Breed Profile: Narragansett Turkey

Narragansetts are a Heritage Turkey Breed Known for Excellent Meat Quality and Egg Production

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narragansett-turkeys

The boys certainly do put on a big show for the gals. Photo by Larry Fiske.

Origin: Named after Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, developed in the 1700s from crosses of domestic turkeys brought from Europe and Eastern wild turkeys. “Improved and standardized for production qualities, the Narragansett became the foundation of the turkey industry in New England.” – the Livestock Conservancy. Recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1874.

Standard Description: This heritage turkey breed is known for their early maturation, egg production, and excellent meat quality.

Temperament: Narragansett turkeys have traditionally been known for their calm disposition and good maternal abilities.

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narragansett-turkeys
By six to seven months old, these guys reach nearly adult size with beautiful iridescent coloring. Photo by Larry Fiske.

Coloring: Colored somewhat like a Bronze turkey, but where the Bronze has a coppery coloring, the Narragansett has a steely gray coloring.
Head: Red, changeable to bluish white
Beak: Horn
Eyes: Brown
Throat-Wattle: Red, changeable to bluish white
Neck: Upper part, black, each feather ending in a broad, steel-gray band; lower part, black, each feather ending in a broad, steel-gray band, edged with black, the edging of the black increasing as the body is approached
Beard: Black

narragansett-turkey
Even on a snowy day, a sun-filled barn hallway is the perfect place to
show off. Photo by Larry Fiske.


Egg Color and Size
:

  • Pale cream to medium brown with spotting
  • Large
narrangansett_turkey
Photo by Marissa Ames.

Conservation StatusWatch

It’s not a Narragansett turkey if: Wings show one or more primary or secondary feathers clear black or brown, or if there is an absense of white or gray bars more than one-half of the length of the primaries; white or gray bars showing on the main-tail feathres beyond greater main-tail coverts, except terminating wide edging of white.

narragansett_turkey
Photo by Marissa Ames.

Size: Adult tom: 33 lbs, adult hen: 18 lbs, yearling tom 30 lbs, yearling hen 16 lbs, young tom 23 lbs, young hen 14 lbs

Popular Use: Meat

narragansett_turkey
Photo by Marisa Ames.

Sources:

The Livestock Conservancy
Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds
Larry Fiske

Ames Family Farm

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