White Holland Turkey Characteristics, Uses & Origin

The White Holland turkey is a very old variety of domestic turkey which was originated from United States. It is known for it’s white plumage, and it was most important white-feathered variety throughout most of American history.

Today it is one of the rarest and most difficult to authenticate varieties despite the illustrious past. During the first half of the 1900s, the White Holland turkey was the only commercial white variety.

Connection of the White Holland turkey to the Netherlands is unsubstantiated, originated from crosses of white European turkeys imported to North America and crossed with the native birds.

The variety was first recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1874. And today it is considered as a heritage turkey breed.

It was crossed with the Broad Breasted Bronze in the 1950s for creating the Broad Breasted White, which is the most common turkey breed throughout the world today.

The White Holland turkey breed is also the base for creating the rare Beltsville Small White turkey breed.

Currently the White Holland turkey is a rare breed and listed as ‘threatened‘ by The Livestock Conservancy in the United States. Read some more information about this turkey breed below.

White Holland Turkey Characteristics

The White Holland turkey birds are beautiful birds which are often confused with the Broad Breasted White turkeys.

But the Broad Breasted White turkeys are larger in size than these birds. The White Holland turkeys have smaller sized breast and relatively longer legs. They are completely white in coloration.

Their feathers are snow white and the head is red to bluish. Their beard is black and the beak is pink to horn colored.

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Their throat and wattles are pinkish-white. Shanks and toes of the White Holland turkey are pinkish-white, and the eyes are brown.

Average live body weight of the mature tom is around 16.33 kg. And the mature hens on average weight around 9 kg. Photo and info from The Livestock Conservancy and Wikipedia.


This turkey breed is raised mainly for meat production.

Special Notes

The White Holland turkeys are known for their hardiness. Today they are a rare variety of domestic turkey. They are occasionally seen at poultry shows.

Although these animals are smaller in size but they are more desirable than some of the other larger turkey breeds.

They are mostly docile in temperament, although some birds can be aggressive. The hens lay large sized eggs, and their eggs are pale cream to medium brown in color with spotting.

However, review full breed profile of this breed in the chart below.

Breed NameWhite Holland
Other NamesBritish White
Breed PurposeMeat
Special NotesKnown for their hardiness, pretty rare today, occasionally seen at poultry shows, smaller in size but are more desirable than some of the other larger turkey breeds, docile temperament, but some birds can be aggressive, large eggs, the eggs are pale cream to medium brown in color with spotting
Breed SizeMedium
TomAround 16.33 kg
HenAround 9 kg
Climate ToleranceAlmost all climates
Country/Place of OriginUnited States

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