Whether as a pet or on your farm, having friendly turkey breeds can make things easy. Besides the absence of hostility, friendly turkey breeds are warm, amiable, and docile. Also, they interact well with humans.
If you have been trying to select a turkey breed for your farm, and gentle temperament is a top factor for you, we’ve got the information you want. Below, we talk about the eight friendliest turkey breeds for your farm. Choosing a turkey breed should be much easier for you when you’re done reading.
Table of Contents
Are Domesticated Turkeys Friendly?
Domesticated turkeys are typically friendly.
Turkeys are generally social animals. So, after they become domesticated, they usually socialize and get along with humans just fine.
In fact, once they’ve spent enough time with their humans, they bond with them and enjoy spending time in human company. Domesticated turkeys may even act dog-like with humans.
What Breed of Turkey Makes the Best Pet?
Since turkeys are typically docile and friendly, they make great pets. However, due to their slow growth rate and long lifespan, heritage turkeys are generally better as pets.
Going by the above, some of the breeds of turkeys that make the best pets include:
- Beltsville Small White
- Bourbon Red Turkey
- Bronze Turkey
- Midget Small White
- Narragansett Turkey
- Norfolk Black
- Royal Palm Turkey
- White Holland
8 Friendliest Turkey Breeds for Your Farm
1. Beltsville Small White Turkey
Like most turkey breeds, Beltsville small white turkeys are docile and manageable. They have friendly and affectionate personalities. So if you want friendly turkeys on your farm, this breed is one to consider.
Beltsville small white turkeys are generally friendly. However, you may come across some aggressive Beltsville whites. But that is just individualism coming into play. The aggressive ones are outliers.
Besides being friendly, Beltsville small whites are worth considering if you have limited space. With toms weighing around 17 to 21 pounds and hens weighing about 10 to 12 pounds, you can imagine how small Beltsville whites are.
2. Bourbon Red Turkey
More times than not, you will only hear turkey keepers talk about how warm and friendly Bourbon Reds are. Remember we said turkeys are generally friendly? Well, some turkey keepers think that Bourbon Reds are somewhat more friendly than some other meat breeds.
Besides being friendly, Bourbon Reds are sociable and affectionate when interacting with humans. You could consider them for your farm if you want. Alternatively, you could have one as a pet.
There is a chance that Bourbon Red toms might get aggressive or territorial. But they only act this way to rival toms.
If you choose to have a Bourbon Red turkey on your farm, you’d be getting more than just a friendly bird. Bourbon Red turkeys have one of the highest egg production rates. So, you might get some eggs too.
3. Bronze Turkey
Bronze turkeys are a well-domesticated heritage breed. Unsurprisingly, they are very friendly towards humans. Bronze turkeys are one of those breeds turkey keepers would call dog-like because they sometimes follow their humans around.
While they are generally friendly, bronze turkeys can also be territorial, especially when protecting their food and poults (young turkeys).
Overall, bronze turkeys are calmer and friendlier than broad-breasted white turkeys. But then, breeder selection may factor into the temperament of both breeds.
One good thing about keeping bronze turkeys on your farm is that they cannot fly. With the ability to fly out of the question, you can rest assured that they are unlikely to escape.
4. Midget Small White
Midget small whites are docile, and they have a reputation for being unusually friendly. Turkeys belonging to this breed sometimes walk up to humans without hesitation. They approach humans boldly – proof of how outgoing they can be.
Besides being outgoing with humans, midget small whites can also be amiable with pets. So, if you intend to keep your friendly turkey on your farm alongside some pets, midget small whites might be perfect for you.
Besides being friendly, midget small whites are a popular option for small-scale farms. So, if you do not have a lot of space on your farm, strongly consider this breed.
5. Narragansett Turkey
Narragansett turkeys generally have a docile and calm temperament. But beyond that, some Narragansett turkey owners have described their birds as dog-like.
These turkeys follow their humans around and long for their humans to pet them. Some also go running towards their humans when they see them approaching.
So overall, Narragansett turkeys are friendly. However, the toms can get territorial during the breeding season.
6. Norfolk Black
More often than not, poultry farmers will agree that Norfolk black turkeys are calm and docile. But then, in some cases, these birds can be loud and aggressive.
According to some turkey farmers, Norfolk blacks are very friendly when less than a month old. But they could become flighty when juvenile. But after a few months, they might become attached to you again.
Besides their generally friendly temperament, other reasons to consider Norfolk blacks include natural mating and superior meat flavor.
7. Royal Palm Turkey
You might get a different opinion from various breeders about the temperament of royal palm turkeys. However, many of them would be positive.
Some turkey farmers say their hand-raised and coddled royal palm turkeys are very friendly. Contrarily, some others call their royal palms “royal pains.” Of course, the moniker expresses how annoying they can be.
Overall, the temperament of royal palm turkeys depends on how you raise them. Coddle and socialize them properly as poults, and you will most likely end up with a friendly bird.
Royal palm turkeys can mate naturally. However, they are great flyers. So, if you opt for them, put measures in place to ensure they do not escape.
8. White Holland
White Holland turkeys are typically friendly and docile. But there may be some aggressive individuals.
The temperament of white Hollands partly depends on breeder selection. Breeders sometimes select for docility or aggressiveness. It all depends on what they want. So, if you are getting this breed for your farm, ensure you ask questions about the breeder’s selection process.