The Bronze has been the most popular turkey variety for most of American history. It originated from crosses between
the domestic turkeys brought by European colonists to the Americas and the eastern wild turkeys they found upon their arrival.
The hybrid vigor of this cross resulted in turkey stocks that were larger and more vigorous than the European birds, and they
were also much tamer than wild turkeys. The coppery-bronze colored metallic sheen, which gives the variety its name, was part
of the inheritance from its wild ancestors.
Bronze-type turkeys were known by the late 1700s, but the name 'Bronze' did not formally appear until the 1830s. Throughout
the 1800s, breeders standardized the Bronze, and occasional crosses were made back to the wild turkey. The Bronze variety was
recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1874.
Naturally mating, long-lived, slow growing strains of Bronze turkeys, known as the Standard Bronze, have been left even further
behind by the turkey industry. A few tenacious breeders maintained small flocks, participating in poultry shows, and raising a
few for family and friends. The Bronze was not used for commercial production for decades until the early 21st century, when
renewed interest in the biological fitness, survivability, and superior flavor captured consumer interest and created a growing
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy