legs than "standard" turkeys. They produce more breast meat and their pin feathers are less visible when the carcass is dressed due to their white color. These properties have made the breed popular in factory farms but enthusiasts of slow food argue that the development of this breed and the methods of factory farming have come at a cost of less flavor. Royal Palm (not available for 2010) A relative newcomer among turkey breeds, birds with similar plumage first appeared in the 1920s, but the Royal Palm was not accepted in to the American Poultry Assoc Standard of Perfection until 1971.  Like grass-fed beef, which some older customers favor because it reminds them of the way beef tasted before the rise of corn-feeding cattle some 40 years ago, the Royal Palm is leaner, darker, juicier and packs more flavor than the Broad-Breasted White, tasting more like the birds your great-grandparents would have prepared at their Thanksgivings. more info   more
HERITAGE TURKEYS (turkeys shown below and to right) are one of a variety of strains of domestic turkey which retains historic characteristics no longer present in the majority of turkeys raised for consumption. Heritage turkeys can be differentiated from other domestic turkeys in that they are biologically capable of being raised in a manner that more closely matches the natural behavior and life cycle of wild turkeys. Heritage turkeys have a much slower growth rate than turkeys bred for the commercial market. More info on Heritage Turkeys. Black Spanish.  The Black turkey originated in Europe as a direct descendant of the Mexican turkeys carried home with explorers in the 1500s. Black colored turkeys became popular in Spain where they were known as “Black Spanish” and in England, especially in the Norfolk region where they were known as “Norfolk Blacks.” After being selected for meat production for more than two centuries, the Black Spanish turkey made the voyage back to the Americas with early European colonists.   Standard weights are 33 pounds for toms and 18 for hens.  more info
The Standard Bronze was developed by early North American colonists and was admitted to the American Poultry Association in 1874.  The Bronze is the biggest American turkey. Coming from Rhode Island, early settlers developed this family sized bird with a magnificent glow and a loud gobble.   Further development of the Bronze produced the Broad Breasted Bronze, a breed specifically bred for commercial purposes (see above). Production numbers of the original Bronze turkey suffered as a result. Toms weigh up to 36 lbs and hens 20-25 lbs. more info Chocolate Turkey.  This very large bird was common in the southern U.S. and in France. The Chocolate turkey, logically named for its brown-colored feathers, shanks and feet, is a very rare breed whose history is “sketchy,” according to the description in its lineage. Apparently the Chocolate turkey thrived in France and the Southern U.S. before the Civil War, but many breeders were lost during the war, which led to a dwindling number of that variety of turkey. Very rare breed approximately the same size as the Black Spanish, 18-33 lbs.  more info