Narragansett Turkeys: Mother Farmland Analysis

Ashley Beckman

I’ve always been fascinated by Narragansett turkeys. Growing up in rural New England I heard many stories of these wild creatures living in the woods near my house. I believe they were described as being big and beautiful with an impressive tail fan that made them stand out among other birds. For most people in the area getting to see a Narragansett turkey was considered a wonderful treat!

Recently I decided to perform some research on this extraordinary bird and learn more about its history and culture. I was truly astonished when I realized that the Narragansett turkey is not only a unique species but also has strong historical roots in us! It’s believed that these birds were first introduced to North America from England in 1620 and thus they are one of the oldest natural breeds of turkeys in the region.

These birds have been widely celebrated in history! Thanks to industrial agricultural practices, the popularity of free-range Narragansett turkeys diminished after WWII. This means we can continue to enjoy this traditional breed for many years!

History Of The Narragansett Turkey

The Narragansett turkey is a breed of domestic turkeys that was developed by farmers in Rhode island during the early 1800s. The Narragansett turkeys were bred from wild eastern and Mexican turkeys, resulting in a bird with good foraging abilities and cold tolerance.

These birds have been used as show birds since their development, winning awards at poultry shows throughout the united states. They are also loved by small farm owners today who appreciate their hardiness and free-range characteristics.

The Narragansett Turkey is a heritage breed of turkey that dates back to the 1700s in Rhode Island. It is an important part of New England’s agricultural history, and it is still being raised by small family farmers today.


The Narragansett turkey was developed by crossbreeding wild turkeys with domestic turkeys brought over by European settlers. This created a larger, stronger bird well-suited to New England’s climate and terrain. The Narragansett turkey rapidly became popular among farmers in New England due to their large size and meat production capabilities.


They were highly prized for exhibition, often competing in chicken shows across the country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt even kept Narragansett turkeys at his home in Hyde Park, New York!

Decline & Revival

As more industrial turkey farming methods were developed these birds fell out of favor and nearly went extinct in the 1930s because they were crossbreeding with other breeds. Thankfully a few individuals committed themselves to protect this heritage breed, restoring them to their former glory! In Rhode Island, small family farmers continue to raise these birds humanely on pasture without chemicals or hormones.

Supporting Local Farmers

It’s important to know where our food comes from, so why not support local farmers while getting top-quality meat at the same time? As one farmer put it: “raising Narragansetts is like being part of history; its something special that my ancestors did before me, and now I get to carry on that tradition”!

Key Takeaways:

  • Narragansett turkey: 1700s Rhode Island origin
  •  A crossbreed of wild+domestic turkeys
  •  Popular for size & meat production
  •  Fell out of favor in the 1930s due to industrial farming methods
  •  Brought back by individuals dedicated to heritage breeds
  •  Raised humanely on family farms w/o chemicals or hormones

Characteristics Of A Narragansett Turkey

The Narragansett turkey is a breed of domestic turkeys native to the state of Rhode island. It has been bred for many centuries and has adapted to its environment with characteristics that make it well-suited for free-ranging and foraging. This large bird has bronze and black colored plumage, long legs, and a tiny white head patch. The hens are good egg layers, while males have loud gobbles that can be heard from far away. They also tend to be hardy birds with excellent disease resistance, making them ideal pets or farm animals.

The Narragansett is an American original that began when wild turkeys were bred in Rhode Island during the early 1800s. It was originally used for commercial purposes but has become popular as a show bird in more recent times. They have traits that make them unique among other breeds of chicken – they are quite large with broad breasts, long legs, and wattles.


The plumage on these birds is simply stunning! They have feathers that range from a dark, greenish-black with white tips to a rich copper, making each one truly special.

Egg Production

Barnyard hens tend to lay fewer eggs than some other breeds – typically only two or three per brood – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good egg producers overall; these chickens are known for being reliable egg vendors over extended periods without going broody too often (which makes them excellent for business production).

Cold Weather Survival

These turkeys are ideal for cold climates because they have plenty of down feathers that act as insulation against harsh weather conditions – this will ensure your flock survives winter without getting sick.

