)The Jersey Buff Turkey has been a member of the American Poultry Association1 since 1874. However, this turkey breed almost went extinct. Only recently have Jersey Buff Turkeys become popular due to their docile temperament and small size.

Because of their smaller size, Jersey Buff Turkeys are perfect for small-scale farms. They are manageable enough for hobbyists, but they will provide you with some much-needed food too.

Keep reading to learn more about the facts, uses, and characteristics of the Jersey Buff Turkey.

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Quick Facts About Jersey Buff Turkeys

Breed Name:Jersey Buff
Place of Origin:Mid-Atlantic
Tom (Male) Size:23 pounds
Hen (Female) Size:13 pounds
Lifespan:10 years
Climate Tolerance:All
Care Level:Beginner
Production:Egg production, smaller meat production

Jersey Buff Turkey Origins

The Jersey Buff Turkey is a domestic turkey that was accepted into the American Poultry Association as early as 1874. It was originally used for meat, but it almost went extinct during the 20th century.

Around the 1940s, more people became interested in the Buff Turkey again, resulting in a revival. Today, the Jersey Buff is most popular in the United States, but some can be found in the UK and Australia as well.

Jersey Buff Turkey Characteristics

The Jersey Buff Turkey has light or reddish-brown plumage. This plumage color is the defining characteristic of the turkey and after which it is named. Initially, its lighter feathers were an interest to breeders because they made it easier to clean off the carcass.

This breed is significantly smaller than other modern breeds. As a result, most mass-produced turkeys are not Jersey Buffs. These turkeys are simply too small for mass production.

Even so, the size of the Jersey Buff Turkey is perfect for many hobbyists. The toms are around 23 pounds, whereas the hens weigh about 13 pounds.


Today, Jersey Buff Turkeys are not as commonly used as other varieties. Because of their small size, they simply are not mass produced or raised. Instead, they are primarily farmed by small farmers for meat purposes and egg production.

Jersey Buff Turkeys are not the most common turkey for small-scale farming, either. That being said, their popularity has been increasing over the last few years.

Appearance & Varieties

There aren’t many varieties of the Jersey Buff Turkey. As its name suggests, the Jersey Buff Turkey is primarily buff-colored. Its tail feathers are white and have a buff bar across them on the ends. There are also primary and secondary wings with white and buff shading. Their eyes are hazel.

Males and females tend to look a bit different. Females get lighter with age after molting, which makes it difficult to match the toms and the hens.

Population, Distribution, and Habitat

The temperament of the Jersey Buff Turkey is highly dependent on the breeder. When improperly bred, these turkeys are aggressive and not suited for small-scale farming. However, proper breeding often results in docile and healthy birds.

If you provide your turkeys with a lot of wooded areas and abundant wildlife, they will be very healthy. Properly bred Jersey Buff Turkeys are naturally hardy and fairly independent. So, they are suitable for many climates.

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Are Jersey Buff Turkeys Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Jersey Buff Turkeys are ideal for small-scale farming. Their small size, docile temperament, and hardy nature mean that they can provide you with eggs and meat without much effort.

However, it’s imperative that you select properly bred Jersey Buff Turkeys. If not, you could easily find yourself with an aggressive turkey that does more harm than good for your farm.

We hope that this article on the Jersey Buff Turkey has given you a better understanding of how these birds are used in farming. While they are rather small, it is possible to raise them for egg and meat production if you’re more interested in feeding your friends and family.

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Featured Image credit: InspiredImages, Pixabay