Merriam’s Wild Turkey
Hatching year-round. Ages of the poults shipped can vary from day old to 2 weeks depending on hatch rates. Turkey Poults are straight run only.
Merriam’s Wild Turkeys are very rarely found in captivity. They are an interesting subspecies of wild turkey, that evolved in isolation from other subspecies, and so developed some unique characteristics.
History: Merriam’s Wild Turkey was not named for the person who first discovered it, or, as in the cases of so many other poultry species, for the person who first raised it in captivity. An American naturalist, Dr. E.W. Nelson, decided on a name for Merriam’s Turkeys in 1900. He named the species in honor of Dr. C Hart Merriam, the first head of the United States Biological Survey.
The original native range of Merriam’s Wild Turkey was most likely northern Arizona, northern New Mexico and parts of Colorado. As it was quite isolated, scientists theorize that it is not as old as some other types of turkey. Today, Merriam’s Turkeys have been introduces far outside of their original, native range and are thriving in pine forests from Montana to Arizona, and west to Oregon and California.
Merriam’s are similar in size to Eastern Wild Turkeys, but are colored a bit differently. The most notable part of a Merriam’s plumage is the white area at the base of the tail, and its white-tipped covert feathers. In addition, the Merriam’s has an iridescent sheen that shows as bronze, purple, and blue on the rest of its body plumage.
Typically, a Merriam’s hen will lay 10-12 eggs in a clutch. The eggs are incubated for 26-28 days. Rather than laying her eggs in a single nest and staying there until they hatch, a Merriam’s hen will usually move her eggs a few times each day.
Colors: Merriam’s Turkeys have a white patch at the base of the tail, and dark feathers that have an iridescent sheen of bronze, blue and purple over the rest of their bodies. The breast feathers are white-tipped, as are the covert feathers. The head is red, as are the wattles and snood. Hens are duller in color and smaller in size.
Average Mature Weight: Toms weigh as much as 25 pounds or more, while hens weigh around 12 pounds.