Meat Quality

The meat produced by this breed is considered succulent and delicious due to its dark coloration which results in higher levels of myoglobin found within the animal’s muscle tissues!

Breeding Stock

Perhaps most importantly, Narragansetts are popular breeding stock because of their strength and resistance to disease & pests; also many owners report good fertility among males which makes for healthy offspring every season.

Key Takeaways:

  • American original breed
  •  Large & broad breasted
  •  Decent cooks, bad cleaners
  •  Rich copper feathering
  •  Lay fewer eggs than other breeds
  •  Succulent & delicious meat
  •  Strong & resistant to disease
  •  Good fertility among males

Benefits Of Raising Narragansett Turkeys

For both homesteaders and small farmers alike, raising Narragansett turkeys can be an excellent choice. The breed is known for its hardiness, calm temperament, and good egg production due to its dual-purpose heritage. Not only are these birds ideal for the family dinner table but they also produce higher yields of meat with superior taste compared to other breeds. Additionally, Narragansett turkeys are relatively easy to care for and require minimal space compared to some other poultry species. Their docile nature makes them more suitable than other breeds in areas where predators may be a concern.

Raising Narragansett Turkeys is a rewarding experience for any backyard farmer. Not only are they reliable and hardy birds, but they also provide delicious meat and eggs. Here’s what you need to know about raising Narragansett turkeys!


The Narragansett turkey was first bred in Rhode Island in the late 1800s. It has a long history as an iconic breed of turkey and is still popular today.

Foraging Ability

These birds are great foragers, able to find food and avoid predators with ease. They can even outsmart foxes!

Meat Quality

Some have said that this breed produces some of the best meat around. The dark meat is full of flavor and nice and juicy for thanksgiving dinner!

Egg Laying

In addition to tasting great, these birds lay large white eggs with thick shells throughout their laying season (from February through May).

Care Requirements

Once they’re established, they are easy to care for. All you have to do is ensure their coop remains clean and provide them with enough food and water each day – something any backyard farmer can handle with ease.


These birds boast shimmering black-green feathers on top and silver-white plumes below, which add an aristocratic air to any farm or homestead. During mating season their feathers are quite literally dazzling since light reflecting off each feather gives the bird a lovely almost magical quality!

Breeding Requirements

You don’t need a rooster: unlike other breeds which depend on a rooster for hens to lay eggs successfully, this isn’t required with Narragansetts since they’re proficient fertile layers that aren’t dependent upon any males. With this being said, chickens in general should experience regular health exams from your veterinarian. That said, prevention is always better than cure so make sure you keep up with routine checkups.

Enjoyment Factor

They’re fun whether you like watching them strut around the yard or listening as they gobble during mating season: keeping these magnificent creatures is intensely gratifying. It’s like having your zoo in your backyard!

Key Takeaways:

  • Narragansett: hardy, reliable breed

Originated in Rhode Island late 1800s

  • Great foragers, avoid predators

Produce flavorful dark meat

  • Lay large white eggs Feb – May

No rooster necessary for fertility

  • Preserve heritage genes naturally

Fun to watch and listen to

Feeding And Caring For A Narragansett Turkey

The enjoyment of raising a Narragansett turkey is great, though they are sturdy and adaptable. The birds need proper care to stay healthy and productive. The appropriate feed should be provided on a regular schedule, along with other fruits, veggies, and insects for optimum nutrition. They also must have access to clean water at all times. Cleaning their living quarters of dirt and debris will help your Narragansett turkeys have a long life.

Raising Narragansett Turkeys: Tips for Feeding and Caring Raising Narragansett turkeys is no easy task, but with the right care and attention they can be a joy to have around. With their majestic feathers and curious nature, these birds are truly unique. Here are some tips for feeding and caring for your Narragansett turkeys.

Provide Plenty of Space

Plenty of space is critical so your turkey doesn’t feel trapped, frightened, or confined! According to experts at the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Narragansetts need at least 2-3 square feet per bird (of course more space is ideal). This will give them enough space to move about without bumping into people and feeling caged. If your property doesn’t have trees consider setting up a tarp or umbrella over their run to protect them from the sunshine!

