General Information about the Turkey

Pied-Crollwitzer-Turkey Buff-Turkeys Cornwall-turkeys Rare-Cambridge-Bronze-Turkey2-yo-narragansett




Here’s a present day chart of the position of all the standard varieties of Turkeys we keep:

Norfolk Black
Cambridge Bronze
All Very Common
White and Pied (Crollvitzer) Fairly Common
Bourbon red  true to colour
Crimson Dawn (Black wing bronze)
All Very Rare
Harvey speckled
Blue (Lavender)
Quite Rare
Ronquiere (Belgium)  Very Rare
Spanish Blacks (Spain) Fairly Rare

Non standard turkey varieties we keep

Red Slate
Northern America Bush turkey
Eastern ..American Bush turkey
Occerlated..Southern American Bush turkey
All very Rare

A summary of all the varieties of turkeys




Narragansett  America Heavy breed
Cambridge Bronze Europe Heavy breed
Bourbon Red America Heavy breed
Crimson Dawn ( Black Winged Bronze) America Heavy breed
Pied (Crollvitzer) Remaid UK Light breed
Buff America Light breed
White   Re.maid UK Light breed
Harvey Speckled.  Re.maid UK Light breed
Nebraskens. Red..Black specks America Light breed
Norfolk Black UK (debatable) Light breed
Spanish Black Spain Light breed
Ronquiere Belgium Light breed
Slate America Light breed
Blue (Lavender) America Light breed

Contrary to what you read or hear most of the present day turkeys are descendants from the American turkey.

Phoenix Rare Breed Turkeys is a small organisation consisting of myself and my wife in the Cotswolds.

Collecting all the varieties of turkeys has been very hard work taking us the best part of two years to achieve our wonderful collection.

Travelling the length and breath of England and Wales.

My wife and l are very passionate in what we are doing .

During the last two years we have met some very kind turkey keepers who believe that what we are achieving is nothing short of being wonderful .

We have a long way to go yet folks but with the help we have had anything is possible.

On our website we only give the basic information not pages and pages of jargon.

Generally the public like info in layman’s terms.


Survey on Show Results

A survey which l have compiled from the last four years of Show Results and Turkey Breeders who do not exhibit.

Norfolk Black Turkey

Norfolk Black TurkeyThe Norfolk Black Turkey is one of our popular varieties, however there’s one breeder who stands out with real quality of this variety – Pam Drake.

Pam’s Norfolk Black Turkeys are exceptional and everyone knows this but wouldn’t admit it. Pam is one of the most dedicated turkey breeders you will ever find  and it will be a long time before anyone will match that  producing incredible birds year after year,  well done Pam.

Slates and Pieds Turkey

Pied-Crollwitzer-TurkeyDiane Tanner has been winning shows all over for the last few years, her Slates and Pieds are just stunning she really is an excellent exhibitor and loves nothing more than to show her beautiful birds to the public. Diane just happens to be one of our best egg exhibitors too having won best turkey eggs many many times and deserves a massive amount of credit for her hard work. With her birds easily a winner with these two varieties.


Bronze Turkey

Rare-Cambridge-Bronze-TurkeySophie Telling has done a fantastic job with her Bronze Turkeys over the years. She has won everything there is to win with her beautiful birds. A regular winner all year round and has proven she has the best Bronze Turkeys available. Great job Sophie.



Harvey speckled Turkey

This variety is an easy one – Helen Holloway has the best Harveys you’re likely to ever see, they are stunning everyone knows that Helen leads the field with her birds, they are fantastic. l have not seen anyone with such fabulous Harvey Speckled Turkeys and it will be a long time before l do. Well done Helen.

Narragansett Turkey

2-yo-narragansettI put myself forward for this one. Why you may ask?  Well having won best Narragansett at the club show for the last three years in a row.  Also winning some 23 shows with them in the last 5 years. Producing winner after winner each year puts me at the top of the tree.  Also winning dozens of best turkey eggs and Best eggs in show many many times puts me up there with the best egg exhibitors.


White Turkeys

champion-white-stag turkey
Again l put myself  up for this one. Having the best white yet again at the club show also producing some of the best whites around I’m claiming this one too.




Buff Turkey

Buff-TurkeysThis one l believe is split. The Buff turkey is very rare at present being in the process being remade. From what l have seen a gentleman from Dorset has probably the best stags and believe that l have the best hens around.  Maybe more time is needed.



