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Turkey Beards - Domestic Vs. Wild

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by RattleCan, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. RattleCan

    RattleCan Chirping

    Oct 25, 2014
    Maryland, USA
    So I was looking at a thread of turkey photos on Facebook and noticed that domestic toms all seem to have tiny, if any beards at all! Wild turkeys are my favorite animal and their beards are such a characteristic part of them, so I think all these stubby little beards look a bit silly. I tried to do some research online and I can't find any information about domestic turkey beards at all. I see people asking about bearded hens, but that's it. No mention of long, beautiful wild turkey beards versus domestic chest stubble.

    So, I figured you all might have some input! Do your toms have noteworthy beards, or tiny stubs? Long straight beards or little bushy nubs? How old are your birds with beards? What age did they start growing a beard? The longest beard you've seen on a domestic bird? Can a certain diet grow better beards?

    My 8 month old jake just sprouted his little beard, and I'd like him to grow it out if he can. What can I say? I like chest hairs ;)
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016

  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Domestic toms can grow very good beards. I had a Bourbon Red tom that had is best beard as a two year old when he had a beautiful double beard.

    The reason that you don't often see good beards on domestic toms is that the hens actually eat the beards. My last breeding tom grew a nice 10" beard and I actually saw the hens "grooming" his beard until it was down to approximately 1 1/2".

    Here is my Bourbon Red tom but not the year he had a double beard.

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