Feed a Balanced Diet

As omnivores, Narragansett turkeys need a balanced diet to avoid deficiencies and remain healthy. Provide the birds with scratch feed not only to ensure that they are getting enough nutrition but also because it will give them a nice toy to play with while they explore their habitat and hope to find some tasty morsels! You can buy commercially made scratch feed from most pet stores but if you want something healthier try mixing equal parts whole grain cereal flakes and cracked corn or millet seeds – yum! Pharmacist’s warning: supplements are best taken in moderation, as they may cause long-term health issues!

Enrichment Activities

Enrichment activities help our feathered friends to be entertained while giving us a chance to get closer; string colorful items such as ribbons or fruits along fence lines in the run area then sit back and watch them investigate which may even lead to some silly antics …a great way of bonding I think. As social animals we must closely monitor flock dynamics; bullying behavior should be addressed quickly by physically separating offenders from the rest of the group until tempers cool down or things could get ugly fast. Pay attention to the details!

Allow Access To Dust Bathing Areas

Allow access to dust bathing areas- dust bathing helps keep feather condition in check by removing dirt and debris between plumage, plus it’s fun too; set aside areas where your Turks can roll about freely coated head-to-toe in dust… remember towels are nearby though because after cleanup may take longer than anticipated!

Adult Rope & Harness Playtime

Adult rope & harness playtime is generally understood within the scene to be a fairly safe form of sexual expression; also like conventional forms its not mandatory & different rules apply depending on whom you submit to but I’d advise getting professional training beforehand since that’s what many dominants seek in someone they’ll want to tie up intimately.

Key Takeaways:

  • Provide ample space.
  •  Balanced diet for omnivores.
  •  Regularly groom feathers.
  •  Monitor flock dynamics.
  •  Dust bathing areas are provided.
  •  Adult rope & harness playtime as a safe form of sexual expression.

Common Diseases Affecting Narragansett Turkeys

Narragansett turkeys are susceptible to several diseases, most of which can be prevented or treated early when caught. Common diseases that affect this species include avian influenza, blackhead, coccidiosis, and fowl pox. Avian influenza is highly contagious and spreads rapidly between birds that mingle in close contact with each other. Blackhead is caused by an intestinal parasite and can lead to mortality in flocks if left unchecked. Coccidiosis is a parasitic infection that affects the digestive system of many bird species including Narragansett turkeys, while fowl pox can be spread through mosquito bites and direct contact with infected birds. Appropriate prevention measures should therefore be taken to ensure that these diseases do not spread among populations of Narragansett turkeys.

In recent years, governments have become increasingly aware of the need to better capture public opinion. This has led to a variety of initiatives designed to improve communication between citizens and their representatives. In this article, we will look at some of the common diseases that affect Narragansett turkeys, as well as how to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission.

Blackhead (Histomoniasis)

Blackhead is a gut infection caused by a protozoan parasite that affects young and adult birds, resulting in weight loss, diarrhea, and death if left untreated. Treatment with suitable antibiotics or antimalarials is necessary to prevent the spread of this disease.


Coccidiosis is another protozoic infection caused by various species of eimeria parasites, often seen as bloody droppings or watery diarrhea and leading to death if the treatment isn’t swift with a suitable antibiotic or antimalarial.

Infectious Bronchitis

Infectious bronchitis, caused by the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), results in respiratory issues such as coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge, as well as a rattling breath.

Avian Flu

The bird flu also tends to be referred to as “avian influenza” which can result in mild infections such as conjunctivitis or sudden death depending on the strain type; fortunately, this virus does not infect humans so it’s important for you to monitor your flock for symptoms of infection if you suspect any bird has contracted the virus.

Noninfectious Diseases

In addition, some noninfectious diseases can occur, such as Marek’s disease which results in paralysis due to nerve damage caused by a herpesvirus – although the disease cannot be transmitted between birds it still poses serious health risks so it’s important to know how to reduce the risk of exposure through biosecurity measures like quarantining new birds before introducing them into your existing flock!

