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Domesticated by immigrants from the Old World, turkeys have become a symbol of the United States and Canada, but for many centuries large poultry have been grown around the world. Since then, a variety of turkey breeds have been obtained, photos and descriptions of which will help novice poultry breeders to make the choice and benefit of this or that variety for their farmstead.
In the last century, the bird attracted the attention of large meat producers. It was from this time began systematic work to remove heavy broad-chested and broiler turkeys, by the time of slaughter grow to a record weight of 25-30 kg.
Modern breeds differ not so much in appearance and color of plumage, but also:
- the time to reach the optimal live weight for slaughter;
- body weight and its ratio to the amount of meat obtained;
The breeds of turkeys for breeding at home are well adapted to pasture maintenance. Such a bird is hardy, quickly increases its weight, it is not selective when choosing fodder.
Its name is old, well known to poultry breeders, the turkey breed has received due to its characteristic coloration. The background plumage does seem brownish-red, bronze. In bright, large males, the upper third of the sternum and neck are painted almost black, the same, only with a bronze band, feathering on the back. The feathers on the tail are decorated with brownish and red stripes. On the hips and wings of the bronze turkey, contrasting white bands are noticeable. The sprouts on the bird's head and corals are bright red with a transition from white or blue.
In females, the color is more modest, you can recognize the bird on a white edge on the feathers of the wings, chest and back, more elegant than the bronze turkey male silhouette and the lack of jewelry on the head.
The average weight of the turkey is 18 kg, and the turkey - 11 kg. For a year the female can demolish up to 100 eggs.
Birds perfectly tolerate outdoor maintenance even in temperate climates. In Canada, in the middle of the last century, a native version of a bronze turkey with record endurance, decent weight and high egg-laying was introduced. Unfortunately, today this breed of Canadian turkey has practically disappeared from the farms. According to the bird's census, in 2013 there were only 225 laying hens throughout the country. Today, a campaign is underway to reproduce the former livestock and maintain the breed.
The breed of bronze birds, derived in the USA, as well as the Canadian one, originated from wild aboriginal turkeys. But today it is almost not used, giving rise to many more modern lines of poultry.
Bronze broad-chested turkeys
The successor to the bronze turkeys was the breed of bronze broad-chested turkey, resembling its ancestor, but larger in the thoracic part of the body. The weight of the turkey is 16 kg on average and 9 kg on the female. The champion of the breed is a turkey weighing 35 kg.
Unfortunately, this breed of turkeys is not for breeding at home. The reason for this - a relatively low egg production, only 50-60 eggs per year and inability to walk in the open air. But the bird easily adapts to the maintenance in industrial poultry houses.
Today this variety of bronze turkeys is used in breeding work and is grown in conditions of intensive poultry farming for meat.
North Caucasian bronze turkeys
The breed of turkeys, raised in 1946 in the USSR, is grown at home even to the present day. The ancestors of the bird were representatives of local varieties of turkey and producers of broad-chested, bronze turkeys. Large well adaptable to different conditions of the individual are of impressive size.
The adult male grows to 14 kg. And females, as a rule, are half lighter. Turkeys are not bad rushing and give strong offspring.
Moscow bronze turkeys
From the broad-chested bronze turkeys and local birds, another domestic breed was obtained - the Moscow bronze turkey. As follows from the description and photo of the breed, the turkeys of this variety have a wide convex chest and a long body. Birds are enduring, they feel great on pastures, which allows them to contain turkeys not only in large poultry houses, but also in private farmsteads.
Males of this breed of turkeys for breeding at home reach a weight of 19 kg. Turkeys are smaller, their maximum weight is 10 kg.
White broad-chested turkeys
In the middle of the last century in the United States, breeders received a breed of broiler turkeys, which today occupies indisputable leadership positions throughout the world. White broad-chested turkeys are the result of crossing the popular and today breeds of Dutch white turkeys and native American bronze broad-chested.
The reason for the widest spread of the bird was its early ripeness, high yield of valuable dietary meat, reaching up to 80% of the carcase weight. Compared with bronze turkeys, females of white birds bring more eggs, from about 100 to 120 pieces per year.
The broiler turkeys of this breed have an oval body with a large sloping chest and a wide back. The bird is well feathered and fully meets its name. There are no black feathers on the body, except for a small bundle on the sternum. Pink, widely spaced legs are long enough, strong. Plumage is dense, white, on the chest is a bundle of black feathers.
White broad-chested turkeys in breeding give three lines:
- The heavy line and crosses from it are turkeys weighing up to 25 kg and turkeys up to 11 kg.
- The average line is males up to 15 and females up to 7 kg.
- Light individuals and crosses from them are the most early and miniature. Turkeys weighing about 8 kg, and females grow to 5 kg.
Record indicators could not but interest producers of poultry meat and private poultry lovers. White broad-chested turkeys have become the founders of many interesting, highly productive breeds and crosses bred all over the world.
North Caucasian white turkeys
From the crossing of bronze turkeys and birds of white broad-chested breed, a domestic variety of broiler turkeys was obtained - a white North Caucasian turkey.
The breed is characterized by endurance, rapid weight gain and a beautiful egg lay which can be considered record. An adult turkey for a year is able to give up to 180 pieces of 80-gram eggs.
Designed for breeding at home, the breed is easily maintained on pastures and uses the most affordable feed.
Photo and description of turkeys BIG 6
British United Turkeys (BUT) Big 6 is a heavy, highly productive cross of a white broad-chested turkey, actively used in the industrial production of poultry meat. The hybrid line was obtained by British and Canadian breeders. Thanks to the excellent results of local breeding, description and photos of turkeys, the breed for a short time has spread in many countries of the world.
As you can see in the photo, turkeys BIG 6 are powerful white birds, in which:
- strong long neck;
- Rounded chest filled, in fattened individuals, up to a third of the body weight;
- straight back;
- high straight legs yellowish in color;
- White with a small black patch on the chest plumage.
The heads of broiler turkeys are adorned with scarlet corals and a long, up to 15 cm horse build-up.
In comparison with other breeds turkeys BIG 6 actively gain weight. By the age of five months, pizza can weigh up to 12 kg. But these are not limiting values. The weight of a heavy turkey turkey at the moment of slaughter can reach 25-30 kg with the highest yield of quality dietary meat.