Bourbon Red Turkey

Bourbon Red Stag

This is an extremely difficult one. There are a few fairly decent stags about, not many, but a few. Sadly the hens have gone to pot. l haven’t seen a proper Bourbon Red Hen ever that beautiful rich mahogany has gone if anyone does have any you are very, very lucky. Sadly due to man’s interference crossing the Bourbon Red with the Buff variety  has been catastrophic, now we are paying for it. I think the only solution is to import some from Canada or America. Not going to be easy.

Here’s a fine example of a Bourbon Red Stag. Pam Drake’s (Gorgeous George)

Blue (Lavender) Turkey

Blue TurkeyAnother difficult one to consider. Sadly there are only a few breeders of this variety, even less exhibitors. I have been fairly successful with my blues at the club show over the past couple of years but sadly there hasn’t been  much competition however l believe l have bred plenty of potential winners. More time and more keepers are needed with this variety.

This survey was based on true facts and figures over a period of 4 years.

The Turkey

Turkeys can be wonderful birds if you let them.
They all have there own individual characters. The majority of turkeys l have collected over the years were very nervous, most were rarely ever handled making them weary of humans.
However with time, patience and plenty of TLC, turkeys can actually be really friendly birds.
Turkeys are very social birds and it is commonly known that humans can be imprinted on turkeys brains.
For example, if l carry a black bucket around anywhere at my breeding station one or several will pip and dozens and dozens of turkeys will come running towards me.  As in my case, they associate a black bucket as containing their feed and time to go into the safety of their sleeping quarters.

October 2nd

Today I’m sorting out all the young poults for their new homes.
Out of the 180 l have bred l shall be keeping around 85 to go with my groups for next year’s breeding program. Around 47 are sold and what’s left get to go to their new homes mostly this week.
An additional 32 are for Rare breed farms, Stately homes and animal sanctuaries that leaves around 16 left which l shall not have for long.
On a personnel note I’m very pleased to have managed to breed and rear 28 buff turkeys all looking very promising at this stage.
Sadly there are none spare to sell as I am setting up 4 groups of buffs next year.
Reason being they are extremely rare and l have promised some breeding birds to other organisations.
The Narragansett’s, whites, Bronzes, Blues, Slates and Harvey speckled are looking very, very promising. I have even managed to breed some Norfolk blacks with no bronze in them whatsoever, all in all a fabulous year with promise of some cracking turkeys for my good friends and loyal customers.
Really looking forward to 2017.

Best wishes, David Hawkeswood

Early October

This week I’m off to North Devon to collect a group of Blue turkeys.
This lovely person offered me the group .
Through work commitments she has precious little time for her beloved turkeys and wanted them to go to a home where they will be loved and not end up surplus to requirements on someone’s Dinner plate!
Naturally l agreed as the pics l was sent were real show stoppers!
So l jumped to the chance to take them in after their period of quarantine they will join my breeding groups or the temporary mixed groups …wow pucka
Lucky me ..?

January 2017

I have arranged to visit an elderly gentleman from Burnham on Sea  near Weston Super Mare.
He tells me he has some 13 different breeds of turkeys and is retiring from his family business of turkey farming.
He goes on to say he has bred turkeys for over 50 years so I reckon he knows a thing or two.
To cut a very long story short he has offered me the pick of the massive flocks he has left all single breasted birds.
All original blood lines so I may be on to a winner here.
An update in a few weeks folks  ..David

Last week I had a call from a friend of mine. Early this year she mentioned to me that her friend in Spain keeps Black Turkeys she also said they don’t have really black legs but they aren’t too bad also they have next to no bronze in them, if any at all.
I mentioned that l would like some to improve my stock and left it at that.
Last week she rang me to say she had managed to get me 2 pairs of unrelated Spanish black turkeys!
Well you can imagine how excited I was so the next day I sent my manager to the North of Wales to collect them.
Need I say they were lovely and all it cost me was lunch for herself and boyfriend.  Wow I’m delighted  just how pukka is that.

Another beautiful variety to add to my collection…….David.

Isn’t it amazing some people can’t find their own articles etc for their website they have to stoop to copy it from someone else’s .

All inquiries on anything turkey please get in touch

…cheers David Hawkeswood

keeper of Rare Breed Turkeys in the UK
Phoenix Rare Breed Turkeys
red slate non standard turkey