Prevention & Treatment

I always tell my clients: “knowledge is power when it comes to keeping your flocks healthy! Being aware of the parasites common in Narragansett turkeys will help you prepare yourself for flare-ups in your flock – inquire about treatments that veterinarians with poultry medicine experience offer & investigate ways you can minimize the transmission of these lethal pathogens throughout your coop group!

Key Takeaways:

  • Common diseases: blackhead, coccidiosis, bronchitis, avian flu
  •  Noninfectious disease: Marek’s disease
  •  Treatments: antibiotics & antimalarials
  •  Prevention: biosecurity measures & quarantine of new birds

Where To Buy A Narragansett Turkey

If you’re looking for a Narragansett turkey, you can find them at many farms and specialty stores across the united states. They are also available online through several sources, making it easier to obtain one of these rare beauties. Prices may vary from farm to farm and store to store, so be sure to compare different options before deciding where to buy. With some luck and patience, you’ll soon have your very own Narragansett turkey!

Finding a Narragansett turkey can be a challenge, but there are plenty of options available to those who are willing to search. With some research and effort, you can find a fresh, delicious Narragansett turkey for your holiday meal.

Farmers Markets

Farmers’ markets are a great option for exploring small local farms and sampling tasty turkey varieties. Many farmer’s markets will even allow customers to place advance orders for birds that will arrive fresh on the day requested!


During the holiday season, many supermarkets sell Narragansetts so it is also worth checking them! Make sure you ask when they get shipments, and if they have any leftovers afterward.

Online Retailers

Many online retailers specialize in heritage breeds such as Narragansetts, such as Heritage Foods USA, or D’Artagnan Meats & Poultry, which offer high-quality turkeys with next-day delivery in some areas!

Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs generally have big amounts of locally grown meats like chicken or lamb, but they also include odd specialty ones such as turkey sometimes!! Since these food hubs often feature plenty of seasonal produce, such as pasture-raised poultry products, you may want to keep an eye out for them near your area.

Specialty Butcher Shops

Specialty butcher shops are found throughout North America and offer higher quality wild boar or bison pork cuts such as tenderloin fillets…This likely means there’s a restaurant nearby that serves Narragansett turkey too!! Make sure that you visit these places before Thanksgiving comes closer because they tend to sell out quickly once Thanksgiving starts approaching.

Exchanging Programs

Don’t forget to utilize your online social circle, as there’s a good chance someone nearby is raising their flock of turkeys each year – thus giving them the ability to feed you with some fantastic turkey meat by Thanksgiving time. There are also lots of exchange programs popping up allowing people to trade various kinds of chickens with one another?! This isn’t always easy to track down in which state you live, but worth checking out if interested in getting some special breeds like the Narragansetts while possibly saving money doing so 😉

Key Takeaways:

  • Obtain Narragansett turkey from farms, supermarkets, or online retailers
  •  Utilize local cooperatives or farmers’ markets
  •  Use a social circle for locally raised turkeys
  •  Consider CSA programs for specialty meats
  •  Visit specialty butcher shops & restaurants
  •  Check out exchanging programs

Breeding And Showing Narragansett Turkeys

The Narragansett turkey is a majestic bird that has been raised in North America for centuries. Its unique features and personality make it a popular choice for backyard farmers and hobbyists alike. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of the Narragansett turkey, its physical characteristics, and how to keep them happy and healthy.


The Narragansett turkey is one of the oldest varieties of domestic turkeys in America. It’s been raised by natives as far back as 500 years ago! During the 1960s, many women complained about their inability to balance work and family life, so they decided to concentrate on other topics such as breeding and showing Narragansetts.### Physical


The Narragansett turkey is known for its enormous breasts, making it look like a porn actress! Heritage turkeys of the type referred to as bourbon reds often weigh between 18 and 30 pounds when fully grown which makes them ideal for smaller spaces compared to other heritage turkeys such as the one developed by Purdue.

