The Beltsville Small White turkey is a breed of domestic turkey which was originated from the United States. It was developed during the beginning in 1934. And it was developed in response to market research that said consumers wanted a turkey of small to medium size with no dark pinfeathers.
The breed was named after both of it’s physical characteristics and origin place. It’s a relatively smaller sized bird with entirely white plumage, and it’s place of origin is the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland.
In a breeding program at the Beltsville Center, the USDA used Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, White Austrian and wild turkey genetics. The breeding program lasted from 1934 to 1941. Main of the program was to develop a bird that was meaty, well-finished and free from dark pin feathers. And during the 1940s, the Beltsville Small White turkey was used commercially. And it was officially recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1951.
The Beltsville Small White turkey breed had nearly disappeared by the 1970s, and the Broad Breasted White turkeys had come into prominence. The Beltsville Small White is still a rare breed, and it is listed as ‘critical‘ by The Livestock Conservancy. Read some more information about this domestic turkey breed below.
Beltsville Small White Turkey Characteristics
The Beltsville Small White turkey is a small to medium sized bird with beautiful appearance. It has completely white plumage, with red to bluish white head. Beard of these birds is black and the beak is of horn color. Their eyes are dark brown, and the shanks and toes are pinkish white.
Average live body weight of the mature Beltsville Small White toms is around 7.7 kg. And the mature hen’s average live body weight is around 4.5 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Beltsville Small White turkey is a meat breed. It is raised mainly for meat production.
The Beltsville Small White turkeys have good reproduction qualities (including the ability to mate naturally). They can be selected, bred and maintained by small-scale farmers easily. They are raised mainly for meat production. Today they are quite rare and mainly raised by a few exhibition breeders. There has been a revival of interest in these birds in recent years. Efforts are underway for locating and conserving any remnant flocks in the United States and Canada. However, review full breed profile of the Beltsville Small White turkey in the following chart.
Beltsville Small White Turkey | Breed Profile
|Breed Name||Beltsville Small White|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat|
|Special Notes||Very strong and hardy birds, these birds have good reproduction qualities, able to mate naturally, easily maintained by small-scale farmers, today raised mainly for meat production, currently quite rare breed|
|Breed Size||Small to medium|
|Tom||Around 7.7 kg|
|Hen||Around 4.5 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Almost all climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||United States|