Despite the fact that turkeys came to the European continent as poultry rather late, they quickly broke records for popularity among farmers. And they are still considered the most profitable in terms of content and subsequent profit. And the reasons for this are endurance and high indicators of the mass of birds. And among them there are real giants - the largest meat breed of turkeys was bred in the homeland of the bird - in America.
The largest breeds of turkeys
Turkeys were first domesticated by the Aztecs several thousand years ago. Since then, breeders have worked hard on the ancestor of modern turkeys.
Today, there are several real heavyweights of this type on the poultry market:
Based on the name, it is clear that these birds were bred on the American continent. And this happened relatively recently. The breed belongs to the broiler type. The Canadian is easily recognizable, thanks to the characteristic external differences, from her brethren. Its plumage is black or white, as if powdered with a light brown color. There is a bronze tint. The legs are long, strong and powerful. The chin (goiter) is pronounced, in the form of a fleshy appendage of bright red color. These birds are completely unpretentious in food, and at 4 weeks already weigh 5 kg. Canadians are fattened for three months. By this time, they have already reached slaughter weight (males - 25-29 kg, females - 14-17 kg). The breed is also distinguished by high egg production and a high percentage of hatching.
Big 6, or heavy meat cross
A very well-known and widespread breed in Russia and abroad. It was bred in the UK by crossing Big-5 males and Booth-8 females. New Bigi turned out to be more hardy and larger than their brothers, they have strong immunity already at the chick stage. This has significantly improved bird survival rates. The color of the plumage is exclusively white, the head and neck are bluish-gray, the thymus is red-pink. The weight of adult males is up to 35 kg, of females - up to 11 kg. Birds reach slaughter weight at 4-5 months.
This breed is a pure American, but has long taken root in the farmsteads of Russian and European farmers. The plumage of birds is cream-white, not smooth, but slightly puckered, "terry". The skin around the eyes is a uniform blue tint. Birds are distinguished by large muscle mass and a wide chest, their meat is somewhat more expensive than other breeds, since it is considered to be of better quality and healthier. This species is hardy and healthy, suitable for growing in cold and warm regions. On compound feed, turkeys are ready for slaughter at 16-17 weeks. The weight of an adult turkey reaches 25 kg, turkeys - 12 kg.
How much does the largest turkey weigh?
There is a documented Guinness World Record for turkey size. A male named Tyson became the champion in 1998. Its weight at the time of weighing was 39 kg and 90 g. The bird belonged to the poultry farm "Lycroft Turkeys" and was raised in the county of Cambridge, UK.
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Tyson's owner, Philip Cook, claims that the turkey was fed only natural food and did not resort to antibiotics and special additives to stimulate growth.
Tyson is a representative of a white broad-breasted turkey. This is one of the oldest (bred in 1960) heavyweight breeds, which was later used to breed modern meat crosses. The characteristic difference of this species is the needle-like area of the black feather on the chest. Meanwhile, the rest of the bird's plumage is completely white. Farmer Cook's record still remains officially unbeaten, although more than 20 years have passed. Tyson is still considered the largest and heaviest turkey in the world.