Breeds of turkeys in Kenya

Turkeys are not classified into breeds, however seven standard varieties are available, Bronze, White Holland, Bourbon red, Narragansett, Black, Slate, Beltsville small white.
Board breasted bronze:
The basic plumage color is black and not bronze.

Board breasted bronze turkey

Board breasted bronze turkey

The females have black breast feathers with white tips, which help in sex determination as early as 12 weeks of age.


Board breasted white:

Board breasted white Turkey

Board breasted white Turkey

This is a cross between Board breasted bronze and White Holland with white feathers. This variety was developed at the Cornell University. White plumage turkeys  seems to be suitable in hot areas and also good and clean in appearance after dressing.


Beltsville small white:
This variety was developed at Agricultural University Research Station, Beltsville, USA. It closely resembles the Board breasted white in color and shape but smaller in size. Egg production, fertility and hatchability tend to be higher and broodiness tends to be lower than heavy varieties.


Turkey terminologies:

Tom                                                         Adult male turkey
Hem                                                         Adult female turkey
Poult                                                        Young one of turkey
Snood or Dew bill                                 The fleshy protuberance near the base of the beck
Caruncles                                                The fleshy protuberance on the head and neck usually pink or red in color
Dewlap                                                     A large flap skin seen immediately below the chim
Bread                                                        A tuft of hair attached to the skin of the upper chest region
Strut                                                         Mating behavior of male turkey

Poults should be debeaked to control feather picking and cannibalism. Debeaking can be done at day old or 3-5 weeks of age. Remove the beak at about one half the  distance from nostril to the tip of the beak.
Removal of the snood or dewbill is to prevent the head injuries from picking and fighting. At the day old the snood can be removed by shumbnail or finger pressure. At 3 weeks of age it can be cut off close to the head with sharp scissors.

Detoeing or toe clipping:
Clipping is done at day old by removing the tip of the toe just to the inside of the outer most toe pad including the entire toenail.

2 thoughts on “Breeds of turkeys in Kenya

  1. We are running a small farm of 300 local breed turkey birds in Kampala- Uganda . We are interested in the improved breed of white / black breed. We are looking for fertilized turkey eggs of the exotic or improved breed. how much are your eggs and tell us the terms of delivery to Kampala and how soon can you be ready to supply .

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