Midget White Turkey

More Information:

  • Slow Food USA
  • Map of Growers
  • Find Growers by State:

Midget White TurkeyThis turkey is an example of the good breed improvement work of universities. In the 1960s Dr. J. Robert Smyth at the University of Massachusetts, created the Midget White turkey breed to meet an anticipated demand for a small turkey—capable of fitting into the smaller refrigerators of an increasing number of urban dwellers and single households. Yet the market for a smaller bird did not develop as predicted and a lack of demand almost pulled this breed out of production. Even while many breeds have become rare, universities have cut funding and many research lines and breeds of poultry have been lost. Midget Whites carry the genes of some of those lost lines.

In order to create the Midget White, Smyth combined a commercial Broad Breasted White turkey with exhibition Royal Palms. After three generations of Midget White turkeys, the University of Massachusetts had to reduce its poultry holdings. Fortunately Dr. Wentworth, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and a former graduate student of Dr. Smyth, continued to develop the breed—selecting for improved egg production, fertility, and hatchability.

Until Dr. Wentworth retired in the late 1990's, the University of Wisconsin held the largest flock of Midget White turkeys in the country. With the turn of the century, the birds were passed to poultry hobbyists and the USDA poultry facility in Beltsville, Maryland, where they stayed for a few more years. The survival of this breed now lies completely in the hands of private individuals. The Midget White has the ability to mate naturally and lay a good number of eggs per year. More so than any other variety, they are extremely friendly and curious birds, often looking for attention from their owners.

The meat of the Midget White is outstanding—a clean traditional turkey flavor without being gamey. The dark meat is extremely dark—be prepared for it's depth of color and flavor. Each bite is savory and rich. The Midget is a delicious option for consumers transitioning from conventional to pastured turkeys. Explorations are also underway for using the rich turkey eggs in pastry.

The egg production of a breed like this could be of use to the commercial industry if they needed to increase egg production in their lines.

Photos of Midget White Turkey




Showing page 5 of 14 for 84 listings

Renaissance Chicken

  Sealy, TX

At Renaissance Chicken we LOVE great food! So we decided to create a place where our passion for great food could be shared with everyone. Our organically kept farm is a virtual paradise for chickens, with room to roam, plenty of fresh water, and natural food for our chickens to eat. (more...)


Red White and Blue Turkey Farm

  Wellington, OH

TURKEYS AND SO MUCH MORE... My farm name comes from the types of turkeys I breed: Bourbon Reds, Blue Slates, and Midget Whites. These are the same varieties that have been raved about in taste tests and are featured in Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste. I have been breeding heritage turkeys since 1998. (more...)


Rainbow Ranch Farms

  Pinon Hills, CA    LocalHarvest Sponsor!

Welcome. We provide fresh, organic, grass-fed, grass-finished, pasture-raised and local "farm to table" sustainable food to our local communities. Our holistically raised, sustainable healthful foods are also high in nutrient-density. products are sustainable for customers, community, environment and good health. (more...)


Pugh Farms: Our eggs don't stink

  newburgh, NY

We're a small operation raising all natural poultry and eggs in the Hudson Valley of New York. We're located approximately an hour north of New York City, and an hour south of Albany. (more...)


Piazza Farmers Market

  Philadelphia, PA

We are a YEAR-ROUND market offering all locally produced/prepared products. Free Range Chicken, Grass Fed Beef, Naturally Raised Pork and Lamb, Pastured Cage-Free Eggs, Cow and Goat Cheese, Raw Cow's Milk, Raw Goat's Milk, Goat Yogurt, Kefir, IPA Fruits and organic Vegetables, Breads/Baked Goods and more. (more...)


Peach Valley CSA

  Silt, CO

Ken Kuhns Jr and his wife Gail, own and operate Peach Valley CSA Farm, located 17 miles west of Glenwood Springs in the Colorado River Valley. They helped establish the Saturday Farmers Market in Glenwood Springs in 1985. (more...)