Chocolate Turkeys - Official Information On Them?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by smoknz28, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. smoknz28

    smoknz28 Chirping

    Mar 7, 2012
    Central Virginia, USA
    I am a new owner of two Chocolate Turkeys. A tom and a hen and they are very sweet. We are not raising them for meat, but as pets with our children.

    I understand they are a rare breed and would like an official website to go for details on them. History, etc. I've found some sites, but they seem to be owners putting together their own gathered info and I'm hesitant to go off of that information.

    Please point me in the right direction.

    Thank you all.

    Here they are...Meet "Godiva" (hen) and "Hershey" (tom):




  2. UrbanviewFarm

    UrbanviewFarm In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    State of Jefferson
    I have heard of this breed once, but have never seen an example or photos. I do see sweetwaters around, but no chocolates. Beautiful, bravo!!!
  3. smoknz28

    smoknz28 Chirping

    Mar 7, 2012
    Central Virginia, USA
    Thank you. The woman I picked these up from had 30 various breeds of turkeys roaming free.

    I went to her place to pick up chickens she needed to find a new home for and had no idea she had turkeys or that she would offer any to me. ;)

    I certainly wasn't prepared for picking them up, but when offered, I surely didn't want to pass up an opportunity to learn about them and raise them. They are both doing well with us. We let them out in the goats pen during the day and at night we lock them away in our large chicken coop with the other 18 chickens. I have a long perch in their coop, which is where the tom and hen preferred to sleep.

  4. Kekko

    Kekko Chirping

    Mar 29, 2010
    Western IDAHO
    Welcome to the World of Heritage Turkeys! Your Chocolates look very good in the pictures you have.

    The Chocolate Turkey is a very interesting variety. I do not have any that are pure Chocolate my self but have a couple friends that have some. I am currently working on introducing the Chocolate gene into some Sweetgrass Turkeys to produce a Chocolate Sweetgrass Variety.

    Chocolates were once very popular in the Southern part of the U.S. but were nearly wiped out during the Civil War era.

    The Chocolate is a basic Black Turkey that carries the “e” Brown genes.

    Black Genotype is (BB)
    Chocolate is (BB ee) Toms (BBe-) Hens.

    The Brown “e” Genes are also a sex-linked genes meaning they are only carried on the Male chromosome. This means that the Toms carry 2 “e” genes (BB ee) and the Hens can only carry 1 “e” gene (BB e-) since they only have 1 Male chromosome.

    One of my friends that has Chocolates also says that they have a lower rate of hatchability possibly a death gene involved in the Chocolate gene. I have hatched several batches of Chocolates for a couple of people and not found any notable difference in Hatch rate.

    The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy talks a little about the Chocolate Turkey here:

    Kevin Porter who is very knowledgeable in the genetics of Heritage Turkeys can give you a better understanding of your birds. Porter’s Rare Heritage Turkey website is: . I have always found him to be very helpful in the genetics of different varieties and detecting genetics through pictures.

    Good Luck with your Turkeys!
    1 person likes this.

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