Narragansett Turkey Characteristics & Traits


The Narragansett color pattern contains black, gray, tan, and white. Its pattern is similar to that of the Bronze, with steel gray or dull black replacing the coppery bronze. White wing bars are the result of a genetic mutation which removes the bronze coloration and is not known outside the United States. The Narragansett’s beak is horn colored, its head is red to bluish white and its beard is black. The shanks and feet are salmon colored. The standard weight for young hens is 14 pounds and toms is 23 pounds. Since, however, the Narragansett has not been selected for production attributes, including weight gain, for years, many birds may be smaller than the standard. Careful selection for good health, ability to mate naturally, and production attributes will return this variety to its former stature.

Narragansett turkeys have traditionally been known for their calm disposition, good maternal abilities, early maturation, egg production, and excellent meat quality. As recently as 50 years ago, they were well regarded for production qualities. This historic variety, unique to North America, merits evaluation for production in sustainable agriculture systems. The Narragansett turkey would make a useful and beautiful addition to the family farm.