Another interesting fact is that males’ tail feathers turn white when they get older, giving them a distinguished look from other turkeys. Due to their thick feather coat, these guys are surprisingly hardy in cold climates and make for a great choice for those who want to keep a flock of turkeys at home yet live in colder regions!

Keeping Them Happy

Keeping a Narragansett happy requires more attention than most other breeds so make sure potential owners understand what is needed before taking on this responsibility! The average life expectancy of a Narragansett turkey in captivity is roughly 8 years, so there’s plenty of time to form a bond with your bird before having to worry about replacing it in the future—something many people find comforting when deciding whether or not this breed is right for them. America’s national thanksgiving turkey has even been rescued and declared healthy after officials believed she had died shortly after laying her first eggs!

Key Takeaways:

  • Narragansett turkeys are one of the oldest breeds in America
  •  Males’ tail feathers turn white when older, giving them a distinguished look
  •  Heritage turkeys often weigh between 18 and 30 pounds, ideal for smaller spaces
  •  They are surprisingly hardy in cold climates and easy to keep at home
  •  Average life expectancy is 8 years, forming a bond with your bird
  •  National Thanksgiving turkey rescued after laying her first eggs


The Narragansett turkey is a powerful and majestic bird that holds an important place in American history. One of the most intriguing birds in history was certainly the Narragansett turkey, which grew from its introduction to North America by early pilgrims to its status as a centerpiece on holiday tables. 

We hope this article has given you some interesting information about one of the most loved species in existence and why it continues to draw people’s attention. Whether you’re looking for a wonderful new addition to your holiday table or simply want to learn more about the species that has been part of our cultural heritage for hundreds of years, the Narragansett turkey is worth exploring! 

Are Narragansett Turkeys Endangered?

The Narragansett turkey, native to the northeastern united states, is considered a threatened species. Around colonial times and historically important to colonists as an easy source of protein, this bird has declined drastically in numbers due to commercial hunting, disease, and crossbreeding with other turkey breeds over time. Now conservation efforts are in place to protect it from further decline and ensure its survival.

Are Narragansett Turkeys Rare?

The Narragansett is a legendary type of wild turkey native mostly to the northeastern united states. They are highly prized creatures for hunting due to their size and unique coloration. Even though they have been dwindling in the wild in recent years, one can still find them in some areas due to efforts by state governments and private organizations to protect them. While they remain far more uncommon than other sorts of domestic turkeys, they have yet to be designated as endangered or threatened with extinction at this time.

What Makes A Narragansett Turkey?

The Narragansett is a rare breed of turkey that originated in the New England region. They have traits that make them unique from other breeds of turkey, including their size, shape, and coloration. The turkeys are smaller than most commercial birds which makes them easier to manage on small farms or homesteads. Their feathers are also dark brown with white tips giving them an attractive appearance with a range of colors. Further, they possess a temperament that is calmer than some other species producing less risk when humans are nearby making it easier to handle them and avoid problems when dealing with people.

Can Narragansett Turkeys Breed Naturally?

Since colonial times, the Narragansett turkey has been a uniquely American wild turkey breed that has lived among us. It is also an important symbol of Rhode island’s history, and its ability to reproduce in the wild depends on healthy populations of wild birds. The question remains: can Narragansett turkeys still lay eggs naturally? To answer this question, researchers have studied the effects on their population structure and dynamics as a result of habitat loss and other human impacts. They found that if they have sufficient access to suitable habitats and food resources, these birds will continue to mate successfully in the wild.

Are Narragansett Turkeys Good To Eat?

The Narragansett turkey is an iconic American breed of domestic turkey that has been around since the 1600s. It’s known for its beautiful feathers and hardiness, but how does it taste? Many people love the flavor of a fresh Narragansett turkey–it has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor with just a hint of gaminess that makes it stand out from other breeds. The texture is also quite different, as the meat tends to be more tender than store-bought varieties, making them ideal for roasting or grilling. With proper preparation and cooking techniques, Narragansett turkeys can make for a truly delicious meal.

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