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Origin, economic and morphological characteristics
Originally from Sannio, in particular of the mountainous and hilly areas that include the rural areas ranging from Casalduni, Solopaca to Castel Morrone, where it was grazed in numerous herds on impervious and stony soils.
It is a light-weight turkey that is well suited to grazing even on difficult terrains, well withstands low temperatures, since its areas of origin are often snowy during the winter, it suffers instead from humidity and excessive heat.
Described in various aviculture texts of the twentieth century, it is in particular Tortorelli who well describes it in his work "The turkey, its family and industrial breeding"(1926). Here is the original text:
It was considered extinct for some time until some research by the RAC (Club of the Autoctone Breeds of Campania) allowed the finding of a few strains (among others also of some heads in purity) in the countryside of the Matese Park and in rural farms of other areas of Alto Sannio, from these specimens it was possible to start the work of recovery of the breed which is now being re-spread in the countryside where it was native and beyond.
The females (discreet brooders) lay eggs weighing 70/80 g of ocher / chestnut brown speckled with brownish color.
The turkeys are born with a yellow / straw duvet that turns white after a few weeks, after the first month the black edges begin to appear and the remiges begin to turn black while towards the second month the fawn / golden feathers appear; both sexes reach sexual maturity around 7/8 months.
- Livery: fawn / golden edged with black, just as the remiges are black.
- Skin: pinkish, the skin of the head and neck is pink / bluish which turns red when the animals are excited or nervous.
- Weight: males 6/7 kg (10 kg if well greased), females 4/5 kg.
- Eyes: brown / reddish.
- Beak: ivory color.
- Tarsi: slate / rosé.
Serious defects: excessively light plumage and remiges, absence of black rim, traces of white in the feathers of the tail and wings.
Fawn turkey of Benevento, male (photo and subject by Pasquale D’Ancicco)
Fawn turkey of Benevento, females (photo and subject by Pasquale D’Ancicco)
Fawn turkey from Benevento, newborn turkeys (photo and subject by Pasquale D’Ancicco)
Fawn turkey from Benevento, one month old turkey (photo and subject by Pasquale D’Ancicco)
Fawn turkey from Benevento, two-month turkey (photo and subject by Pasquale D’Ancicco)