The Royal Scam:
European and American Heritage Turkeys


So I stepped into the world of domesticated turkeys fairly ignorant of the subject. Cannot claim to have improved much. My real interest was wild turkeys, -somr hunting but mostly just enjoying them in the wild.

I wing walked my way into the turkey hobby reading everything available and I was soon repeating the information to anyone who would politely humor me (While attempting to escape back into their world of football or beer.) Are they the same thing?

After nearly three years, might have been eight years, I began to notice little errors in the turkey naming convention; little flags that screamed "Danger, Danger Will Roberson" (So that really dates me)

However I noticed that some Heritage turkey breeds appeared on both sides of the Atlantic under different names. Had I been scammed or rather fallen victim to North Americentrism misinformation? On the bold subject of turkeys.

As absurd as this might sound, Had the internet lied to me?

At least three of the breeds I had been reading about seem to appear on both sides of the Atlantic with different names:

The Royal Palm also called the Crollwitzer or Pied,

The Spanish Black, also called the Norfolk Black

The Bourbon Red also called the Ronquieres

Pied: The Pied turkey has been in existence in Europe since the 1700s. It is very ornamental and a popular exhibition bird. The Pied is more suited as an egg producer than meat bird. There are various breeds which have similar colouring, such as Crollwitzer, Pied Ronquieres, Royal Palm (USA).

"Dindon rouge des Ardennes"


The Ronquieres turkey takes its name from a small village near the Belgian capital of Brussels called Ronquiere. This turkey was bred in Ronquiere on a large scale way back in the 18th century but after the 2nd world war only the ermine colour variety could be found after the 2 world wars nearly destroyed the breed. That was until the 19th century when a small breeding stock was found out in Campine and from this small flock all modern day ronquieres turkeys are decended without ever being crossbred with any other turkey sort, resulting in this beautiful pure-bred turkey breed.

Flemish painter Frans Snijders  (1579-1657)

Turkey and Cock fighting

Amazing painting!