Norfolk Black

Norfolk Black

Norfolk Black Stag. Photo: Victoria Roberts

Origin: England

Classification: Light

The Black turkey is believed to have been brought to England via Spain in the 1500s. Many farmers in East Anglia and especially Norfolk liked and kept this bird, hence its name. The Norfolk Black has developed over the centuries through selective breeding is now recognized as English in origin. It was taken back to America in the 1600s where it was crossed with the Eastern Wild and from those matings came the Slate, Narragansett and Bronze.

Colour: male and female

Head: Fairly long, broad and carunculated. Red, changing to bluish white. Short black feathers on head and face not a fault.

Eyes: Dark to black.

Beak: Black.

Plumage in both sexes: a dense black.

Legs and Feet: Black legs, feet and toenails (change to pink with age).


Any other feather colour than black.

Standard Weights

Mature stag 11.35kg (25lb)

Young stag 8.15 – 10.00kg (18lb – 22lb)

Mature hen 5.90 – 6.80kg (13 – 15lb)

Young hen 5.00 – 5.90kg (11 – 13lb)

Day-old poults

The majority of the body is black but the head and face is a creamy white, along with the breast and the abdomen. There is no distinct pattern to this and poults can have a lesser or greater amount of creamy white down coloration. The pale colour will disappear with age and as feathers begin to grow these should be totally black. The poult’s beak is a pale pink with varying amounts of black on it, especially at the tip. The shanks, feet and toes are black with some flesh colouring.