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11 Turkey Breeds for Pets

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Turkeys are not one of the usual candidates people consider when looking to get a pet. Nonetheless, you can keep them as pets.

Being social animals, turkeys can be excellent pets, especially those from specific breeds.

If you are looking to get a pet turkey, this article has helpful information. Below, we discuss eleven turkey breeds for pets. When done reading, making a shortlist of the type of turkey you want should be easier.

Bourbon Red

Bourbon Red Turkey in the winter

Bourbon Reds are a calm, sweet turkey breed. They are also pretty social. It is easy to see why they work well as pets.

While Bourbon Reds are generally social and calm, they sometimes show some wild instincts. Those instincts can be a problem if it is your first time keeping turkeys.

For instance, these instincts sometimes drive Bourbon Reds to roost in awkward spaces. In other words, you may not find them where you expect them to be.

On the flip side, the wild instincts of Bourbon Reds make the hens great mothers. So, if you want your pet turkey to raise poults, this breed is one of the best.

Broad-Breasted White

While Broad-Breasted White turkeys are primarily a meat breed, you may also keep them as pets. They are docile and friendly with humans who treat them with care.

So, if you intend to keep them as pets, you should baby them.

While Broad-Breasted Whites do well as pets under the right conditions, they generally do not live long.

The genetic modifications that made Broad-Breasted Whites great meat birds have left them prone to many diseases.

Broad-Breasted Whites are susceptible to respiratory failure, heart diseases, obesity, suppressed immunity, and skeletal weakness.

So, they may only be comfortable for short periods while you raise them as pets. In the end, they will be short-lived.


Chocolate turkeys have a reputation for being typically non-aggressive. They are generally friendly. Also, they quickly become fond of their humans – especially as adults. They do well as pets.

Chocolate turkeys are hardy. So, if the poor health of Broad-Breasted Whites is a concern for you, you can opt for Chocolate turkeys instead.

Apart from that, Chocolate hens make great mothers. So, if you want more pet turkeys, you should consider this breed.

Jersey Buff

Jersey Buff turkeys are pretty social. They are easy to keep as pets if you start nurturing them young.

Raise Jersey Buffs correctly and they will bond with you.

The easygoing temperament, hardiness, and smaller size of Jersey Buffs contribute to their suitability as pets. These features make them even perfect for beginners.

While they are docile, Jersey Buffs are not dull. They are playful and curious. They enjoy playing with toys. So, if you are getting one, get some toys to keep it happy.

Midget White


Midget White turkeys are very friendly. They get along with humans and other pets just fine. They sometimes approach humans and pets freely.

As their name says, Midget White turkeys are miniature. This makes carrying them easy. Of course, it is always much better when people can carry their pets.

Midget Whites have beautiful white plumage, which makes them gorgeous. They look a lot like smaller versions of the Broad-Breasted White.

However, Midget Whites do not share the same ancestry as Broad-Breasted White turkeys.

Midget Whites are hardy and tough, unlike Broad-Breasted Whites. So, if the poor health of Broad-Breasted White turkeys bothers you, you could get Midget Whites instead.


Narragansett Turkey on the grass

Narragansett turkeys’ black, gray, tan, and white feathers make them stunning birds. But beyond being good-looking, Narragansett turkeys are typically docile and calm.

If you want to keep a Narragansett turkey as a pet, ask about its breeding line. While Narragansett turkeys are generally docile, their temperament may vary according to the lines they come from.

Caring for a Narragansett turkey is typically easy. The birds are hardy, thanks to their immune system. So, you may not have to worry about your pet coming down with an unusual disease.

Norfolk Black (Spanish Black)

Norfolk Black turkeys have been domesticated for a long time. Members of this breed are generally used to human environments.

Beyond being domesticated, Norfolk Blacks have a docile temperament suitable for a pet. They are also hardy, so caring for them is typically not uncomplicated.

Sometimes, Norfolk Blacks can be noisy and aggressive. So, keep this in mind when getting one.

Royal Palm

close up photo of royal palm turkey

Royal Palm turkeys are gorgeous birds. Unsurprisingly, their primary purpose is ornamental rather than agricultural.

Besides being beautiful, Royal Palm turkeys are generally non-aggressive. They are typically outgoing, curious, and friendly.

But their character sometimes depends on how they were nurtured.

In other words, if you raise Royal Palm turkeys with care and socialize them early enough, they will exhibit desirable attitudes. But if you don’t, they may not be friendly.

Royal Palm turkeys love being around humans. They also have good maternal instincts.

Slate (Blue Slate)

Blue Slate turkeys are some of the most beautiful turkeys you will see. But beyond being beautiful, these birds are generally docile. So, overall, they are great pets.

Blue Slate turkeys from lines selectively bred for their even temper are perfect as pets.

Male Slate turkeys can sometimes be territorial. But overall, they are pleasant to have around.

Being heritage turkeys, Blue Slate turkeys are generally hardy. So, you shouldn’t have too much trouble caring for them.

Standard Bronze

The Standard Bronze is a very popular domestic turkey breed. Its primary use is for meat, but you may also raise one as a pet.

Standard Bronze turkeys are generally friendly. They typically show a dog-like attachment to their owners and follow them around.

While it is common for a Standard Bronze turkey to be friendly, members of this breed can also be unfriendly.

In the end, what determines their temperament is how they were raised and how socialized they are.

Standard Bronze turkeys are large-sized birds. Their size makes them too heavy to fly.

Their inability to fly can be a good thing for you. You won’t have to worry about your turkey flying over your fence and escaping.

On the flip side, the large size of Standard Bronze turkeys means you must provide enough space for them. So, take note of this if you are getting a pet Standard Bronze turkey.

Standard Bronze turkeys are hardy. They are generally healthy and do not fall sick too often.

White Holland

White Holland Turkeys

The White Holland is a breed that has been around for a long time.

As the name says, members of the breed have white plumage – one of the main traits people know them for.

White Holland turkeys are generally tame and friendly. These features contribute to their suitability as pet turkeys.

But then, only certain breeders select for the lovely temperament. So, if you are getting one as a pet, you should pay attention to this.

Besides their calm temperament, White Holland turkeys are beautiful, thanks to their white plumage. They are hardy, easy to care for, and not susceptible to specific diseases.


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