Great! Our Very Rare Heritage Chocolate Turkeys Hatched Out Today – Critically Endangered Breed

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We are really pleased that our chocolate turkey eggs are hatching as we speak.  We have one little turk completely out of its shell and the others peeping through.  We are excited to be able to offer organic turkeys to local farmers in the area and also for Thanksgiving this year.

Here are pictures of what the Heritage Chocolate Turkey looks like.

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Chocolate Turkeys

Here aer what their eggs look like.

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Turkey Eggs

Chocolate Turkeys

More About the Rare Heritage Chocolate Turkey

The name Chocolate describes the color of the turkey’s feathers, shanks and feet.  They used to be common in the South and in France.  This turkey variety was well established in the Southern part of the United States before the Civil War which caused a great decline in turkey breeding throughout the Southeastern states.  The Chocolate turkey never recovered its pre-war popularity.

Chocolate describes a variation of the plumage color. They are basically a black bird which has been diluted to the chocolate coloration by the presence of the sexlinked brown gene.

Poults at hatch have a down color pattern that resembles a black poult with a substitution of a brown pigment where the black would normally be present. The adult bird has a solid milk chocolate color.

The entire Chocolate turkey population was reduced to only twelve birds before they started to make a comeback. Due to the lack of breeding birds, most chocolate turkeys today are not pure and are carriers of Bronze and Narragansett genes; some may carry Bourbon Red as well.  So when breeding these unpure chocolates, a few Auburns, Silver Auburns and red carriers can pop out as well.

Chocolates are one of the largest heritage turkey varieties and are known to be very gentle. Chocolate turkeys are good mothers and chicks are born with coco bodies and white heads.

The meat is flavorful, but not all that different for your average turkey. Chocolates do produce more meat than some other heritage varieties due to their large size with mature weights of toms approximately 33 lbs. and hens 18 lbs.  Although larger in size, their health and mobility is not affected. Chocolates are still critically endangered.

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